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Color Help: Many Factors Affect Color Preference

By Professor Jeanette Fisher

Paint bucket and brush

Understanding "color psychology" helps home makers choose colors for home decorating.

Color affects human beings every day of their lives, even during their very earliest childhood. In fact, studies have shown that babies respond more readily to bright, primary colors than to pastel colors.

The favorite color of most preschool children, up to the age of five, is bright red. Young children, between five and ten years old, show a preference for bright yellow. Adult women generally prefer blue-based colors, whereas men tend to prefer yellow-based tints.

Even education levels and the degree of sophistication seem to affect people's color preferences. In general, highly educated and sophisticated people favor complex colors, while those with less education and lower income favor low intensity, simple colors.

Ethnic Traditions Affect Color Preferences

Our personal history also has a significant influence on our color preferences, and using heritage colors has been proven to make people feel more contented by making them feel more connected to their ancestry. For instance, American couples most often prefer to have brides dressed in white, representing purity, during wedding ceremonies. Asians, on the other hand, wear white to funerals, and prefer a black color for their wedding dresses, since black represents joy in Asian culture.

Colors and Climates

Climate can affect color preferences, too, and people respond differently to various colors, depending upon the climatic conditions in which they live. For example, Scandinavians have a preference for light yellows, bright whites, and sky blues, in contrast to their long, dark winter nights. San Franciscans, who live in an area that is often foggy and overcast, generally aren't fond of gray, but gray is a popular color among people in Miami.

Historic Colors

Color preferences have also changed over the course of history. In the mid-1800s, very bright colors were popular, but they were replaced by more subdued tertiary colors such as muddy reds, greens, browns, blues, pinks, and ambers in the 1870s and 80s. The darkest shades could be found in dining rooms.

Pastel and cream colors came back into fashion in the 1890s, and were popular during the latter part of Queen Victoria's reign. But as fashions changed and furniture began to become more ornate, heavier, and more elaborate, room colors also began to change, becoming richer and darker, although Victorian bedrooms remained light and cheerful.

Color affects human beings in many ways, on both the conscious and subconscious levels, every day of our lives, and a thorough understanding of the effects of color is very important when making interior design decisions for the home.

About the author: Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of "Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars", "Joy to the Home", and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, visit her website Doghouse To Dollhouse For Dollars

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