The Psychology of Color: Choose the Right Shade

Take a closer look at how different colors can affect your mood so you can make sure you're choosing the right hue for each room in your home.

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November 03, 2014

Photo By: JAC Interiors ©Defurio Photography

Photo By: Designed by Kathryn Greeley

Photo By: Eron Rauch

Photo By: Arch-Interiors Design Group. Inc.

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Turquoise: Stability and Peace

Turquoise walls bring a serene feel to this sitting area in a teen's bedroom.

Sunshine Yellow: An Uplifting Hue

Yellow is often associated with happiness and optimism because it can activate memory, stimulate the nervous system and promote creativity. Go all out by implementing a sunshine yellow and toning it down with white accents, like in this dining nook designed by Brian Patrick Flynn.

Muted Yellow: Airy and Relaxing

If a bright yellow isn't your style, try a neutral pale shade. The added bonus: this shade gives the appearance of a larger room. Designer Kathryn Greeley used an earthy yellow in this cottage-style bedroom to create a relaxing look.

Bold Red: Dramatic and Energizing

Red immediately evokes a passionate, romantic feel in any room. It can add drama when used generously or just a simple touch can warm up a space. The many different shades create different moods, from a romantic merlot to a retro cherry shade. This velvet red wall makes the dining space more intimate while bringing some color to the otherwise neutral space. Design by Candice Olson

Red-Orange: A Subtle Approach

Use small doses of red if you want to spice things up without completely committing to the bold hue.

Bold Pink: For Grownups

Pink isn't just for little girls' rooms anymore. This punchy color is much more versatile than you may think. Designer Christopher Grubb chose this vibrant pink-orange color combo to bring a playful touch to this sitting room without making it feel too youthful.

Peony Pink: Energetic and Youthful

If you want to add pink to a girl's room while keeping a sophisticated look, try a saturated peony shade like in the Green Home 2011 home. This hue will add energy while keeping a feminine look.

Deep Orange: A Versatile Shade

Few people choose orange when deciding on an interior color because picking the right shade can be overwhelming. A deep orange, or terra-cotta shade, is a great option for a home office — it's energizing by day and cozy by night. Designed by Sabrina Soto

Apricot Orange: An Appetizing Shade

Go with a lighter shade of orange, such as apricot, if you want a more relaxing look. Designer Chip Wade used apricot to act as an appetite stimulant while balancing the right amount of relaxation and energy.

Lime Green: A Burst of Energy

Green reminds us of life and renewal since it's associated with nature. It's one of the most versatile colors — it can be dramatic, refreshing or inviting depending on how you use it. Designer Tobi Fairley accented a bookshelf wall with a lime-green shade for a burst of energy.

Celery Green: A Lively Neutral

Lighter shades of green, such as sea green and celery green, bring a light and airy look. Designer Shelly Riehl David proves that a light-green shade can add sophistication and crispness in harmony. The green color acts as a neutral yet still brings life to this hallway.

Cool Blue: A Serene Environment

Many homeowners turn to blue when painting a room because they want a comfortable, inviting feel in their home. For a serene environment, mix a glacier blue with chrome accents. Design by Tobi Fairley

Sapphire Blue: A Powerful Statement

For a completely different mood, choose a darker shade of blue, such as sapphire. This shade will bring a powerful punch to any room, but it isn't for the faint of heart. For a less dramatic approach, Design Star winner Danielle Colding brought in touches of yellow in this home office.

Vibrant Purple Shades: A Refreshing and Lively Look

You're in the majority if you stray away from purple when decorating. However, this color correlates with royalty and creativity, and it can completely refresh your home's interior. If you have a simple space you want to spruce up, try adding multiple shades of purple. Brian Patrick Flynn painted a chevron pattern in different shades of purple and anchored it with a softer shade of purple on the walls, creating a striking focal point.

A Pop of Purple: For a Fun Vibe

Sometimes all you need are accents of color to change the mood of a room. Brian Patrick Flynn added neon purple pillows to this gray living room for an energetic vibe that enhances the wallpaper pattern.

Gray: A Favorite Neutral

Designers love to use gray as a backdrop or neutral shade because of its ability to allow other colors to shine. Its sophistication comes off as too serious sometimes, so Brian Patrick Flynn added a playful spin with a two-toned patterned wallpaper design that makes the coral vanity stand out.

Silver Gray: A Romantic Feel

A lighter shade of gray brings a romantic touch to a space. This dining room, designed by Rebekah Zaveloff, features silver-gray walls for a sophisticated, inviting look. The dark gray table draws the eye toward the center of the room.

Earthy Brown: Helps You Relax

Brown is one of the most comforting colors, so it's a top choice for living rooms and kitchens. The soft brown wood tones in this kitchen make it feel inviting and pleasant. Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting

Brown Accents: Highlights Bold Colors

Using brown is a great way to highlight bold colors while anchoring the space. Designer Andreas Charalambous brought in touches of brown tones to counterbalance the bold red bedroom wall.

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