Modern Living

How to choose paint to color your thoughts and mood

JOYFUL HARVEST - Joy Angelica Subido, Joy Angelica Subido, Karla Alindahao - The Philippine Star

Red touches yellow, kills a fellow. Red touches black, friend of Jack. / Yellow touches red, you be dead. Red touches black, venom lack.” So goes the childhood rhyme that doubles as a reminder of how to distinguish between a harmless snake and venomous one. But while it is best to steer clear of a red and yellow snake (or any other color of serpent altogether), there should be no reason to avoid the red/yellow combination if it pleases you. Paint your room a bright bold red and sunny warm yellow if that will make you happy. Science-based studies have shown that red stimulates the mind and rouses the emotions. Yellow, on the other hand, is thought to purify the body. It is also a stimulating color that inspires optimism, strength and self-esteem, among other positive things. Of course, there is always the option of repainting with more benign hues and shades if the color overstimulation proves too tiring for you. Apart from varying colors from Nippon Paint, there is Nippon Momento, which is a special effects decorative paint that lends texture to the surfaces you choose to work on.

The effect of color on behavior, moods and emotions was the topic of a recent talk called “Psychology of Color.” Sponsored by Nippon Paint, it is part of the brand’s “Colors and Beyond“ workshop series that “hopes to share the expertise with Filipino consumers and educate them on the vast possibilities by which they can transform their homes and surroundings into places that help them live better.” For this leg of the workshop, the color expert was Serene Pang, a long-time member of the International Color Marketing Group (CMG), an international non-profit association of color designers that forecast color trends. Pang is recognized as one of Asia’s top color experts with 18 years of experience working for the architectural, building and color industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

 “Colors send a visual message and consumers are influenced by color,” says Pang. As an example, she cites that orange is favored by food establishments because it has been found to trigger hunger. Blue, on the other hand, has the opposite effect because it isn’t a color usually associated with food. Unless you grew up eating the blue Hopi corn indigenous to northern Mexico, you will associate the color with mold and decay. Hence, the influence of color may depend on personal and cultural circumstances. While the so-called “psychology of color” contends that colors can influence thoughts, feelings and actions, the effect on particular individuals can be highly subjective. Here are some design tips that we learned at the workshop:

• Red is a powerful color. There’s a reason it is used to announce a sale because it connotes urgency. It has high-visual impact to gets one’s attention and raises energy level. It gives a feeling of richness and opulence to a room, but may not be a good idea for a bedroom. When you want to wind down and sleep, a red room that stimulates you and raises your blood pressure might not be a good idea.



• Green is a relaxing color. The reason that hospital walls are painted in shades of green is because it is the color of healing. Surgery scrub suits are usually green to help doctors rest their eyes during an operation. Green is the color of nature and, depending on the shade, can bring freshness, vibrancy, energy or elegance to a room. Note, however, that some tones of green (such as an uninterrupted olive hue) can be depressing for some.

• Blue is a relaxing color. Because it has a calming effect, it might be a good idea to paint your bedroom blue. Because creativity is enhanced when the mind is calm, the right shade of blue can increase productivity. Light shades of blue can give a feeling of freedom, but deep, dark blues can have a chilling effect.

• Purple or violet connotes prosperity or wealth. As such, violet accents give an upmarket feel to a room.

• Brown represents earthiness, simplicity, richness and life. The color lends warmth, but remember that using too much of the same shade can make a room feel boring and bland.

• Black and white can seemingly be opposing but a combination of these can lend a contemporary, compelling and expensive feel to a room. Black can be associated with power and luxury while purity and cleanliness are linked to white. Liven up a classic black and white room by incorporating different textures.

• Yellow is the color of the mind and intellect. The reason that writing pads are yellow is that these are believed to stimulate memory and the thinking process. Because yellow is associated with sunshine, it evokes lightheartedness and hope. Surprisingly however, babies in rooms that are painted yellow are known to cry more frequently. This is because while the yellow is the color of happiness and optimism, it also causes fatigue if used excessively. This just goes to show that attempting to maintain a constant state of happiness can be counterproductive because it is taxing.









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