Matching Colors and Your Personality

If you are comfortable with your surroundings, you will be happier and therefore healthier. Decorate according to your personality and you'll love your surroundings.

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By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann
Scripps Howard News Service

About 65 years ago, Suzanne Caygill developed a system to determine an individual's best colors according to skin, hair and eye pigmentation.

Around the same time, Gerrie Pinckney expanded on that with a theory connecting a person's color preference with the four seasons. Autumn, for example, is rich in golden tones so an autumn-type person's beauty will be enhanced by wearing gold-toned earth colors.

Take that a step further and we discover that same personality looks good surrounded by intricate patterns such as paisley and plaid. In 1981, Carole Jackson popularized this theory in her book, Color Me Beautiful.

What does all this have to do with interior design? If you are comfortable with your surroundings, you will be happier and therefore healthier. Not only will you feel good, you will look good, which in turn will make you feel good, and around and around we go.

If you don't believe me, try this experiment. Go to your closet and look at your wardrobe. At first you might think it is a hodge-podge of mismatched clothes. Look closer. There is a pattern there of favorite colors. There are also a few items in your closet that, when worn, make you feel good and get you a lot of compliments.

OK, now hone in on those particular garments. You should see a connection. For example, the autumn person is probably complimented every time she wears the rich yellow blouse with the russet colored skirt. The rust-brown dress is sure to extract compliments from co-workers and the deep green dress with the gold necklace always receives an approving smile from her husband.

Think about it. Don't you see that if you look good wearing these colors, you will look and feel good surrounded by these colors as well?

The right colors will brighten your appearance, making you look younger, rested, happy. The wrong colors will dull your appearance, making you look sallow. It stands to reason that if you are sitting in a black leather sofa, backed by gray-white walls and these are not your colors, you will look out of place, ashen, generally not good in that surrounding. This contemporary setting might look terrific in a magazine, but if it doesn't compliment you, you're not going to enjoy owning it.

So what color type are you? Review the list below and determine what colors you are attracted to.

  • SPRING: Warm yellow with a fresh, light, energetic feeling.
  • SUMMER: Cool, blue/pink that is gentle, refined and almost translucent in feeling.
  • AUTUMN: Yellow again only this time deeper, richer and stronger than spring.
  • WINTER: Cool, blue/pink that is striking, dramatic and rather electric.

Now walk around your house and see if the colors fit your personality season.

(Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of Mystery of Color.)

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