When we think of creativity, we often immediately associate it with various art forms such as painting, sculpting, or writing. But decorating your home is a ripe place for creativity of all kinds to flourish, especially when attempting to create a space that feels both relaxing and inviting. There are many ways to go about creating a “homey” space for yourself. Many people do so through the use of plants, artwork, or cozy additions such as blankets or throw pillows.
Because the rooms in our homes are meant to serve different purposes, we may find ourselves associating certain emotions with certain rooms. For instance, a home office may bring up thoughts of energy and productivity, while the bedroom may be associated with ideas of calm and relaxation. Due to the busyness of day-to-day life, we aren’t always able to summon these emotions on a whim. Maybe our minds are racing as we’re desperately attempting to fall asleep in bed at night, or maybe that coffee-induced burst of energy isn’t quite kicking in at your home office. By getting creative, we can actually help to induce these various moods through the strategic use of color in different rooms.
The color blue is often naturally associated with feelings of calm and serenity. In fact, right now you’re probably picturing a clear sky or a deep rolling ocean. This is because there is a certain amount of psychology related to color and studies show that different colors have an effect on us both physically and emotionally. While blue might initially induce feelings of relaxation, a study at the University of British Columbia shows that blue can also help improve creativity. Research shows that when given various tasks, participants who were given blue environmental stimuli were able to produce double the creative results than those given other colors. Juliet Zhu of UBC’s Sauder School of Business states, “Blue encourages us to think outside the box and be creative…The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory. Not surprisingly it is people’s favorite color.”
That being said, it’s clear that blue has the potential to completely transform the mood of a room, depending on how you choose to use it. If you’re looking to induce feelings of peace and calm, the use of blue curtains or an area rug in a bedroom could be a creative way to evoke such emotions. On the other hand, if you’re looking to break through a creative block, perhaps consider a fresh coat of paint on the walls of your home office or studio space.
Other more attention-grabbing colors can be beneficial to use in your home as well. Though at first, you might assume it to be a little overbearing, the color red actually has some surprising effects on mood that you wouldn’t expect. According to Hailey van Braam, author of the eBook The Psychology of Colors, red has the capacity to increase natural human characteristics such as attention to detail, passion, energy, and power. Depending on the shade of red, the resulting emotions can range from subdued, to bright and bubbly. As a rule of thumb, darker shades of red induce feelings more along the lines of seriousness, thoughtfulness, or determination, while brighter shades can promote feelings of positivity and eagerness.
On the other hand, red can also have an instinctual association with danger or aggression. Think of how we associate a traffic light with the need to stop, or the expression “seeing red” when experiencing feelings of rage. Because such bold colors can feel a little overwhelming, perhaps consider the now popular idea of an accent wall. By painting just one wall of a room, not only is it unique and eye-catching to guests, but it still leaves space for other balancing tones and colors to offset red’s intensity.
One last color to consider adding to your home is yellow. Typically associated with words like “warmth” or “joy”, this stems from a biological need in human beings: sunshine. In an article published to CNN Health, Leatrice Eiseman, a color specialist and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, discusses how painting large spaces of yellow in her home has helped boost her emotions while living in a state that is widely known for its dreary weather. In fact, research shows that people who live in rainier places or areas located further away from the equator were more likely to experience feelings of friendliness and joy towards the color (Science Magazine). Because our positive feelings toward yellow are so tightly intertwined with the sun, consider incorporating more sunlight into your space, or using cozy personalized items like yellow picture frames or a decorative bowl of lemons can serve as a creative alternative.
Whether you’re looking to focus, unwind, or boost feelings of all-around happiness, surrounding yourself with these colors in your home can be a great way to help keep you feeling balanced, grounded, and motivated throughout the day. But don’t feel like you have to stop there! Try incorporating some of these colors in your workspace or in your personal wardrobe and see how color continues to transform your day.