It’s not surprising that color can affect your state of mind. Try working in a room where you’re surrounded by black furniture and red walls, you’ll find it exceedingly more difficult than if you were in a stark, neutral-toned space. To find out more about the colors we should be opting for, we spoke with Joseph Carini, dye master, chemist and founder of Carini Lang.
theFashionSpot: When decorating a home or workspace, what are the important things to consider when it comes to color?
Joseph Carini: Think beyond whether or not you like a color and try to imagine how you will feel about a color that attracts you if you had to be around it a lot and for extended amounts of time. Sometimes colors that you’re drawn to aren’t a good long-term fit. It’s also a question of scale; if it’s a color of your iPhone cover, it won’t affect you as much and it’s easy to change. If, however, it’s the color of your sheets, your big living room rug or your walls, it will have a bigger impact. I also suggest opting for natural versus artificial dyes. Natural colors vibrate differently from their artificial counterparts. It’s just like food — natural foods have different vibrations from heavily-processed, commercial foods and as everyone knows, there are huge differences in their health benefits. The same goes for color, the differences are just more subtle, but the effect is still palpable.
tFS: What are your thoughts on wallpaper or patterns versus color? How does that play into mood?
JC: I like them as much as I do paint as long as the quality is made with care and craftsmanship. You need good raw materials in all cases.
tFS: Can you get into the specific effects of various colors?
JC: When choosing a color for a rug, wall space or anything that takes up a good amount of room, know what effect you intend to create. Relaxing? Formal? Business? Romance? Dreamy? Alert?
Here are some characteristics of the basic colors we live with:
- Red: Extravert, outgoing, stimulating, assertive, appetite, passion, sex
- Orange: Solid, loyal, abundant, good-natured, happy
- Yellow: Intellect, imagination, friendship, warmth, goodness, clarity
- Green: Life, calming, balanced, nature, earthy, health
- Blue: Calming, tranquility, stabilizing, infinite, cool, replenishing
- Purple: Aspirational, magic, mystery, supernatural
- White: Spiritual, purity, energy, unity, transcendence, ethereal
tFS: Is there any science behind this? Where did these theories come from?
JC: Yes. They all come from Ayurvedic medicine as well as architectural principles from ancient India. The ancient Chinese also understood the science of color very well, as did the Persians and Turkic people.
tFS: How did you come to learn about the effects of color on mood/body?
JC: Through experience and by direct observation over many, many years.
tFS: In a general sense, are there colors that tend to be more positive? Any that people should make sure to avoid?
JC: It really depends on the individual and their personality. If you’re someone who has a lot of energy, for example, blue may be a good color to mellow you out.
tFS: What about black or white?
JC: Black and white really don’t have much of an effect.