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How to Boost Your Mood with Color

As the pandemic wears on, make your home a more comforting nest this winter with these simple strategies.

Colors that boost your mood
Credit: Getty Images

When my husband and I moved into our house more than a decade ago, we were thrilled to encounter freshly-painted walls. This was great news from a “move-in condition” standpoint, but everything was painted in hyper-neutral beiges, and as time went on, that neutrality wore out its welcome.

Over years, we’ve brought colors from bright apple greens to deep purples to rich oranges into different rooms in the house, and each time we do, I reflect on the connection between colors and mood. I love to pore over color wheels and the emotional color stories described by design companies like Pantone. Some colors are “cool,” like blues and greens. Others are “warm,” like reds and yellows.

Interestingly, psychologists have found that colors affect our moods in highly subjective ways, likely built on what experiences the person associates with particular colors. So one person’s warmth might give another person the chills.

As the pandemic wears on and the comfort we seek from our homes grows only more relevant, maybe it’s time to freshen up the color story your home tells. Recently, The Washington Post spoke with a number of designers to describe the emotional impact of the major rainbow colors. Summarized, they are:

–Red is dramatic and highly energizing
–Orange is uplifting and strengthening
–Yellow is joyful, reminiscent of sunshine
–Green is organic and wakeful
–Blue is calm and quiet
–Purple is grounding and earthy
–Pink is soothing and nurturing 

And the good news is, there are many ways to bring color into a room; painting the walls isn’t nearly the only one. Consider these ideas:

–Paint kitchen cabinets
–Paint one accent wall, leaving the other walls neutral
–Add colorful accent pillows to sofas and armchairs
–Toss a color-rich blanket or comforter on the bed
–Frame photos in colorful frames
–Spread a colorful cloth on the kitchen table
–Grow or purchase colorful flowers to place within view

What do specific colors say about you? What do you need to see in your home to bring the emotional peace and comfort you desire and deserve?

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