What would they say about the people who live within them? Who are you?

Ideas about color abound, and new ones come up all the time. If your walls could talk, they would tell an interesting and maybe even surprising story! But who are you? The powerful message includes minimalist, brave, shy, bold, extravagant, frugal, cautious, athletic, social…? the list can go on and you can add your own ideas in the comments!

What is “Applied Color Psychology?”
For now, I’ll offer a few ideas according to theories of “applied color psychology.” I’ll even offer a little “quiz” right here, for you to have fun with. When you think about your answers and how you match up the color blocks with the various descriptions, remember it’s not for selecting a house color or a room color. That’s a more detailed set of questions and personal considerations. And, it’s a topic for another time!

If this quiz image inspires you to share it–and I hope it does–please remember and respect that, as with all copyrighted materials, this requires permission to reproduce or share directly. Just share the post instead!

I look forward to hearing about your ‘answers’ and your ideas, in the comments to this post.

Color Associations Quiz by Barbara Jacobs

Where do our personal preferences come from?
It’s a complex and multi-leveled process…So from the bottom up, please consider these levels of influence

  • Biology-Physiology: the lightwaves that make up all colors do have an effect on us, we’re just not usually aware of it.
  • Colors in Nature and materials: From plants and rocks, water, animals and more, we are surrounded by colors of nature
  • Colors as archetypes: Consider how a bee, if black-and-yellow, carries it’s own warning signs. We use these colors intentionally i our world also.
  • Social and cultural constructs: Different cultures assign a variety of important characteristics to various colors. Red, and white, being two of them. Opposite in one culture from another!
  • Fashion, politics, trends: I call it “planned preferences” when color trends take center stage. It’s about marketing and sales. But on the bigger and more fundamental level, these ‘color trends’ have a deeper beginning.
  • Personal life experiences: Do you have a color you Love or Hate, that was present in your youth or in a relationship or other experience? That carries onward as we get older.

Adapting to client requests…Collaboration is the Key!

I am often asked by clients to state my favorite color. My answer is typically something a question, like…For what purposes? or In what situation? or even more often, just stating that I don’t really have one single favorite color. Take yellow, for example…a color that is often difficult to use for interiors because it can easily become dominant–not connecting–and loud, too bright, and creating discomfort. (Clue to the above ‘quiz.’)

Personally, “yellow” is not a color that I’d use in clothing for myself.
Why? It doesn’t do anything positive for my appearance (!) BUT, I can use a chartreuse, a very strong green-yellow, in some cases. Then also, however, in a home there could be many wonderful places where a strong yellow color could be beautiful. Accessories, for example, are a great way to include a more “extreme” color to great advantage, depending on what else is in the room. Of course, a warm, pale type of yellow is often a beautiful color to be surrounded with.

A client “case study” story…for an example
For Exterior color for a Victorian style home in the Boston area, the client very strongly stated they wanted PINK. Ok it’s an unusual request. In that case, as with in other similar situations where a client felt attached to a particular color, I always try to be collaborative. I believe it’s important to always consider client wishes. I can be definite in my recommendations and am always happy to state the reasons for my choices that I consider to be in the best interest of the client’s stated needs. But I have no interest in being a designer-dictator, making it only my own way.

What happened in “The Case of the Pink House” was that I created a few different color schemes with “pink” as the focus. While it would not have been my own, personal first choice, the goal was to find the Right “pink” that would satisfy the client while being in alignment with my professional concerns. So, in collaboration with this enthusiastic and happy client, the outcome was what you see in image #13 here, in the slideshow gallery, about The Pink House.

Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments below.

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