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The Sensory Effects of Color

1. Temperature
Warm tones are colors with yellow undertones. To offset a warm room use colors with variations of blues and bluegreen on large wall/floor areas. Cool tones are colors with blue undertones. To offset a cool room use colors with variations of reds and red-oranges on large wall/floor areas.
Men tend to feel color 5 degrees warmer than women. You may want to use cooler colors when specifying to men and warmer undertones for women.

2. Noise
High pitched shrill sounds are offset by olive greens. Muffled sounds are countered by lighter colors.

3. Smell

Sweet smells are lessened by greens. Red and pink intensify the sensation of sweetness. Bitter smells may be offset by orange. Solvent, musky, and cloying sweet odors such as: paint, soap, or perfume are offset by yellow, and yet purple will intensify the sensation of these odors.

4. Humidity

Dampness may be offset by yellows, yelloworanges, and tans. Dryness may be offset by blues and greens.

5. Weight

Dark colors are heavier. Light colors seem less dense and therefore lighter in weight. One of the most interesting examples of color effects is Baker-Miller Pink also known as "drunk tank pink". This color is used to calm violent prisoners in jails.

6. Food and Color

Think of the impact color has in restaurants. Warm bright colors, can be found in many fast food restaurants specifically to stimulate the appetite, and create the perception of great tasting food. They are frequently noisy and the customer feels as if they have been there far longer than anticipated. This creates a fast turnover and higher profits. We often find the color red in residential applications in the dining room and kitchen to stimulate appetite.

7. Color and Space

Designers can use illusion to make a small room appear larger or a large room appear smaller, emphasize a feature, minimize others, or enhance architectural details. Using pale, light colors will make a room feel larger and create a sense of openness. Painting a ceiling white will make it seem higher, therefore the darker the color on the ceiling the more you will bring it down.
Dark or deeper toned colors will make a room seem cozier by creating the visual perception that the walls and ceiling are closer than they are. Using a bold or dramatic color can emphasize an architectural feature or direct the eye to a focal point in the room.

8. Brain Activity

It has been found that exposing a child to primary colors, specifically red, throughout his first year of life can stimulate activity, interest, and double the length and the amount of brain waves in the child. Thus, we have seen over the past decade a transition from mellow soft colors in nurseries to the stimulating primary colors.
Bottom line - color and design are addressed hand in hand. As in all aspects of selling it is not about talking, it is about listening, observing, and reading between the lines. What clients say about color is important; however as important are facial expressions, the non-verbal cues such as the colors they wear, the colors they surround themselves with, their reaction to colors and colorful objects. Color is about emotions.
Design is about the client. The designer is part artist, part psychologist cognoscente that design is all about the client.


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Nancy Cook   |  One Day Décor   |   954-600-5860

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