Color Keyed


Controversial news, crazy drivers, testy kids – none of these things that inspire me moved me to sit down and write. With so many chores left undone, and the summer sun finally shining down its long awaited blessing, I wanted to be outside.

I asked my daughter, ” Josie, how about writing a column for me this week?” She understood that I was not joking when my beseeching gaze captured her sympathy. ” You know, I do have some articles that I wrote for that magazine I made for school,” she perked. She rolled out the under bed baskets where she stashed her stuff, (well organized, unlike her mother, she usually doesn’t waste time hunting for things) and slid out the magazine.

She titled it Chez Vous. It was mock-up of a home decorating magazine, her favorite kind (no Seventeens for her).

We leafed through and I zeroed in on a topic that Jo had been interested in ever since she did a science project about the relationship between colors and human behavior. She agreed to share her article with you.

Color Affects You and Your Home

By Josie Steeb

Some people think color is just for artists, but think again. Not only does color make a creative statement, but it can affect your personality. Color sets a mood in your home environment.

Everyone associates the commonly accepted colors we use for celebrating holidays: red and green for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween, red, white and blue for Memorial Day or the 4th of July.

Primary colors provide a creative, enjoyable learning environment for children. softer tints are recommended for a baby’s room. They give a feeling of safety and tranquility.

White walls and ceilings make a room look more spacious. A woman from South Dakota said she felt cramped in her dark red carpeted and brown walled study. She put white wall paper on the walls and changed the carpet to light gray. She said the room felt so much bigger that she bought a set of shelves to fill it out.

Behavior can be affected by color. Blue and green tones are supposed to be relaxing. Yellows and oranges can be energizing. Reds and blacks are said to be sensuous, and grays and browns to be depressing. Color not only sets a mood; it can also affect temperature. Blue and green are considered to be cool colors, red and orange are hot.

In an experiment that studied reactions to colors, cafeteria customers complained that the room was always too cold. The problem was eased by changing the color of the walls. In this same experiment, it was said that violent behavior in prison was reduced when the cells were painted hot pink instead of industrial green. Pink and peach tones are thought to subdue aggression.

Another great use for color at home is color coding to quickly identify things. Color code your keys, files, fuse box, toolbox, pantry and even your refrigerator. There are endless ways color can make your life easier.

What is your favorite color?

Do you think your favorite color could unleash your personality? It very possibly could. The list of characteristics below are matched up with the favorite color of people they tend to describe. Take a look and see if your favorite color ” gives you away.”

RED: Extroverted, impulsive, stimulating, action-oriented, competitive.

ORANGE: Sympathetic, friendly, extroverted, athletic, active.

YELLOW: Intellectual, idealistic, confident, industrious, difficult to understand.

GREEN: Fair, respectable, a good citizen, frank, stable.

BLUE: Educated, respected, introverted, loyal, cautious, relaxed.

PURPLE: Affectionate, artistic, witty, observant, creative, insecure.

BROWN: Earthy, conscientious, observant, dependable, steady, conservative.

BLACK: Vain, sophisticated, worldly, mysterious, wise,

acts hastily.

WHITE: Simple, decent, flirtatious, likes to be alone.

These traits obviously wouldn’t describe everyone ” on the dot.” The results were based on the majority of people who liked these colors.

Color research: Josie Steeb, 2000


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