East Tennessee's Mountain Views

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If Walls Could Talk

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Well, they do talk! So what do your walls say about you?

Everyone agrees that color is a very personal thing. The colors we wear reflect our personalities, make us feel good when we wear them and change the mood of the wearer and viewer alike. This is true of interior colors, too. Your home colors should reflect your personality and the mood you want to create. Considering how much time we spend at home, we should foster an environment that is comforting to us and can be any one of, or a combination of, relaxing, refreshing, exciting, stimulating, warm and cozy, elegant, peaceful and serene, or cheerful, depending on what we need that particular space to be for us.

We will each respond to a color in a different way, perhaps because of that color’s relationship to a past experience, be it positive or negative. Our nationalities, religious affiliation, age, socio-economic background and our geographic location all influence our reactions to colors. You know how Tennessee fans all respond to orange!

We will also have a psychological response to color. It will affect everyone in the same way but with varying intensities. These reactions can be physical, behavioral and emotional. We have long been aware that the colors that stimulate the appetite are used in fast food restaurants and that calming colors are used in hospital waiting rooms. We are manipulated by color every day in restaurants and stores. We can also make use of color in our daily lives to bring about the desired effect in our homes.

Shakespeare said that “music soothes the savage breast,” but it is a fact that color does that very thing! Think pink – violent criminals have been put into bubblegum pink rooms and the result was lower blood pressure and calmer demeanors, because when our eyes see it, the brain secretes norepinephrine, inhibiting the production of epinephrine, a body tranquilizer. The effect lasts about 30 minutes, until your entire system becomes immune to the effect. But watch out as bright pink does tend to stimulate that sweet tooth. Pink’s relative, red, on the other hand, is stimulating. It stimulates the appetite, increases blood pressure, increases the respiratory rate and can bring on aggressive behavior and agitation. Disturbingly, red is also associated with danger, fire, aggression and combat. On the positive side, red’s emotional reactions bring thoughts of love, passion, vitality and courage, and increases strength. Our Volunteer orange decreases irritability and hostility and improves social behavior. It can make us jovial, social, extroverted, cheerful, playful and pleasure-seeking. It’s relative, terra cotta, is a more sophisticated version of orange. Sunny yellow is another warm color that can increase irritability, anxiety and hostility. Yellow increases circulation and appetite. It can cause children to be short tempered, so it should not be used extensively in rooms that are meant for long-term play. Yellow is also seen as optimistic, warm and cheerful. It is known to help memory retention, hence the lined yellow pad and those self-sticking memos!

On the cool side of the spectrum are the refreshing greens that we associate with the great outdoors, expansiveness and rejuvenation. Green is quiet, social and conventional and represents growth and compassion; a color of peace and tranquility. Blue is a power color, associated with authority and wealth. It denotes peace, serenity, loyalty and sincerity. It can depress the appetite and lower blood pressure and your respiratory rate. In its cooling and relaxing presence you can focus and pay better attention to details. Time seems to pass more slowly in a blue environment and you don’t feel rushed. Purple is a color linked to royalty, supremacy and reverence. It is another one that can lower blood pressure, and it depresses the appetite for both food and sex, although it helps insomnia as it calms overactive glands and organs. Purple is elegant, dignified and spiritual and associated with royalty as well as mourning. It creates an atmosphere ripe for day-dreaming, lateral thinking and creativity. On the other hand, if you are feeling ill, don’t wear it as it can enhance the feeling of nausea.

Another hint to using color deals with our personal, seasonal colors. If you’ve had your color analysis done, you know that you look better in some colors than others. Keep that in mind when choosing colors for your home. If you look horrible in apple green, you wouldn’t want to surround yourself with that color at home. Friends might think you look ill and leave early, wishing you a speedy recovery!

Studies show that in learning environments, IQ scores were down 12% in rooms of white, grey, black or beige, but up 12% in rooms painted peach, blue or yellowed green; something to think about for children’s rooms and even home office spaces.

Lastly, never choose a color simply because it’s in fashion or trendy, unless you want to redecorate often – fashion is fickle! Classic colors will ensure a more sophisticated and long lasting décor. Let Margaret Boyes, our professional interior designer from Interior Motives, help solve your color dilemma and steer you to a tasteful and enduring home atmosphere that’s right for you. She can be reached at (865) 408-0220 and at 2interiormotives@bellsouth.net.

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East Tennessee's Mountain Views

P.O. Box 209

Vonore, TN 37885

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