The POW, POW, Power of Color!

color, Interior Designon April 5th, 2011No Comments

Today I was faced with the decision of what I was going to “gift” others who would be attending with me, a networking luncheon later this week.  As I was meandering along the aisles of Staples looking for studio supplies, I was drawn to the packaging of “Bic Mark*it” permanent markers…the adult version of crayons…and I was immediately mesmerized with the riot of colors in the package.  It hit me instantly that I had to share with my fellow networkers one of my primary tools of the trade…COLOR!

Color impacts everyone of us every minute of every hour of every day…in places where we live, where we work and where we play.  It stimulates our senses, it empowers us, it affects our mood and can influence our health.  We may not be aware of the influences that color makes in our lives, but, let me tell you, others ARE! 

When working with a jeweler many years ago, he made it an issue that no light or pale greens were to be used in his retail store…he explained that this particular color range of green did not instill a feeling of trust in a retail situation…and so we settled on a nice, rich dark green ( like Sherwin-Williams’ SW6446 Arugula) for his establishment and complimented that color with dark mahogany wood cases.  We had captured trust in spades!  Hmmm…thinking back, maybe I should have traded services for diamonds….

Colors can evoke human physiologic reactions like the fact that red can stimulate the salivary glands, so many restaurants still use red as an influence in some way while we dine (conversely, blue has just the opposite effect) and is the first color infants see…and male babies see it first.  Greens can produce an environment that will reduce tension and can promote healing so we see it applied in many spa surroundings often coupled with tints of blue.  The book “Color Psychology and Color Therapy” by Faber Birren was (and still is) a wonderful reference for my answers in all things color and I have used since I was in design school.

As an interior designer, I get to work with color ALL the time and it continually amazes me to see client reactions to color selections…generally to the timidity of using color other than “safe builder’s beige.”  Color is good…and paint is cheap.  Welcome is the client who embraces saturated color…like Sherwin-Williams’ SW6909 Lemon Twist or Benjamin-Moore’s 2023-40 Sunburst bright yellows for a laundry room!…and that is a conversation for another day!

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