Updated: Sep 30
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The importance of color psychology when purchasing art for your home
Did you know that when the brain is stimulated by wavelengths of light, it produces color? Fascinating but you didn’t come here for a science lesson!
More importantly, color has a powerful effect on the home and interior design choices because it encourages a range of emotions in an individual. Color decisions have a big impact on a room and when it comes to choosing artwork for a room, you need to know the color decisions and the reasons for them.
Let’s look at an example.
According to Chromotherapy (also known as color therapy), yellow can help with digestion. This is why yellow is a very popular color for a kitchen and why yellow pieces of art, like sunflowers, work so well in that room. Alternatively, blues are seen as calming colors, so you often see them in a bedroom to aid sleep and a picture to compliment can work well.
Therefore, let us have a look at some important colors and what influence they can have on a room and ultimately the choice of artwork.
The Color Spectrum
All colors can inspire emotions, some would say even physical, reactions and they can vary on the individual and sometimes the culture. It is important to understand these differing reactions when choosing a color for a room and a work of art.
Grey – The ultimate neutral color, when used correctly, grey can evoke feelings of peacefulness and with a strong hue, even strength and confidence. In paintings, greys are often used to give a sense of peace to a viewer.
Black – When taken in a positive light, black generates mystery and sophistication. Combined with its neutral backdrop, it is a color that works well in most rooms and often as an accent color. This is why selecting a piece of art that has strong black colors works in many different settings.
Brown – Relaxation is a classic sense delivered by soft browns, with color psychology that can make a room feel cozy or quite masculine depending on your choices. As an artwork, brown dominated pictures sit well in rooms with strong colors like purples and gold.
Blue – If you go for lighter shades, blue can have a calming effect on a room, like bedrooms and bathrooms, whilst the darker shades like navy give off a strong vibe, generating a sense of confidence and success – great for an office boardroom.
Purple – A color that exudes very strong and clear reactions, the royalty color can give off a sense of wealth and luxury. It is often used in hallways to give a favorable view as soon as guests arrive. Purple is a powerful choice of color for artwork in a room, so select it carefully.
Green – A calming color, green projects balance and is considered a restorative color, making it good in spaces where you want an open mind, like kitchens and offices. Artwork that combines greens and yellows is often seen in spaces that require a calm state of mind.
Pink – Not just a color for little girls, Pink brings out love and femininity, often the choice in a bedroom but used carefully it can work very well in a living room.
Red – Potentially the color that can generate the strongest emotions, ranging from passion and excitement through to power, reds need to be used carefully within interior design and selecting a piece of artwork.
Yellow – The cheerful color, yellow can bring out optimism and imagination, as well as friendship. It has always been popular in children’s bedrooms but used carefully can bring light and joy to any room in the house, particularly when picking golden shades.
It is important to remember that not all emotions are positive and with many of your color decisions if you don’t think carefully it could produce the opposite of your original idea. Think about these examples and how decisions can lead you in many directions.
Orange can be used as a joyful influence on a room but the wrong choice of artwork might invoke an aggressive feeling, not appropriate in calmer spaces like a bedroom.
Grey might be the master of neutrality, but overused in the wrong setting, it can actually give off a sense of melancholy.
Red dominated artwork can be a powerful statement in a room but remember that color psychology teaches us that it can also produce a strong sense of rebellion or even violence, so must be used in proportion.
Finally, think carefully when selecting a blue inspired painting. There are some well-known examples from art history about this how this color has come to define an era and the raw state of an artist. The most famous of these being Picasso, who in the early 1900s had sunk into a depression and painted a lot of figures in blue to enhance their sadness.
How To Use Artwork
We’ve explained the feelings that colors can generate in people and most importantly, in a room itself. It gives the room a personality and depending on how the color has been used in a room, it will have a big impact on your choices of artwork.
For example, some interior designers will incorporate a color to its maximum effect to make a strong statement. The designer Amanda Nisbet has a reputation for using bold colors.
“Using color is not necessarily for the faint of heart, but its ability to singularly and definitively create an experience makes it one of the most important and valuable tools in interior design”
- Amanda Nisbet
In this case, your choice of artwork will need to match the boldness of the theme just to make an impact. However, with many projects, colors are used more subtly and then the picture can become a powerful symbol by itself, which is when understanding color psychology becomes so important, as a poor choice can ruin the entire room, but when chosen well, any artwork can make a room.
If you are looking for inspiration, there is a wide range of paintings on the website that will work perfectly in different rooms and color schemes. If you cannot find what you are looking for, then why not commission your own custom piece of artwork, a one of a kind painting just for you.