Are there rooms in your home you absolutely hate to go into? Do you always wince when you open the door to your office? When you are in your family room do you want to say “go away, leave me alone”. Does one room in your house make you feel too relaxed and another make you feel jittery?
It’s all about color. Color plays a huge role in your life. It can make you happy, it can make you sad, it can make you feel angry, even depressed. Just look outside your window and you will see a complete palette of colors found on our planet earth. If you live in a suburban or country area the predominant colors are green (grasses, trees etc.) and blue (sky and water). If you live in urban areas the predominant colors are shades of gray (skyscrapers, sidewalks, streets). If you live in the dessert you find a lot of neutral earth tones (sand) and blue (sky). And in the mountains you find lots of gray and earth tones (rocks and exposed dirt), some green (trees and some grass) and blue (sky).
Even the seasons play a dramatic role in the colors nature surrounds us with. The rainy season is filled with lots of gray mist and the winters in the northern states also provide much gray (less sunshine, trees without leaves, rain and snowy days etc.) plus white (snow) which turns to gray quickly. Have you ever noticed how all of these colors affect your feelings and mood swings?
According to national surveys, in our country we like color in our homes to have similar values to that of nature. For example, 60-75% of the colors we surround ourselves with need to be warm light colors (cream, soft yellow, taupe, peach, pink, lilac, earth tones etc.) and 25-40% needs to be cool colors (greens and blues). This is the direct opposite of what appears in nature where blue sky significantly out numbers the colors on the ground. We find that our most peaceful surroundings come from the use of colors found in nature and in the proportions above. If you are looking to create a more peaceful atmosphere in your home or office think of the palette Mother Nature provided.
If on the other hand you are looking to liven up your energy, think brighter colors. As a general rule we Americans like color in the following proportions: 60:30:10. 60% of our homes and offices have light neutral colors on the walls and floors, 30% of our color (not neutrals like on the walls) is found in various hues in our furnishings and the remaining 10% are in bright accent colors. We have a real comfort level when we use colors in those proportions because that is very similar to what nature provides us on any given day. It’s when we move out of those comfort ranges and go into all one color rooms (walls, furniture, floors and accents in the same color or values), or dark walls on one or all four walls of a room that we find ourselves feeling blue, depressed, or even anxious and aggravated.
Take a close look at your home or office to see whether you are working within the simple 60:30:10 ratio. If the answer is yes then you should have relatively balanced surroundings where you get neither anxious nor depressed. On the other hand, if you are feeling un-energized and un-motivated then you really need to look closely at your surroundings and evaluate why you are feeling that way.
Assuming you’ve already un-cluttered your home or office, the next step would be to energize those specific areas where activity and work are important. For those areas you need to change the simple formula above by adding a larger amount of bright accent colors. You may wish to use something like 50:30:20 or 45:30:25 in your mix of colors and brightness. Use this rule judiciously as too much color and brightness can also cause scattered or un-focused thinking or an aggressive attitude. Add warmer colors such as red, yellow or orange to your mix and bright blue or bright green. Warmer and brighter colors will serve to energize even the dreariest areas.
Color in an office or home can be introduced through artwork, small pieces of upholstered furniture, decorative accents, statues, vases and even an area rug. Go slowly and introduce one or two things at a time. Then let the energy in the room shift before adding additional items. Be sure you really like (or love) every new item you introduce so as to maximize the energy. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Wait until you find the absolute right thing in the perfect color for your space and it will provide you just the energy you are seeking.
Using color to energize a room, a home or an office building is an easy way to improve the energy in your surroundings. Sometimes you can even simply move existing items that you love and are bright and colorful from one room to another and shift the energy significantly. Try it; you’ll love the new found energy you’ve created through the use of color.
Download “Use Color to energize your home or office” in PDF Format.
© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved
Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her new book, “Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It,” shows how to achieve a better tomorrow. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork, call: 561-408-2708.