Does the current economy have you feeling blue? Keep an eye on the stock market for the latest color trends.
It is no secret that color affects our mood and we link certain colors with certain activities, feelings, or memories. Marketing gurus know it and use it to lure you toward certain products. Think the yellow and red graphics that adorn your fast food wrapper is a coincidence? Those two colors are stimulating to your appetite whereas shades of blue produce the opposite effect.
What can you do to lift your spirits during this economic downturn? Spruce up your interior with warm, golden sunset hues—think dark blue, subdued orange, and golden beige. These colors reunite us with the environment and the calming predictability of the sunrise and sunset.
The garden can also be a source of inspiration for your color palette. Recalling the Great Depression and wartime eras, many people are using the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables to create a palette that inspires self-preservation. These shades suggest growth and change even in a fast-paced, competitive world.
Ultimately, we all have our own preferences and a color that soothes one person may agitate his neighbor. Thus, when you find yourself in an environment that soothes the soul, consider the colors, shapes, and textures of that space. Even the most luxurious designs can be scaled to fit a minimal budget.
Also, do not be afraid to try bold colors. There are very few neutral shades in nature—but rather soothing greens and blues accented by bold flora and fauna. The current economy and all of its stresses have invited blue and green to stand out as the newest members of the neutral family.
The same general color rules apply whether planning an interior space, a wardrobe choice, or a wedding scheme:
Red—The more vibrant hues suggest energy and aggression where darker shades (including maroon) offer a hint of sophistication.
Orange—Light cantaloupe is comfortable and warm, while medium and bright orange is earthy, energizing, and may suggest openness.
Yellow—Light yellow channels many beige shades in that it is calming and insightful. Gold is sophisticated (particularly when paired with deep red) but may be pretentious or gaudy in large amounts. Bright yellow is optimistic, compassionate, and fun-loving.
Green—Light green may come across as childish or innocent so it is not the best choice for your office cubicle. Medium green is now being considered a neutral shade as it is calming and pairs nicely with many color combinations. Dark green can be viewed as masculine, confident, and responsible. Aqua and blue-green tend to be exotic, mysterious, and even romantic.
Blue—Shades of blue must be applied skillfully as an excess or bad pairing may suggest aloofness. Light blues are introspective and calm, medium blue is a safe, relaxing neutral, and dark blue is conservative and trustworthy.
Purple—The lighter purples are feminine, sweet, and sympathetic while the bolder or darker purples can be either serious or animated depending upon the application.
Pink—Light pink is a calming, safe color whereas bright pink and fuchsia elicit feelings of excitement and energy.
Neutrals—The wide-ranging beige palette (ivory and light brown) is an earthy choice but does not suggest much personality or variety. Grey suggests coldness, introversion, and intellect. Black is highly dramatic when applied carefully but may be overbearing if used in excess. Lastly, white is crisp, calm, and even sterile if not mixed with a more gregarious hue.
As a final suggestion, remember that colors have strong cultural connotations and if you are decorating a space that will be used by people from a variety of backgrounds, make sure your choices do not offend or incite insecurity in any of your guests!
Fortunately, our economy will thrive again soon and when it does, you can be assured that brighter colors will dominate the interior design, fashion, and even automotive industries.