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Communicating with Color: The Psychology of Decorating

by | | Canvas Press

One of the basic principles of interior design is identifying the emotional atmosphere a room that is intended within a given room and decorating in a way that creates the targeted ambiance. How would you like to take a nap in a room that feels energizing and chaotic? Or how would you like to cook a meal in a space that feels dark and lethargic? Interior design plays a huge role in the comfort and ease of life’s rhythmic activities. In many cases, interior design choices can be make or break. The right choice of aesthetic can feel natural and easy, while the wrong choice can be detrimental and downright disturbing. While many individuals who are new to design assume that the process is as simple as choosing things you like, there is a lot more involved in the interior design equation. Design is deeply rooted in human psychology, which means that choices over color can have a powerful effect over how we feel in a given room. Colors carry great significance, and coordinating canvas prints can add to a room’s atmosphere. Decorating with color involves recognizing how certain hues, color combinations, images and contrasting compositions can impact the mood of a space. Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 1 Most people are familiar with the basic connotations of color. For example, red is associated with passion and love, green is associated with nature, greed, money, and jealousy, and yellow is associated with sunshine and happiness. But decorating with color is much more nuanced than these representations. In most cases, the specific tone or hue of a color can dictate how it comes across in a room. Here’s a breakdown of different color tones to help make decorating with color a much easier process.


Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 2 Pastels immediately call to mind soft shades of pink, but pastels also include soft green, blue, lavender, and yellow. Because pastels have a muted tone, they emanate tranquility, softness, and relaxation. Decorating with colors that fall into the pastel family can be ideal for the nursery, bathroom, or any area that is meant to invoke a calmness. Pastels can be paired with canvas prints of similar hues in order to emphasize the tranquility of the space.

Neutrals Offset with a Focal Point

Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 3 Neutral colors, like beige, gray, cream and tan, are frequently used in living rooms and other common spaces. As suggested in the name, neutrals tend to provoke reliability, temperate nature and versatility, which responds well in areas that see many gatherings. Neutrals are excellent platforms for focusing attention on an accent piece in the room, such as a family portrait featuring bolder colors. With Canvas Press, you can personalize your canvas print in order to create the perfect focal point to offset a neutral color palette. Choose from family photos, personal artwork, or other images to coordinate the canvas print with the room.

Dark Hues and Metallic Tones

Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 4 Dark hues and metallic tones, such as copper, black, charcoal and navy, can communicate edginess, authority, and an urban aesthetic. While decorating with colors like these can be intimidating for most, it can actually be a great choice for downtown loft areas, artist spaces and more. Dark hues and metallic tones tend to carry a heaviness with them, so they shouldn’t be paired with bright canvas prints that can clash. Instead, opt for images that match the mood, such as illustrations, sketches, or paintings with thick brush strokes.


Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 5 Some of the classic two-toned color combinations, such as black and white, sepia, and grayscale, can be used to invoke sophistication and often come across as cosmopolitan. It’s no surprise then that city scenes and canvas prints focused on intricate architectural features are commonly paired with this color palette. Super versatile, two-toned spaces could include a variety of rooms, including the bedroom, living room, lounge, kitchen and more.

Bright Primary Colors

Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 6 Decorating with colors like red, blue, green and yellow are often best when applied to children’s bedrooms, play spaces, game rooms and art studios. Remember, when a color deviated from its primary origin, the tone changes quickly, so stick with the classic primary colors if you’re aiming for this category. Primary colors are loud and happy, and they often suggest the concepts of creativity, exploration, youth, and learning.

Bold Contrast with Rich Tones

Communicating with Color The Psychology of Decorating 7 Finally, if you’re drawn to bold color contrast that incites focus, studying, productivity, and tradition, then it’s best to stick with deep, rich tones. This could include forest green, dark navy, burgundy, maroon, and dark chocolate brown. Use a canvas print with a sharply contrasting color in the same color family in order to create a striking display. Try decorating with colors like clay orange and cobalt in a library, study, office, or meeting room. The psychology behind color can be overwhelming when trying to design the perfect interior space. Just remember that decorating with color often requires an understanding of the subtle mood suggestions carried in each tone. Also, if you use canvas prints to help coordinate color palettes, you’ll be on the path to creating the perfect interior space in no time!