Does seafoam green really evoke feelings of renewal? Can periwinkle blue actually lull you to sleep?
Interior designers have long thought that paint color can affect our emotions, and color psychology backs up the hunch. Here’s a look at the swatches that cultivate a calm and relaxed environment throughout your home.
Soothing blues. From iceberg to deep navy, almost any shade of blue can convey a sense of tranquillity in a room. Darker tones make for tasteful accents in a library, den or drawing room. Softer hues in a master bed or guest room make falling asleep and waking up that much easier to do.
Soft purples. Bold purple is said to stimulate creativity and imagination, while calling to mind romance and royalty. Its lighter notes, on the other hand, can generate a restful environment. A pale take on the regal color, like Farrow & Ball’s Calluna, contributes to a mellow ambience. Set on making a statement? Consider a bright accent wall, like Pantone’s Violet Quartz, in your home office or entryway.
Easy greens. Evoke feelings of the great outdoors with cool shades of green in your kitchen. Even small or cramped spaces can benefit from the light and airy feel that a splash of mint or pistachio adds. Beware of tints that can overwhelm an area: Neon or lime green can invigorate or excite in small doses, but can overwhelm when it’s wall to wall. For a smaller update, consider repainting your cabinets instead of the entire room.
Shades of white. White and gray expand spaces, pushing the walls and ceilings out to make a room feel larger than it is. Love neutrals? Make thoughtful tweaks to plain grays or white, opting for a mix of whites, greens and yellow tones, like those found in PPG’s Oatmeal or Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. In addition to opening things up, the colors bring a peaceful and timeless energy to your living room, bedroom and hallways.
Type of paint. A paint job is more than just a change of scenery. The type of paint you choose dampen or enhance the color you’ve chosen. High-quality paint has smaller pigments, which conceal previous coats and appear more dynamic. It also tends to be more durable and mold resistant than a cheaper paint, which lacks depth and requires more coats. A painting pro can help you decide on the quality level necessary to bring a feeling of calm to your home.
Diana Crandall is a reporter for Angie’s List, a provider of consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services.