Seeking serenity now? The answer might just be written on the wall. Studies suggest the color of a room can have a significant effect on people’s moods Effects of interior colors on mood and preference: comparisons of two living rooms. Yildirim, K., Hidayetoglu, ML., Capanoglu, A. Department of Furniture and Decoration, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. Perceptual and Motor Skills 2011 Apr; 112(2): 509-24. Effect of color schemes and environmental sensitivity on job satisfaction and perceived performance. Kwallek, N., Soon, K., Woodson, H., et al. School of Architecture Interior Design, The University of Texas at Austin. Perceptual and Motor Skills 2005 Oct; 101(2): 473-86.. From the home to the office, it might be time to consider a new paint job.

For a Better Zen-sation — The Takeaway

In a recent study, researchers asked participants to compare images of two imaginary living rooms, with everything identical but the color. Subjects perceived warm colors (like red, orange, and yellow) as exciting and stimulating, while cooler colors (like blue, green, and violet) evoked feelings of peace and restfulness Effects of interior colors on mood and preference: comparisons of two living rooms. Yildirim, K., Hidayetoglu, ML., Capanoglu, A. Department of Furniture and Decoration, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. Perceptual and Motor Skills 2011 Apr; 112(2): 509-24.. In a different study, researchers asked subjects to work from a lab “office” space for four consecutive days (yikes!), in rooms of different colors Effect of color schemes and environmental sensitivity on job satisfaction and perceived performance. Kwallek, N., Soon, K., Woodson, H., et al. School of Architecture Interior Design, The University of Texas at Austin. Perceptual and Motor Skills 2005 Oct; 101(2): 473-86.. They found employees working in offices painted white or blue-green reported better work performance and job satisfaction than those in offices painted red.

At first glance (pun very intended), it may seem odd that a room's color can have a signficant emotional impact. However, this research suggests there may be more to a room's style than meets the eye (also intended). Of course, it's important to note that these were imaginary and lab-created spaces, and real life rooms could be perceived differently. So consider re-painting that room, sure, but maybe think twice before painting the whole town.

The Tip

To calm the nerves and increase productivity, try decorating with cool colors.

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