Vivian in Pretty Woman had it right…I would like to be colored happy. As a look around my living room at my navy blue walls I ask myself, do these make me happy? Well sort of is the answer. It got me thinking about what colors do indeed invoke happiness. I know which colors I gravitate toward, blues, grays, violets, pale pinks – they make me happy because they make me feel calm. As it turns out the navy blue I chose for the living room being both deeply saturated, and quite dark is energizing and a really good color for a living. So what of the other colors in the rainbow, and which ones can we credit with straight up joy?
As it turns out joy and happiness are attributed to yellow, but buyer beware long periods of exposure to yellow have also been attributed to loss of temper, and feelings of frustration. I like a yellow flower but I have always detested yellow living rooms, kitchens, and baby’s room. Who knew there was a valid reason for my feelings. Now I have a scientific explanation for them.
Red also is credited with happiness. A popular color for restaurants due to its stimulating nature – think your getting hungry, red could be the culprit. It also raises blood pressure and heart rate so not necessarily the best choice for rooms for which you spend extended periods of time.
Green engenders feelings of restfulness, rejuvenation and tranquility. The likely explanation being its association with nature. Lord Byron said: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not man the less, but nature more.” The quote is a deep breath, its an affirmation, it’s sage, and kelly, and forest and mossy and grassy, and green.
Let’s talk purple. Confident and creative – it’s no surprise it is the color of royalty. Some argue it is not the right hue for a bedroom, but I have loved mine in its pale lavender ice. I find it deeply calming and sleep quite well there.
Looking to tap into your creative energy, build enthusiasm, and excitement, orange can help. Want to guard against feeling sad – limit your use of black in your home, but know too that a little black in every room can be grounding.
Your neutrals play a role too in the way you feel, light colors contributing to a feeling of airiness and expansiveness while darks create a coziness, and bring sophistication to your space.
What’s your happy? I hope you find it this weekend. We’re going to get a little sunshine here in Boston and I know that makes me happy!