When talking to clients, I have found that one of the hardest things for DIY-ers is color selection. Probably the most common question I have to answer is: does this match? It is true that there are colors that ‘match’ well together, but there is so much more that goes into the psychology of color selection. Certain colors can cause us to feel and act certain ways, we respond to color physically, physiologically, and sociologically. One example of this is in children; they prefer bright primary colors, and as we age we tend to prefer more subdued colors. Another example of how we respond to color is with centrifugal and centripetal colors.
- Centrifugal – derived from Latin centrum (center) and fugere (to flee) warm, bright hues direct our attention outwards from our selves. Extroverted people tend to appreciate these colors more. Within our space these colors create a more lively and energetic environment. A place that is suited better for action.
- Centripetal – derived from Latin centum (center) and petere (to seek) cool, soft, darker hues direct our attention inward. Introverted people tend to appreciate these colors more. Within our space these colors create an environment suited for sedentary tasks and enhance concentration.
It is important to consider the use of the space when selecting color for your rooms. For example, is a living room going to be used for socializing and entertaining guests? Then consider the warm centrifugal colors, to help create a lively, energetic space. Use centripetal cool colors for a library or den or any space that would be used as a retreat in order to limit distractions and enhance concentration.