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Relax with a Cool-Colored Wall, or Not?


By Jill M. Speegle

More items for Color + Design

Color experts have long said the colors we paint our walls can affect our psyche and it appears some of those ideas are making it into the mainstream.

In January, model and TV reality star Kendall Jenner said she painted her living room walls pink after discovering the hue was “scientifically proven” to calm you and suppress your appetite, People reported.

Deepak Chopra, the author and well-known wellness professional, also recently shared his philosophy on paint color in a recent interview with Business Insider.

The guru said soft shades of cool colors—think greens, blues and violets—can lower stress.

Colorful Doors
© iStock.com / 123ducu

Will these shades ease your stress? Well, that depends on myriad factors.

Colors to avoid on walls include oranges and reds, Chopra said. “Those colors excite both mood and biology,” he noted.

Chopra is in the process of designing several units for a Miami condo complex opening next year. He told the news outlet he plans to use muted shades on the condo walls.

Not All Black and White

Color expert Mark Woodman, CMG, the former president of the Color Marketing Group, said he is “thrilled that the use of color, and how it affects us, is being taken more seriously by more people.”

While he generally agrees with Chopra’s assessment, Woodman also cautioned that there are some important caveats.

“Culture and environment play important roles,” he said. “If you take soft blues and greens up the coast, to New England, for instance, they might appear too cool, and with less strong light there (it's brighter in Florida) they could move past calm to sad.”

He also noted that the consideration of full spectrum color must play a role in balancing our interior and exterior environments.

“So, in Florida, with lots of bright light and warmth, the cooler colors can offer an excellent respite,” he said. “But somewhere else on the planet, where it's generally grey and damp outside, the interior needs to amp up the warm hues and offer colors that provide comfort, and with comfort comes relaxation.

“It just depends on where you are, and who you are, to determine the ideal hues for a client.”

Generally, Woodman said very strong warm colors tend to be a “call to action and possible stress, where cool, softened hues allow us a moment of calm and reflection.” It varies between individuals and how they balance colors within their spaces, whether they are residential or commercial.

Important Discussion

Regardless, it is paramount that color conversations take place on any project, said Woodman.

“Color surrounds us, peppers our language, brands our products and ourselves, and brings all of nature indoors. Everything from hospitality, wellness care, office, retail, etc. benefits from color, or suffers from it lacking,” he said.

Woodman is the owner of Mark Woodman Design+Color LLC in Washington, D.C. 


Jill M. Speegle

Jill Speegle is the Editor of Durability + Design News. She earned her B.A. in journalism and English as well as her J.D. from the University of Arkansas. In Sketches, Jill shares her thoughts on a number of topics that may be of interest to the D+D community, including architecture, interior design, green building, historic restoration, and whatever else catches her radar.



Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architecture; Artists; Color; Color selection; Color trends; Commercial Construction; Consultants; Decorative painting; Design; Interior design; Residential Construction

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