Color your world

Different color schemes generate different moods

By Barbara Pierce

D’Amico
D’Amico

“Colors are powerful!” said Tara D’Amico, real estate and interior design adviser for Coldwell Banker Sexton, of Clinton.

Colors play a starring role in our lives, from the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, to how we decorate our homes and work spaces.

Colors influence our moods, impact our lives and provide a glimpse as to who we are.

“We all know that walking into a beautiful room with calming cool blue walls and richly toned fabrics can instantly lower our stress and soothe our soul,” D’Amico continued.

“On the contrary, when your child dresses himself in a red shirt and orange pants, it’s like nails on a chalk board to our inner feng shui.”

In today’s hectic world, we should be selective about what colors we surround ourselves with, she suggested. It’s an easy way to bring peace into lives through our wardrobes, homes and work spaces.

Color can be a mood lifter or a depressor. Colors and emotions are closely linked; every color creates different emotions and feelings.

Our reaction to colors is highly individualized, rooted in our experiences. Colors can make us feel happy or sad; they can make us feel relaxed, and even make us feel hungry.

Warm colors — reds, oranges, and yellows — often evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and energy. They change our heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

On the other side of the color spectrum, cool colors — blues, purples and greens — tend to evoke feelings of calm, but can also trigger sadness and indifference.

D’Amico offers these color tips for your home:

— Whites, creams and light neutrals (my personal favorites) bring peace, serenity, clarity, promote cleanliness and cultivate communication.

— Neutral, neutral, neutral when it comes to painting walls, furniture, and décor: Whites, creams, grays and tans; the lighter the better.

Neutrals are peaceful colors. They’re a great choice for us here. When it’s dreary outdoors, they help to make indoors a comfortable and happy place.

Whites bring light into any space and overall soothe. My home is about 10 different shades of white. People say, ‘You’re so brave having white with three kids!’ But here’s a secret: White is the easiest color to clean and it doesn’t fade. Not to mention it’s very soothing. I think it’s heavenly.

Amazing grays

Grays are amazing, and are very neutral to use as a whole house paint color. Classic gray, by Benjamin Moore, is my favorite. I recommend this color to my real estate and design clients and use it in my own properties; it’s a fabulous color.

Some may think gray is boring or dreary, but that is not so. That perfect gray sofa, accented with creamy velvet drapes, makes your living room the favorite spot in the house.

From HGTV.com: “Gray has an inherent calmness and sophistication. Choose a solid gray that symbolizes strength, or a softer gray that offers a delicate feel.”

Using light neutrals for the majority of your home and accenting with beautiful pops of color is a smart and cost-effective decorating philosophy, D’Amico said. We get sick of color quickly and seasons change — using interchangeable items such as throw pillows, blankets and rugs keeps visual interest up and cost down.

— If you love fire engine red, sunshine yellow, or vivid orange, fear not. You don’t have to give them up completely. Just incorporate them sparingly and consistently. Use pops of these colors as accents.

— Cooler blues and greens can be relaxing and serene. They are said to infuse wisdom and creativity. Blues are lovely for bedrooms to promote rest. Blue makes you feel safe and relaxed.

Workers in blue offices feel the most centered, calm and hopeful, say experts. Since blue can lower heart rates and green reduces anxiety, a combination of blue and green is best for the workplace.

For most people, cool colors are calming. Green, a prevalent color in nature, makes us feel peaceful. Use as a wall color or incorporate it subtly.

Adding houseplants makes your space feel calmer and look brighter and warmer.

The fewer colors you combine and the simpler and more pared back a design is, the more calming it will feel.

— Reds, yellows, bright pinks and oranges are very stimulating to the brain. They are uplifting, lively colors. Art studios, classrooms, or think tank spaces could benefit from them.

Add a dash of color here and there in your world — a glass vase with brightly colored flowers or a plant to your dining room table, a vibrant blanket thrown over the back of the couch — and see if it makes you smile. It might just be what your soul is searching for.

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