Ever wonder why certain colors become the latest trend? For instance, the trendy colors as I write are gray and yellow. Just look closely at the backgrounds of magazine covers, the words on magazine covers, the wall colors on top-rated TV shows, commercials, movie-set décor, clothing worn by models, actresses and actors- the list goes on… right now those in the know use the color gray accented with varying tinges of yellow. Just pay attention to a Sprint commercial on TV next time you see one. Everything you see is gray and yellow.
Why these colors? Why now?
The psychology of color
The use of color is a form of non-verbal communication. It communicates meaning. Consider these examples of the psychological power of color:
- The impact of color is direct.
- The impact of color is instantaneous.
- The impact of color is emotional.
- The impact of color can alter moods and behavior.
- The impact of color often determines the choices you make.
- The impact of color is much like the impact of smell- it stirs up memories.
Back to gray and yellow
So, I cannot help but try to psychoanalyze why these two colors are the latest trend. Consider what they symbolize:
- Gray symbolizes security, stability and conservatism. It is a balanced and neutral color that doesn’t evoke strong emotion. A great example of this is the traditional gray suit for men- practical and timeless.
- Yellow symbolizes joy, happiness and optimism. It is the color of sunshine so it makes you feel warmth. A great example of this is radio talk show host and Oprah B.F.F., Gayle King. She has decorated her home in yellow and look at how we listeners of her show perceive her as upbeat and full of life!
Put the two colors of gray and yellow together and what do you get? Perhaps you get a combined feeling of optimistic conservatism and stability? Is this an indication of our economy and the government wanting us to feel secure, stabile, happy and conservative? Makes you wonder…
Remember when the trendy colors were chocolate brown and blue? (This went on way too long if you ask me!) Now, I don’t know for sure but I was told from reliable sources in my industry that the chocolate brown craze was because of Starbucks coffee. Can you imagine? If this is true, isn’t the power of persuasion (and marketing) fascinating? Did we all go out and buy more coffee from Starbucks? Were chocolate brown and blue truly our favorite colors to decorate our homes with or were we caught up in thinking we liked them? I can tell you I really, really tired of doing chocolate brown and blue in home after home. I wanted extraordinary, not ordinary. See what I mean? Don’t you want to be extraordinary? More you? Unique? True to your essence?
Think about it. Really begin to understand what color speaks to you the most and then ask yourself why this particular color or colors do. And while you do, I will give you a short lesson on other colors, the feelings they evoke and what they have come to symbolize.
The colors of the rainbow
Red ~ Passion, Energy, Excitement, Impulsiveness
Pink ~ Love, Beauty, Healing, Passion
Green ~ Health, Well-being, Prosperity, Nature
Purple ~ Royalty, Richness, Power, Ambition
Orange ~ Encouragement, Stimulation, Courage, Strength
Blue ~ Patience, Tranquility, Wisdom, Youth
I have to mention these colors as well although they are not colors of the rainbow:
White (Absence of color) ~ Purity, Truth, Peace, Spiritual strength
Black ~ Power, Sophistication, Depth, Formality
In an earlier blog post, “Color Your World” I talk about the importance of being true to yourself through the colors you use in your homespace. So, what color(s) do you use? Why? Do you honor yourself by using the color(s) that accurately match who you are?
Manipulating your energy with color
Advertisers, retailers and corporate America all take advantage of the subliminal manipulations color can achieve in us humans. Think about the colors you usually see in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other health care providers. The color palette used is most often soft blues, greens and grays. Colors to soothe, calm and center you. No coincidence there! By using these colors throughout these buildings, moods and behaviors are altered.
This holds true for your personal homespace as well. Just as important as using colors that are true to your essence is understanding that infusing other colors in subtle ways in your homespace can actually help balance you.
So why not start allowing color to influence your homespace and balance the energy? A little bit goes a long way. It won’t infringe on your décor scheme either. Just be sensitive to adding color in simple ways such as with throw pillows, accessories and artwork.
Is your personality a tad on the high-strung side? If so, add small touches of calming colors such as soft blues and greens in your homespace. (Do the same for your wardrobe, too!)
Are you meek and mild and want to project more gumption? Infuse bold colors such as red and orange in both your homespace and clothing choices. It is amazing what a pair of red boots or a bold tie does to a simple black ensemble.
I read somewhere once about the impact of color on men and women. I wish I could remember where it was but I do remember being fascinated by the psychologist’s theory that perhaps women live longer than men because women routinely wear more colors to brighten their appearance, which in turn brightens their moods. Ever since then I have become an advocate of my David wearing really, really colorful ties with his suits each day! I’ve gotta do everything I can to keep the man around for a long time! And, I obsess over the news anchors on the TV each morning critiquing their ties and paying attention to their choices. George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America sure wears some great ones!
What color choices say about you
I would love to hear from you about what colors you use in your homespace and why. Undoubtedly, unless you are following the latest trends, there is a reason you use the colors you do. Do these colors match your personality? How?
Also, just for fun I will follow up this post with a few more posts on specific colors expressed in homes of friends and family. I love knowing people that live and breathe their true essence through their homespace décor and I want to share their stories. Once I tell you a little about the personalities of these people and their color schemes, you will begin to understand how harmoniously they fit each other. Take Lisa, aka “The Purple Lady”. What a hoot. She’s a woman totally in touch with her inner self!
Be on the lookout for these upcoming posts. I think you’ll enjoy getting a glimpse into other people’s lives. And, you never know, you might decide a color change is in order for you! If so, I say go for it! Life is short so color it in style. Your style, of course!