Remodeling and Home Design

The Psychology of Colors

The most important thing to know about color is “how do people respond to a particular color?” What happens to people’s thinking or behavior when a particular color is used? Who will respond positively or negatively? Will men and women respond differently? How do combinations of color affect response? Will age affect response to color? 

Countless scientific studies and research has been conducted over the past 40 years. Strategic selections of color impact our daily lives in the workplace, in our appearance and in our homes. Color can affect our well being. Professions such as marketing specialist, interior designers, architects, graphic and product designers as well as lay people benefit from color research in determining which colors to avoid and which to capitalize on. You can also capitalize on this knowledge.

Pantone, Inc. has been the world’s color authority for more than 45 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone now offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers. The color formulas provided by Pantone are universally applied for printing process, the internet, paint, television, fashion or home design. 

Published bi-annually 18-24 months ahead of the season, the PANTONE VIEW Colour Planner is based on the PANTONE FASHION + HOME Color System, the most widely used and recognized color standard in the world. It is produced by a team of leading visionaries from all over the world with expertise in different disciplines, providing a comprehensive color forecasting service for multiple design areas, including men’s and women’s apparel, beauty, interior and industrial design. Within each of the season’s most directional color palettes, a general introduction outlines the colors included and the philosophy behind them. In addition, a specific breakdown of each palette covers harmonies, suggested color combinations, and suitable patterns and fabrics according to end use. 

Honeysuckle: A Color for All Seasons

Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.

While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.”

Eiseman continues, “The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages. In fact, this color, not the sweet fragrance of the flower blossoms for which it was named, is what attracts hummingbirds to nectar. Honeysuckle may also bring a wave of nostalgia for its associated delicious scent reminiscent of the carefree days of spring and summer.”

Honeysuckle is guaranteed to produce a healthy glow when worn by both men and women. It’s a striking, eye-catching hue that works well for day and night in women’s apparel, accessories and cosmetics, and in men’s ties, shirts and sportswear. Add a lively flair to interior spaces with Honeysuckle patterned pillows, bedspreads, small appliances and tabletop accessories. Looking for an inexpensive way to perk up your home? Paint a wall in Honeysuckle for a dynamic burst of energy in the family room, kitchen or hallway.

Honeysuckle products are now currently available from a variety of manufacturers, and the new "HOT" fragrance from our Olivina Lotion and Body line is Honeysuckle. 

In 2008, Blue Iris Pantone number 18-3943 was selected as the “color of the year” for its calming quality and the hint of mystery it implies. When a color is officially designated as “the upcoming trend” the fabric houses, accessory and the product and paint manufacturers respond in kind. Home fashion magnates such as Martha Stewart and Architectural Digest tune their radar to homes and rooms created in a “Blue Iris” pallet....the new color is the “trend” calculated to achieve the comfort and beauty inherent in a positive, well-lived life. Knowledge of color to help you better enjoy and participate in the process of designing your personal rooms. We at Ciao Bella, through introducing you to the “Psychology of Color”, shall provide the knowledge, tools and secrets that go beyond the subjective methods of selecting color. It is our goal to combine the theory of color response with partial application so that participants can select colors to their advantage and for specific, desired results. You will explore how value (lightness or darkness of a color) impacts your color choices and how your response to color is a great indicator of where you fit into your particular culture.

As an introduction to our interior design seminars, which are conducted in March/April as part of “Rx For The Home”, please note that the following is an overview of the color lecture which focuses on peoples responses to particular colors. 

You are born with your response to color. The eye is a complex receptor, the retina responds to light (vibrations), and by electric-chemical process, sends signals to the visual center of the brain where seeing actually occurs. Specific receptors respond independently and are sensitive to different “vibrations” - either to blue, to green, or to red...... or to a combination of these in order to detect variations and combinations of all colors. In addition to the brains reactions to specific color, twenty percent of these light “vibrations” go to the Pituitary Gland, the master of the endocrine system. Each area responds differently. So what results can we expect? The eye sees all color as either red based or blue based - how do we respond? Is yellow really cheerful? Orange is a declassifying color what does this mean? Is a blue or pink tablecloth more appropriate, when and why? Why do doctors wear green scrubs? 

Personal chemical responses to color

Red: When red fills your field of vision the pituitary gland goes to work, your body chemistry is altered. Your blood pressure and pulse rate increase. You breath at a more rapid pace; all as a response to your eye seeing red. Things actually taste better in this “red state”, and things smell differently in the presence of red. Male babies inherit a preference to yellow-based red; female babies, on the other hand, inherit a preference to blue -based reds...colors which are naturally an attraction for the opposite sex. Red also creates interest for a baby and will enhance its development.

Orange: Orange is 50% red and 50% yellow. Orange is a declassifying color. Response to color depends on your income and education. Each earning category has certain symbols that accompany it. Certain colors indicate that you know what is appropriate and “in “ for that group - a banker in a gray suit or a punk rocker with purple hair. A declassifying color is one when added to a select classifying color will move its position downward and increase appeal to a broader number of people. A classifying color is one that holds a position that only appeals to a limited number of people. Example forest green is a classifying color which appeals to only 3% of the population, the upper income 3%. Forest green is a high status indicator. If you want to add the lower groups back in you must de-classify the forest green: keep the green and add orange. Orange indicates informality and little means affordable. Terra Cotta is another consideration entirely....what do you feel are its implications for use? 

Yellow: There is more misinformation about yellow than any other color. Yellow does create a cheerful first impression, however, yellow is identified through tat section of our brains which also controls our anger center. Studies show that babies cry more in a yellow room. For each year of maturity people use yellow less. Someone is more anxious in a yellow room; if someone is likely to loose their temper, yellow will cause them to loose it quicker and for longer duration than any other color. Depression is exacerbated by yellow. Yellow is the “fastest” color for your eye to see, it has a temporariness. In small doses it can evoke happy, enjoyable memories - best used as an accent color. 


Blue: Blue is the stated favorite. A preference for blue may have nothing to do with the colors you select for your home or clothing. One responds to blue in a positive, calming way - police uniforms, blue suits, are blue for a reason. Getting the response to color that you want in a particular situation is important. People respond poorly to blue interiors at house buying time. Blue is not a good color to associate with food and eating. There is no blue food in nature. 

Green: People respond favorably to green as a color in their environment, green surrounds us in the outdoors and is a dominate influence in our lives. Green is great around most foods, but not the sweet ones. Color response is critical when we make decisions to purchase tabletop linens and bedding, how do we respond? How important are complementary colors which appear as after images for every color we see? Our eye chemistry creates the complementary color during the eye’s recovery time after we register a color. For example, the complementary color of exposed body tissue is surgical green. Green as a color makes people feel tended and secure, an excellent choice for interiors.

Our future color seminars explore in more depth the new color trends, explores our responses to more colors such as pink, black, white, brown, gray, orchid and aqua. We will also consider the impact of warm and cool colors on our decisions for selecting fabrics and paint. Our response to color is the single most important aspect of presenting your home, your self, and indicating your status in life. Color signals ones lifestyle and personal knowledge of what is “current” and “stylish”. We can make informed choices.

Remodeling and Home Design