International Day of Color | How Color Impacts Us

International Day of Color | How Color Impacts Us

  • Extraordinary Living
  • 03/20/22


Interior designer Denna McLaughlin of City Studios says, “Red is never boring.” Red brings out feelings of passion, strength, and energy. It is also known to increase appetite when used in kitchens, and red accent walls can change the way a room is perceived. As the most intense of all colors on the spectrum, red can be used to raise a room’s energy, promote lively conversation, make a bold statement, and create a strong first impression. 


Orange is emblematic of success and positivity. Distantly related to gold, certain shades of orange also evoke the feeling of prestige. Leatrice Eiseman, color expert and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of the book “Colors for Your Every Mood”, says, “Orange has steadily progressed up the ladder of consumer preferences, so there’s a greater appreciation for the color.” Bright orange adds warmth and excitement to spaces where high energy and creativity are needed.


Yellow is possibly the most energetic color of the spectrum. It is both welcoming and exciting, and is associated with happiness and intellect. Yellow is best when not used too frequently, as all-yellow interiors are known to do more harm than good. Light yellows are associated with freshness and make for a great outdoor house paint, while bright and optimistic yellows can make great inside colors. Interior designer Jennifer Agus of Agus Interiors says, “Yellow is an uplifting color, but you really have to pick the right shade. You want to make sure it’s not too bright or too muted…” For a sophisticated look, Pantone’s 2021 Color of the Year combination of vibrant yellow and gray is still an excellent choice.


Green is considered the most restful color for the eye, partially because of its close relation to nature. Green symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and creates security and emotional safety in interior design. Green lives well in any room of the house and can have a calming effect when used as a primary color. Pairing light green with grey can create a modern feel, and alternating shades in a room can create contrast. Interior designer Shannon Kaye says, “You can decorate an entire room with greens and have contrast, drama, richness, and balance. It’s so versatile.”

For the full history of the color green and how best to utilize it in interior design, check out our recent Design Tips article.



Blue is the most popular color in the United States and is associated with confidence, trust, and loyalty. Blue has a calming effect and slows both the metabolism and heart rate, making it beneficial to the mind and body when used in the home or office. Light or pastel blue can create tranquility and is associated with health, healing, and softness, while dark blue represents knowledge, integrity, and seriousness, and midnight blue is a sign of luxury. Jackie Jordan, the Director of Color for Sherwin-Williams says, “Those brighter French blues and sunflower yellows are a fun combination for a kitchen.”


Purple is at once dramatic and rich, playful and optimistic. It is closely associated with luxury and creativity and can elevate any space. Lighter shades of purple, such as lavender, can add a restful quality to a bedroom, which may be why 75 percent of pre-adolescent children choose purple in their rooms over any other color. Interior designers use purple to add drama and mood, and incorporating differing shades of pastel or neon purples can give any room a trendy edge.

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