January 7, 2003
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Exciting new information continues to emerge on how you can use color to make your home a happier and healthier place to live. Behavioral science researchers have found that we can use color to positively affect our blood pressure, stress, energy level and even our ability to get a good night’s sleep.Red, for example, can deliver a dose of energy by increasing pulse and respiration rates and even improving athletic performance by generating a quick boost in strength. Exposure to blue light, on the other hand, has been found to provide some comfort for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and other sources of pain. While the theories behind color usage can be quite scientific, there are some simple ways you can use color to enhance the beneficial function of every room in your house. Consider these color concepts the next time you get ready to paint or redecorate your home.
Hot Colors Create Energy
Of the seven colors in the light spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), the hot colors of red, orange and yellow are full of energy. Use these bright and invigorating colors in your kitchen, exercise room and the other spaces in your house where energy and activity are their primary function. Yellow, for example, is associated with the energy of a bright and sunny day, and who doesn’t want a cheerful kitchen?
Middle Spectrum or Neutral Colors Encourage Focus Green is easy on the eyes and increases your ability to read and focus as it strikes a balance between energy and relaxation. Use this middle spectrum color in the rooms designated for reading, homework or other activities that require focus and attention to detail.
Cool Colors Relax
The soft or cool colors of blue, indigo and violet are associated with the evening as we unwind at the end of a busy day. These cool colors tend to relax and prepare our mind and body for the rest and recharging that occurs as we sleep each night. Think, for example, of the calming effect of a spectacular sunset highlighted by soft hues of blue and indigo. Use these colors in rooms where rest and rejuvenation are important, such as bedrooms, a yoga studio or the bathroom you use to soak in the tub after a long day.
Do Your Color Homework With thousands of color variations to choose from, it’s challenging to choose the right color for a specific room. As you work your way through the seemingly endless number of paint samples at your hardware store, educate yourself on what primary colors are used to create blended colors and note their tendency to relax, invigorate, etc.
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