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Color Psychology: The Joy and Pain of Yellow

Warm and luminous like sunlight, the right shade of yellow brings cheer to dreary rooms. Some bright yellows, however, cause people pain in interior design.

Imagine you're driving by a green field of grass, punctuated by yellow wild flowers. Your eye gets distracted by the yellow flowers and your brain forgets the peaceful green grass.

In an office, you easily find yellow legal pads. The reason: our eyes see yellow first, before other colors. As the most visible color, yellow grabs attention.

Like the sun, too much bright yellow hurts our eyes and agitates us. Brilliant yellows make our eyes tired. Therefore, like road workers use yellow flags for caution, you want to use yellow with caution.

Paint walls a pale yellow to mimic a sun-filled space and create a soothing feeling for the room's occupants. Choose soft creamy yellows, not dingy, dirty-looking yellows that make people nauseous.

In contrast, bright-yellow painted walls can cause feelings of turmoil and hostility. Use bright yellows sparingly, especially in high-anxiety spaces like kitchens. Naturally bright rooms that have been painted bright yellow over-stimulate some people and may bring about angry feelings. Babies cry more and adults lose their tempers more often when surrounded by bright yellow walls.

However, that very same dazzling yellow room may be just the perfect place on an overcast day in a cold climate. Small doses of bright yellows added with accessories add punch, catch the eye, and make rooms feel lively.

Like the color red, yellow speeds up our metabolism. This color psychology aspect makes yellow a good color for china or table-top accessories. There's nothing like a cup of coffee in a yellow mug to wake you up!

Think of the natural sunlight when you use yellow. Soft, warm rays feel good. Bright, hot rays feel painful. As with all interior design, balance using the color yellow ensures harmony. The color psychology beneath the color yellow helps you create a joyful home.

Copyright © 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Jeanette Fisher helps home owners create homes for glorious living and top-dollar sales. Inspired by Mother Nature, Jeanette's eye for design is fueled by her love of the natural outdoors, light, and color. After researching the affects of the environment on emotions for over 15 years, she teaches Design Psychology college courses.

For more information on Design Psychology, see

Free What is Design Psychology report and Joy to the Home Journal at

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