Colours are supposed to affect our emotions, yet I can’t help wondering just how much of all that is cultural. After all some of us believe white stands for purity and happiness, yet in some other cultures it is the colour of death.

It’s long been an area for ‘pop’ psychology. Not much real research has been done across ages and cultures, so everyone is entitled to an opinion backed by little other than what they have read and experienced, or been told.

Reading online (I was too lazy to dig out physical stuff on it) I was interested to find such differing interpretations as

Black: Sophistication, elegance, power, rebellion.

Black: Evil, sinister, mourning, death, darkness and mystery.

Purple: Wealth, royalty, sophistication, intelligence.

Purple: Dreams, purple stretch (things going well), Lent, religious repentance

I was recently told that someone’s “research” has proven that too much pink can make little girls angry and depressed. So there go all the ‘Barbie’ bedrooms. (For my part a wonderful idea).

I suspect that at this stage it must remain within the realms of pop psychology, great fun for speculation and decorating, but not really that much help anywhere else.

I have a ‘marie biscuit and milo’ home pale and rather wishy-washy, where my visitors bring the colour. I find too many colours for too long and I become stressed. Living for weeks at a stretch in hotels in the USA I ended up feeling very ‘ragged around the edges’ and would just sit quietly at home when I made it back to the paler place.

Other people draw vitality and energy from having VIBRANT colours around them.

So I wonder if it will ever be possible to identify exactly what, if any, effect colour has on us?


18 thoughts on “Colours

  1. I think it varies from individual to individual. I have lived with the odd bright coloured wall in my home with no ill effect (mind you, I was young then)! Now I have opted for all white and furnishings supply the colour. I do think some pastels are ‘restful’ and bright are ‘invigorating’, but to prove it… Interesting post, Sidey!

  2. I’m told that a fondness for purple is a sign of sexual repression; I would much rather see it as royalty, sophistication and intelligence. Thank you 🙂

  3. There’s research on this, I must do and root it out. I looked into it when I was designing a classroom for children with special needs. Pale yellow’s a good one for unpressured industry, I believe 🙂 I am like you: I don’t need coloured walls to bring colour to my life.

  4. I agree with Adee ~ we each have different colors which resonate with our inner spirit. For me, vibrant shades, hues, and tones invigorate me and pastels make me feel lethargic.

    I love white walls and subdued tile and carpet . . . with vibrant colors that pop in the accessories and artwork that fill the space.

    Black is one of my favorite colors for slacks and tops and elegant dresses. Deep rich royal purples appeal. Lilac does not . . . except for the flower.

    Great theme this week, Sidey. And great tie in to it.

  5. I like your thoughts on this very much…besides, you highlighted my favorite colour ~ black. In my mind, it takes on the quality in which I embrace that day… gloomy, sophisticated or down-right edgy rebellion, ha!

  6. Very interesting. In the 80’s I had my colors done by David Kibbe. Before that I thought I was a summer and I was attracted to soft muted colors.
    He determined me to be a bright spring and put me in lime green and orange. I felt determined to try it out after seeing other people reject what clearly enhanced their looks.
    I still find myself attracted to the muted colors sometimes, but I resist. The bright colors have led me down a happier path.
    I believe I learned to like the muted colors which flattered my mother.

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