Using the Psychology of Color to Stage Your Home
When psychologists discovered that color impacts human emotions, the advertising and retail worlds went on a tear. From logos to packaging, color became a vital part of branding.
Many professional home stagers rely on this information when they recommend that rooms be painted neutral colors; this way, the buyer isn’t distracted emotionally.
Interior decorators, on the other hand, understand the value of color when trying to set a certain mood. Regardless of which camp you join, let’s take a look at what the primary colors signify and how they impact our mood.
Blue is everyone’s favorite color, according to a number of studies. For instance, Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist, conducted one such study and found that blue is the favorite color of both men and women. Knowing this, you can safely use the color without turning off too many buyers.
Since purple came in a very close second to blue for women (27 percent chose blue while 25 percent chose purple), use darker shades of blue in your accessories to bridge the divide between the two favorite colors. Be very careful with purple, however, as no men chose the color among their favorites.
Red grabs attention so use it in your accents when you want to draw attention to the room’s focal point. Artwork that includes the color red, a vase of flowers or other red accessories, for instance, will draw the eye to the focal point.
Red is also ideal for the front door, grabbing buyers’ attention from the curb.
Nothing says “cheerful” better than the color yellow. “From a psychology perspective, yellow creates an environment that fosters decision-making, good judgment and well-being,” claims Christine Rae and Jan Saunders Maresh, authors of “Home Staging for Dummies.”
The authors go on to say that you can safely use the softer yellow shades and even cream in any room.
Another study, however, urges caution with the use of yellow if you’re selling a luxury home. Men perceive the color differently and assume that whatever is associated with it is cheap, so use it sparingly.
Hospital room walls are pale green for a reason ― it’s said to be the most reassuring and calming color on the wheel. There is some tentative evidence emerging in the literature showing that green is relaxing because it is associated with growth and nature, Andrew Elliot, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Rochester tells Huffington Post’s Rachel Grumman Bender.
Use green wherever you want to evoke a sense of serenity, such as in the bedroom. Green, by the way, is men’s second favorite color, right behind blue.
Neutral colors are best for the home’s exterior. Bob Villa recommends gray, with muted white trim. In fact, on his website he tells the story of a builder in Minnesota who posted a photo of one of his renovations on Houzz.com and received literally thousands of requests for this paint color!
The colors, it turns out, are Benjamin Moore Copley Gray (HC-104) trimmed with Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk (OC-8). See the home here.
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