Selecting an Interior Paint Color is a big decision with strong psychological aspect behind it.  Choosing the right color can be the difference between having a peaceful bedroom to sleep in vs feeling anxiety or stress.  It can affect appetite in a kitchen or dining room, and even affect learning in a child’s room or study space.  And perhaps the most financially impactful decision in selecting an interior paint color comes when trying to sell or rent your property – it can mean the difference in an immediate sale, or having it sit on the market!  

BEDROOMS/RELAXING SPACES: Colors have qualities that can influence perceptions and cause certain emotions and effectiveness in people.  Generally speaking, warm tones are great for use in bedrooms as they are associated with relaxation and calm.  Another good choice for a tranquil, relaxing bedroom would be colors in the pale blue-green-grey shades, or pale pink shades.  Pale shades of pink have actually been used in prisons to calm violent inmates.   

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EATING SPACES: Restautants have spent millions of dollars hiring professionals who have studied the psychology of color on appetite. For example, red is a very stimulating color that evokes feelings of speed and efficiency.  The fast food industry is filled with this color because of its ability to grab attention. Similarly, orange and yellow are colors that elicit feelings of happiness and comfort.  Like red, orange and yellow are used a great deal in fast food restaurants that desire quick customer turnaround.  Pink is a color associated with romance, innocence, youth, and femininity. Selecting an interior paint color of pink would be great for a bakery or candy shop.  The color green is the color of nature and reflects growth, freshness, and fertility therefore, it is used by companies who want to promote organic, natural, healthy, or vegetarian vibes.  

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LEARNING SPACES: In regards to selecting an interior paint color for a learning space, quite a bit of research has been done by schools and universities.  The psychology behind learning and color is complex and has many variables. These variables include the age of the learner, subject being taught, colors already in the space, and space size. Commonly, oranges and yellows have an optimistic, friendly effect that instantly boost spirits and engage learners. Blues and greens are linked to a better ability to process information and concentration due to their association with a more natural, peaceful environment.  Something to remember when selecting an interior paint color for successful learning is; warmer colors tend to boost mood and energy and promote an excitement for learning. Cooler colors promote concentration and lower anxiety and encourage creativity.  This being said, the use of too many reds or oranges can cause overstimulation, anxiety, and aggression so should be used in balance with other colors.

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COLOR FOR SELLING/RENTING: When putting your home on the market for sale or rent, selecting an interior paint color can make all the difference in the success of the sale.  Many homes have sat on the market for long periods of time due to their lack of online “curb appeal”.  These days most buyers/renters select their home prospects based on the online listing. If the home has dated colors or strong, extremely personalized colors, it will be passed up like a dirty sock even though the home may be perfect otherwise!  Most experts suggest warm, light, neutral colors to be used throughout the entire property when selecting an interior paint color for the sale or rental of the unit.   This approach promotes a very cohesive environment that prospective buyers/renters can easily imagine their own furniture in.  An added bonus of using the same color throughout an entire home or space is that it is more cost effective both in bulk paint pricing and labor! 

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COLOR AND PERCEPTION: The color of a room can have a tremendous impact on the mood and emotions of the buyer/renter.  When selecting an interior paint color for a rental or home to sell, white has been an old standby and used with great success.  However, there are hundreds of shades of white and selecting the right shade is critical.  If a white paint with a warm undertone is selected, the room can feel timeless, clean, and bright.  If a white paint with a cool undertone is chosen, the room can feel very sterile, institutional, and uninviting.  Light grey and taupe are good choices but, depending on the undertone, can make the room feel dingy and depressing so a little bit of research is necessary in these colors. 

Color can also be a great tool when trying to alter the perception of a room’s size. Selecting an interior paint color in a lighter shade will make a room feel larger.  If a comfortable, warm space is desired, try painting the ceiling a darker color.  Further, if you are trying to highlight an architectural detail that isn’t standard and you’d like to create a memory point, try using an accent color.  Anything to strike a memory in your property will be beneficial to the sale or rental outcome. 

TEST PATCHES: The best practice, no matter what your goal in selecting an interior paint color, is to ALWAYS paint test patches. It’s important to test these paints on several different areas of the rooms and look at those colors during different times of the day.  The light in the room can have a dramatic effect on the look of the color.  

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There has been an amazing amount of research put into the selection of color for specific desired outcomes.  Selecting an interior paint color can be very rewarding and beneficial if a little time and effort is put into the decision making.

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