Home Guru

Psyching Myself Out with a Large Array of Colors

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By Bill Primavera

For a number of years, I have been living in a home environment of off-white (and not that off) painted walls. So if white symbolizes such virtues as purity, innocence, cleanliness and simplicity, I guess I am just a bit off of all those qualities. Or it could simply imply wimpish.

Just as color psychology plays a vital role commercially in brand recall, affecting buying patterns, so does color selection at home influence how we feel when living with them. And that’s not to mention how visitors might respond.

In the commercial realm, for instance, the color red represents passion, excitement and confidence and it is understandable that brands like Coca-Cola and Red Bull use this particular color in their branding.

In the past I’ve written about how disastrous the outcome was when my parents allowed 14-year-old me to select my own color for my bedroom. I chose a fiery red, as in fresh blood. When it came time to sell that house, most potential buyers responded “wow” when opening that bedroom door. My mother was convinced that it drove some prospects away.

Today, while living so vanilla-ish, I have been contemplating spicing up things a bit by repainting my den/office in a color that could be interpreted as something more exciting. My old friend and house painter Joe visited my condo when I first moved in and couldn’t restrain himself from blurting out, “This place needs some color!”  Maybe that blood red preference of my adolescence would do the trick. But only if it’s fresh blood.

Here are some specific examples of how colors and emotions work together, according to the experts.

  • Red: represents passion, love, excitement, anger and danger;
  • Orange: joy, enthusiasm, creativity, warmth;
  • Yellow: happiness, optimism, hope, energy;
  • Green: nature, peace, calmness, growth;
  • Blue: trust, loyalty, intelligence, sadness;
  • Purple: luxury, mystery, creativity, wisdom;
  • Pink: love, romance, femininity, gentleness;
  • Black: sophistication, elegance, mystery, death;
  • White: purity, innocence, cleanliness, simplicity.

When I owned a large 14-room colonial house, I could choose among any number of colors to project the mood of an individual room, which could vary broadly from other rooms.

But now, living with an open plan in my condo, I have to be aware of the connectivity between one living area and the next. Blood red would definitely throw a wrench into that process.

Bill Primavera is a realtor associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest-running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.

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