Sunday, September 20, 2009

Color Interpretation for Your Personal Inspiration

Why is purple one of my favorite colors while my best friend places it low on her list? We do know that color is a result of light and how each person’s unique retina interprets the color and sends a signal to the brain via the optic nerve.  But science just hasn’t identified all involved with the brain’s ability to interpret color.

Could our feelings about colors relate to the symbolism that’s been associated with each color?  Maybe it’s the meaning that cultures place on a color.  Black is associated with mourning in our Western culture.  Instead in India and other Asian cultures, white is used.

So what colors inspire you and are most beneficial in your life?

Primary Colors

Red is the color of blood which is vital to life.  Red expresses power, energy and courage.  Think about the red power tie.  Remember reading “The Red Badge of Courage” where Henry, a young soldier, questions his inner strength and courage?  Red makes a bold statement in the design of a room so perhaps consider using it sparingly.

Yellow symbolizes knowledge and wisdom and stimulates thinking.  Consider using yellow in a kitchen because it is believed to benefit digestion.  Or have your children do their homework in a mustard-yellow room so they’re at their mental best.

Blue is soothing.  What’s more relaxing than gazing at the blue sky off in the horizon or at the gentle blue ocean waves lapping against the beach!  We use water to cleanse so blue is associated with purity.  Consider painting the ceiling of your bedroom sky blue so you have a calming environment for rest.

Secondary Colors

Orange helps inspire creativity.  Place it in an office area or your workspace so you are at your creative best.  Orange is often used in settings to convey vitality and to lift our spirits. Feeling depressed?   Surround yourself with orange.

Green calms and helps ground us.  A farmer associates a green field with a bountiful crop.  Think about the rustling sounds as the wind gently blows through the leaves of a tree.  A little green in your life can help balance a stressful day and is a great color for bedrooms.

Violet was one of most difficult colors to make, according to historical records.  In ancient times it was created by squeezing the murex sea mussel called ‘porphura’ in Greek.  Because of the challenge and expense to make purple, it became associated with royalty and power.  Ranking priests wore purple vestments.  Purple also is believed to hold the power to heal.  Purple connotes valor and honor and when a soldier dies in battle; the Purple Heart is given as our military’s the highest honor.  Saturated purple walls can make a powerful statement in an interior space.

Now that you know more about the meaning of color, decide which colors are best for you and incorporate them into your environment.

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