Color, Light & Mood
Without light, there is no color, so it s not surprising that even subtle changes in lighting influence the way colors appear. Sometimes, the connection between color and emotion is subtle, even unconscious, but it influences the way you feel and can even affect your physical well being.
Light Affects Color
Choose a wall in your home and think about the way it looks when sunlight strikes the surface. Think of its appearance in the morning, at noon and at night when the lights are on. Does daylight produce glare, or artificial light cloak the walls in garish tones? If you understand the interaction of light and color, you can plan for a satisfying result.
The quality of light and color changes substantially in the presence of artificial lighting, which also contains the colors of the spectrum but in proportions different from daylight. The incandescent bulbs typically used in-home lighting give off yellowish cast: they can bathe a warm-hued room in a golden glow, but they can turn even intense colors form cool end of the spectrum to the dull and lifeless. Fluorescent bulbs commonly found in kitchens usually emit a cool blue or green cast that can perk up the look of salad greens but make a tomato or a red pepper appear somewhat gray; when turned on strong, some fluorescents can turn even the richest of warm hues murky. Halogen lamps, which offer a clear white light with little color distortion, passably approximate natural light; energy efficient but still comparatively expensive, halogens are gaining in popularity because they show off colors in their almost true form.
Color Effects Mood
If you’ve ever felt blue or predicted an outcome to be rosy, or donned a yellow shirt to cheer yourself up, you know that color has an impact on your emotions. Consequently, the color you select for your home must not only look right to your eye but feel right as well. Furthermore, the time of the day and quality of light will change the way color feels yellow will look and feel duller and darker at dusk than in broad daylight.
Red, Orange, Yellow
Although response to color is a personal thing, researches have learned that certain colors tend to elicit certain emotions. Red, for instance, associated with heat and fire, usually quickens the pulse and raises body temperature. Because red energizes and stimulates, it might be a good choice for an exercise room, but not for the bedroom of a hyperactive child. Orange shares some of the energizing qualities of red and is thought to stimulate the appetite. Thought you probably don t want to paint your kitchen an intense orange, a peachy tint might do nicely. Yellow is associated with sunshine and cheerfulness; it feels bright rather than stimulating and has been noted to increase creativity in people. Yellow is a versatile decorating color because in its pale tints it becomes almost neutral in effect. Red, orange, and yellow and their variations on the color wheel are considered warm hues.
Green, Blue, Violet
Psychologically speaking, green is perceived as calming and relaxing like the greenery of a garden. Coloring a room in tints and shades of green can help you wind down, achieve serenity, and, when warmed with a little red or orange, give you a fresh outlook on matters. Blue also has a restful effect and, like water, can suggest coolness and calm. A soothing blue can help a south-facing room feel cooler, or a bedroom more conductive to sleeping, but if used in too dark a shade can make any room feel cold and gloomy. Not surprisingly, green and blue and, to a lesser degree, violet are considered cool hues.
Violet, or purple (which is really an intense version of violet), can be a difficult color to decorate with, in part because it straddles the line between cool and warm red; it can feel either warm or cool depending on the light, the other hues in the room, and your own moods. However, violet is associated with promoting self-expression and one s artistic side and can be an effective decorating color and thoughtful planning.
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