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Seven Essential Color Concepts for Designing Spaces

Understanding a few essential color concepts will help you design your living and work spaces more purposefully. Embrace the colors that work best for your specific activity and emotional support. Here are seven Design Psychology color basics:

1. Light colors and cool colors recede; dark and bold colors advance.

2. Bold colors and large patterns take up visual space and help sparsely furnished rooms look finished.

3. Bright primary colors give off energy, while pastel colors absorb energy. Excessively bright colors, like excessively bright lights, are stressful.

4. Unrelieved monochromatic color schemes can be boring and, worse, depressing.

5. Adjacent rooms visually expand when the background colors are alike.

6. Northern exposed rooms generally need more light and warmth. Yellow-based colors add dimensions of light and warmth. Rooms with a southern exposure in a hot climate feel cooler when painted in blue-based colors.

7. Surrounding colors influence the appearance of nearby colors. A color appears lighter when surrounded by a dark background and darker when surrounded by a light background.

Use these color concepts to create your spaces for happiness and productivity.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see

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