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The Psychology Of Color: How To Select A Paint Color That Makes You Feel Great


How are you affected when you’re surrounded by a color you love?

Blue was my favorite color as a child. I loved looking up at the blue sky as I twirled in the grass until I was so dizzy, I’d fall over. Happy, carefree moments I connect with blue. For me, my wedding colors—ivory and black accented with wine--reflected depth, commitment, and an enduring sense of security. More than 20 years later, I still love those colors and the person I committed myself to that day.

Color is Powerful
Color carries specific meanings that influence how we feel and respond. Those emotions and responses are tied to our memories, personality, traditions, and anything we strongly associate with specific colors. As a result, color affects us emotionally, mentally, and physically in significant ways without us even thinking about it.

The psychological effects of color, when used intentionally, are a great tool for making your home uniquely yours. Not to mention, painting is one of the more affordable types of home projects.

For my home, I wanted a balance between our need for rest and our love of life. Throughout the main living area, I chose variations of light to medium grays on the walls and soft white for the trim and doors, a restful palette. Our artwork is the view of nature framed by windows. In each closet, a vibrant color smiles at me each time I open the door. A daily experience of relaxation and fun.

Qualities of Color
Understanding some basic knowledge of color and paint will increase your confidence when you are standing in our Home Center’s paint department faced with the wall of paint swatches. 

Three basic qualities of color: 

  • Hue — a basic color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet)
  • Value —  the lightness or darkness of a color in relation to white and black (tint/shade)
  • Intensity — the purity of a color; the degree of brightness or dullness (saturation)

How To Choose the Perfect Paint Color
Before your trip to the paint department, here what you can do to prepare: 
1.    Ask yourself a few questions.

  • What hue naturally appeals to you?
  • What feeling do you want to create in your space?
  • What hue creates that feeling for you?

2.    Look for images that reflect the feeling for you. They can be home images, but they don’t have to be.

  • What hues are in the image?
  • What is the main color? 
  • What are the accent colors?

3.    Read about paint sheen to understand your options and their effects.

4.    Visit our Paint Project Guide for more information on planning your project.

At this point, you may feel confident enough to choose a color palette yourself. If so, great! If not, no worries. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff in our Paint Department can help you decide on a color palette and paint for your project. Bring your lists and images with you.

Pro Tip: If you want confirmation of your color selection before any paint goes on the wall, get a pint-size paint sample and paint a large swatch (2ft square or bigger). Look at it in your space in several locations and at various times of the day. 

I hope this knowledge and our paint department provide just what you need to make your home feel just how you want it to feel so you can be surrounded by colors you love.

From my home to yours,

Karen Keim