When properly used color in your home can bring the desired energy into play. Adding color is easy and it's easy to change out as you choose. Why not play with color and change out little pieces until you find what really works for you.
Although it is still August I noticed a couple of days ago that the evenings and mornings had a bit of that Autumn feeling in the air. It must have made an impression in my mind since I put on an orange top that morning without even thinking about it.
Autumn brings out the Orange in me. Orange is the color of curiosity and exploration. It's vibrations enhance our creativity. As an artist I find that I get some of my best ideas when I am in a warm Orange environment. Because of this I will deliberately surround myself with orange when I feel in a rut and a need for new ideas. It is also a social color as it can promote good conversations and enjoyable times. In Feng Shui it represents the fire element. I think the image featured with this post relates well to that fire element. What do you think? Does the photograph make you think of fire?
As Summer fades into Autumn can there be a better time to bring that warming color palette into yur home? Add some touches of this beautiful energy and see how it makes you feel when you walk into the room.
We know that we respond to color. Enough studies have been done to show that the energy of colors can have a physical and psychological effect on us that we don't need to debate that today.
In general it's not until we reach about age 15 that we can discriminate colors as accurately as adults. But as we age there is a decline in that accuracy. Some color matching test scores show a decline by as much as 70% by age 60. They show that there is a decrease in our ability to see the differences in the colors at the blue end of the spectrum.
We know color affects emotions. So much so that some prisons are using a particular shade of pink because it calms aggression. Infant jaundice has been effectively treated with blue light in one study. In another study people with Parkinson's Disease seemed to worsen when exposed to red, but exposure to green light seemed to improve their condition. I find the results of these studies encouraging as we look for ways to improve our lives in general.
We all have color preferences that could affect how we react or how strongly we react to those colors. There are cultural associations that might affect how we view colors. The western world regards white as representing purity and a good color for brides. In China it is a color of mourning. Red is considered a lucky color in China, a good color for brides. We tend to feel warmer in a red-orange room than we do in a blue-green room set at the same temperature. This is all a set of perimeters that need to be consider as we consider the colors we are using and how they will affect our lives.
Color meanings and associations are complex. It doesn't take away from using colors in our lives to create a more holistic home or workplace. I hope you will continue the journey with me as we look at colors and using art to enhance our lives.
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The definition of light is nothing short of complex. At the most basic light is a type of energy called electromagnetic radiation. So it has an electrical component and a magnetic one. And then photons get involved. Humans can see the difference in photon energy levels. This effect is color. And that is technical enough for today.
The way our eyes are constructed light and its energy don't just go to the visual cortex in the brain. Nerves from the retina also go to the hypothalamus. This is important because the hypothalamus is a small organ that regulates several life-sustaining functions such as the control of our autonomic nervous system, our energy levels, cycles of rest and activity, just to name a few. The incoming light waves also effects our pineal gland, which works to regulate our behavior patterns. The energy of light and color is an energy to take notice of in our daily living.
How we as humans respond to color is a deep and interesting science. Add to it that few people will see colors exactly the same. I might see more yellow in orange and you might see more red. Age and aging also impact how we see colors. Our color preferences and cultural influences also affect how we respond to color. There's more to color than what we might think.
Next post I want to talk more about the various factors that impact how we respond to color and ultimately how we use it in our nomes, places of work and our lives in general.
Blue is often associated with calmness and a relaxing atmosphere. Blues and purples have short wave lengths that can relax and calm us. So we have the science associated with this calming effect.
From a psychological aspect there are several associations to blue. We associate blue with reliability and the flow of communication. Without some blue in our lives to help with the flow of information or communication and energy we will end up feeling a level of frustration and lack of progress in our activities.
As with other colors, there are several shades of blue we can consider. In Feng Shui blue with undertones of green can inspire confidence. They represent new beginnings. Deeper blues bring wisdom. I was surprised to learn that indigo, a dark blue, is a secondary color of mourning in the Chinese culture. A good thing to know if your work with colors includes working with a wide range of cultures.
Blue also represents the Water element in Feng Shui. So if blue isn't your color you can still have the influence of the water element with the inclusion of artwork that shows water, such as the image above. Even the way water is represented in the artwork is to be considered. Is it going to be in a place with a lot of energy? Then crashing waves might be a good choice. But if the room is one where you want calmness then the photo above is a good choice. You might even consider including a few seashells in your decor to bring out the water element. Maybe a few scattered around or a collection in a clear vase would work for you.
Another fun way to include the water element and ultimately the color blue would be to include a small water fountain in your home or office. Not only are they pleasant to hear, but they can also add much needed humidity to dry winter air.
Take a moment to look around your home. How have you included the color blue or the water element? If you haven't do you think you will try to bring it into your home?
Red is a powerful color. It's a happy color. It is the color with the longest wavelength. It is the nearest visible light to infrared. Because we instinctively associate red with heat or fire we associated being burned with red.
In Chromatherapy or color therapy red is used to induce enthusiasm and energy. It is also the color of security and power or boldness. It can also elicit an aura of sex appeal. Just think of an image of a woman in a red dress and it can visualize all these things.
In Feng Shui red enhances love and represents power. Adding red accents to your life can add a new fire to your life. Fire is the element in Feng Shui that is associated with red. Red is considered to be the color of luck and happiness in the Chinese culture. In Feng Shui it is used to ward of negative energy. In both Chromatherapy and Feng Shui the color red is used to empower and attract.
We can see the similarities in how the two philosophies view red. So how should you use it in your home? Painting an entire room red would be too much. Too much of any color can have negative effects. For red that would be to create selfishness, restlessness and aggression. Using red as an accent is a good way to introduce the benefits of red. Think about using a darker shade of red instead of bright red. Perhaps a patterned throw pillow with some red in the pattern. You could use a photograph on the wall of a red flower or sunset or use a red-toned picture frame. There a many ways to add a touch of red to a room that doesn't use red as its color palette. I am not a big fan of red, but I have tied a little red ribbon around a green lamp base. The colors are complimentary and it's a fun look.
Try a little red in your rooms and see how you feel. Share in the comments ways you have brought in that touch of red.
I'm sure most everyone has heard of Feng Shui. Basically it is an ancient Chinese art and science. It involves a rather complex body of knowledge that guides us in balancing the energy of any space to assure health and good fortune for the people that live there.
What I found interesting in reading about Feng Shui is that it also includes the use of colors. There are eight directions in Feng Shui. Each of these directions has a color associated with it. As I understand it, and I have just scratched the surface of Feng Shui, based on directional location of a room in your home you should incorporate the color that is associated with that direction. My bedroom is in an east location. For the east the color is green. The directions also have elements associated to them such as fire, wood or metal, etc.
But there is so much more involved in Feng Shui. I am fascinated with the use and the meaning of the colors for Feng Shui because, as you may have noticed, I have an interest in colors and how they are used in healing. Feng Shui is based on achieving good health. As I continue to read and learn I will share with you how you can incorporated some of these principles in your decor.
I would really like to know if any of you use Feng Shui when decorating your homes. If so, how do you think it has affected your life?
Hi. I am Cheryl of Cheryl Day Photography. Stay tuned for my regular blog posts to keep you updated on what I am doing.