No color epitomizes cheerfulness and high energy like yellow. Intense shades such as canary yellow are extreme attention grabbers, which is why the color is used for traffic signs or in advertisements. Although associated with positivity and sunshine, it's also the most optically straining color due to the amount of light it reflects and has been known to encourage babies to cry. That being said, yellow works best when used in small amounts.
Also known as ochre, this shade is warm and welcoming. With just a hint more orange than mustard yellow, it's a nurturing tone that is commonly used in gathering areas such as kitchens and dining rooms.
Yellow-green tones such as pea green are associated with both nature and growth. Often considered by designers a difficult color to use, pea green is most successful when paired with other earth tones, particularly brown or orange. To encourage growth, designers turn to pea green as a gender-neutral choice for kids' rooms. When combined with turquoise, it takes on a masculine feel but when used with pale pink, it becomes more feminine.
The color of money, generosity and fertility, green is considered calming and pleasing to the senses. In fact, health spas and doctors' offices routinely use pale shades of green on walls and furniture to keep their guests and patients relaxed. Bolder, saturated shades of green can brighten up the darkest of spaces.
Blue-green is often used by people who consider pure blue to be too cold. It's a popular color for bedrooms because it creates a serene and restful environment. On the other hand, studies have shown that blues and blue-greens are excellent for keeping people focused; therefore, this hue is an ideal choice for rooms meant for study or sports.
Studies have proven that blue is most often chosen as the favorite color of people worldwide. This is due in part to the fact that simply looking at this color causes the body to produce chemicals which calm the nerves. Wisdom and loyalty are associated with this hue, which is why many military and civic uniforms sport shades of this color. The color of water and sky, blue is a popular designer choice for bathrooms and spas.
This color combines the dependability and wisdom of blue with the royal richness of violet. Deep purples are sometimes considered overwhelming and even associated with putting on airs, making blue-violet a great alternative. To keep it from appearing garish or even juvenile, pair with dark tones and metallics.
Historically, the robes of kings and queens were created from this rich color, associating violet with wealth, prosperity and sophistication. Scientifically speaking, violet is known for stimulating brain activity used in problem solving. When used correctly, controlled doses of violet can bring a sense of mystery and wisdom to a space.
Red-violet tones are a bit less serious than violet and blue-violet hues and are excellent for informal or playful spaces. The red undertones make this color somewhat feminine and youthful. Studies have shown that young girls are inclined to choose shades of purple, especially red-violet, for their bedrooms.
Red, the color which the eye most recognizes, is associated with movement, speed and excitement. Studies have proven that viewing red results in an increased heartbeat, sometimes leading to shortness of breath. When used correctly, red interiors inspire romance, encourage the appetite and heighten emotions. To incorporate red into your home, it's best to use it sparingly. Just a few pops of red in a dining room will encourage dinner guests to make their way to the table and get seated.
Red-orange is the epitome of intensity; there is nothing calm whatsoever about this tone, making it an excellent choice for spaces that are meant to encourage creativity, activity or playfulness. When paired with white, red-orange rooms achieve a sense of balance.
Of all the colors in the color wheel, orange is often considered the most flamboyant. Orange spaces are fun, happy and unapologetic. People who use this color for their interiors can be characterized as warm, confident, carefree and ambitious. To tone it down, designers often pair it with earth tones such as chocolate brown and olive green.
Often used by designers and architects to capitalize on the availability of a home's natural light, white also symbolizes purity. While all-white interiors can be impractical to live in and for some evoke a feeling of sterility, the color is truly the ultimate neutral, offering endless color pairing possibilities within a space.
Although black symbolizes both power and authority, it's usually the color least likely to be used on interior walls. This stems from the fact that black also implies submission. Similar to the way a black outfit slims figures, it can be used to accentuate a home's architectural assets; try using black on walls and white on trim and floors.
Associated with romance, pink has long been a preferred color of women and girls everywhere. Certain shades of pink, when paired with otherwise masculine colors, can create a gender-neutral space. Hot pink is a great way to add a feminine touch to more masculine hues such as navy blue and black.
Many men choose brown as a favorite color. It's also a go-to choice for designers looking to create an organic or earthy aesthetic. Depending on what it's paired with, brown can be clean, rich and classic or sad and wistful. For a sophisticated look, pair brown with gray then incorporate metallic finishes through accessories and details. To achieve a bold, energetic look, accessorize with vivid colors such as blue, orange, green or pink.
Gray is often thought of as timeless and practical; however, too much gray leads to a feeling of old age or nothingness. To decorate with gray successfully, use it on walls and floors then add some excitement with colorful touches. Depending on the accent color, gray interiors can be masculine, feminine or both.