Ever notice how you’re drawn to certain colors? For me, it’s teal and orange.
I’m not sure why; I just feel better around those colors. So, it’s no surprise you’ll find them sprinkled throughout my closet, home and office.
There have been a number of studies that evaluate the effects color has on us. Take a look at these descriptions, as relayed on ivillage.com, and see if you can figure out which color does the trick — without looking at the answers below.
- Need more energy?
- Want to feel grounded?
- Want to feel refreshed?
- Need to cheer up?
- Want a rosier outlook?
- Need an infusion of warmth and luxury?
- Craving creativity or passion?
- Want to flirt with danger?
- Need a dose of calm and clarity?
- Want to feel sophisticated and powerful?
How’d you do? I’ll bet you knew some of the answers right off — and others were a bit tricky.
We know hospital rooms are often a calming green or blue. Red high heels signal excitement. And no wonder those smiley faces are yellow!
In this quiz, brown signifies warmth and luxury. I’ve also heard from an attorney who specializes in litigation that brown comes across in the courtroom as more trustworthy.
Let’s dig a little deeper. Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Eiseman Center for Color Education and Training, as well as the Pantone Color Institute, has done extensive research in the field, as indicated below. She’s also the author of the book, “More Alive with Color.”
Orange: Orange represents radiant energy. “Want to get energized for the day? Wear an orange bathrobe to breakfast, and drink a tall glass of orange juice,” says Eiseman. “Focusing on orange produces an adrenaline-releasing effect.”
Green: Though it has been linked with envy, green actually has more positive associations. Think trees, grass and relaxation. It’s also the color of money, which may partly explain why an experiment at Gettysburg College found green was linked with success-oriented words, while red was associated with failure-oriented words. Want more calmness at work? Put a green plant on your desk. Or take a walk in the park at lunch.
White: Purity. Simplicity. Cleanliness. Research at the University of Leeds, in the U.K., found patients have the most confidence in doctors who wear white coats. “White has this pristine aspect,” explains Eiseman. “It’s linked with innocence and freshness, so it’s a good color when you need a rest.” Wearing a crisp white blouse or T-shirt can give you this feeling.
White roses, hydrangeas or tulips on your countertop can also have a purifying effect.
Yellow: The color of sunshine and happiness. “It’s a huge mood enhancer,” Eiseman says. That may explain why yellow is the color people are most drawn to (even though blue is the most common favorite color), according to research from the University of Manchester. Want to get happy in a hurry? Tie a yellow scarf around your neck so you can see it. If you live in a climate of low light, consider painting your walls yellow.
Pink: Hot pink also spikes adrenaline. “Bright pink jolts the eye and gets you out of the doldrums,” says Eiseman. Researchers at the University of Waikato, in New Zealand, found that kids in a pink-colored room displayed greater physical strength and more positive moods than kids in five other color-themed rooms. “Pink also reflects well on the skin, so it can make you look good,” says Eiseman, “which can, in turn, help you feel good.”
Brown: Brown used to be a mere earth tone, but not anymore. Now it’s about rich coffee or chocolate. Deep brown can provide a sense of warmth and luxury, according to Eiseman. Picture yourself surrounded by rich mahogany furniture — or slipping into a cozy brown leather jacket.
Purple: The color purple is mysterious, combining the calmness of blue with the excitement of red, Eiseman explains. The result: creativity. Try a purple vase on your desk or countertop. Reddish-purple has an energizing effect, while a bluish purple induces a more serene, spiritual influence.
Red: Danger. Excitement. Passion. Red has it all. Wearing red clothing can attract positive attention. Sometimes it can be too intense, though. University of Rochester researchers found when people looked at a red cover on an IQ test, for example, they moved their bodies away from it more than those who were given a green or gray cover.
Blue: Peace and tranquility. Blue can help reduce stress. After all, blue is the color of clear skies and clean water. Blue may also enhance performance on creative tasks, according to research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Try a blue screensaver for your computer – or a blue mug on your desk.
Black: Though it’s often associated with villains, funerals and grief, black has gradually become “the quintessential color of elegance and power,” Eiseman says. Think about the popularity of the little black dress. Or the judge’s robe. To feel sophisticated, powerful or elegant, wear a black dress or power suit, but break it up with another color to create contrast, advises Eiseman. For a sophisticated touch at home, try out a sleek black vase or an onyx picture frame.
So, now you know what to do if you want to rev up, calm down, feel sophisticated or get grounded.