Color Tips

It's amazing how color can affect how we feel mentally, physically, and emotionally. Since colors typically behave in three ways – active, passive and neutral - color experts literately design spaces with certain colors and hues in mind. This encourages and provokes specific feelings when people enter the room.

Here is a list of common colors in design and some emotions (the positive and the negative) that are typically associated to them. When making your house a home, color is an integral part. And while these emotions listed below are linked to these colors, what works for you and your personality is what’s best in your space. Check out Abby's recent survey when Apartment Therapy readers weighed in about their own feelings regarding color in their home. Also, to learn more about the power of color and emotions, click here and here.


BLUE: Represents peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology.


GREEN: Represents nature, environment, health, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.


PURPLE: Represents royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mystery,transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, arrogance.


RED: It is the warmest and most energetic color in the spectrum. People tend to associate red with love, valentines, danger, desire, speed, strength, violence, anger, emergency exit signs, stop signs and blood. It can make the heart beat faster.


YELLOW: Represents joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, hazard, spirituality and inspiration.


ORANGE: A combination of yellow and red, orange is considered a warm color like red, but to a lesser extent; orange expresses energy. It has luminous qualities and has been used for attention-getting purposes, such as on caution signs. It symbolizes balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrance, flamboyancy, and is demanding of attention.


WHITE: When all colors come together in perfect balance, we see white. It represents reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, and marriage.


BLACK: When there is the absence of light, we see black. It represents power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, sadness, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style.