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A Tale of Two Colors

The People Have Spoken: Color Psychology and Interior Decorating

Hypothetical situation; you’re lounging in the living room or working in the study when suddenly the urge comes over you for a change of scenery. As you look around the room you think to yourself, “these beige or white walls are bland and are not contributing to the way I’d like my home to feel”.

Does this sound familiar? If this rings true for you, it might be time to add a little color to your home. The next question is “how?” A smattering of vivid throw pillows, a bright new sofa or are you feeling the boldness of newly painted walls? Whatever you decide to change, it’s important to be aware of what impact these changes may have. The colors we choose to surround ourselves with can drastically effect our mood and overall atmosphere.

Color has always had direct correlation to culture and consciousness, so making the right color decision can have a significant impact on the feeling that your home evokes. For example, warm colors like red, yellow, orange bring about feelings of arousal such as love and happiness and sometimes anger. The converse are cooler colors like blue, green, and purple, bringing feelings of calmness and relaxation. With so many colors and style motifs, making a choice can be one of the most daunting tasks. One thing you can do to narrow down the choices when revitalizing your home is to think about what colors appeal to you and how your new color scheme will change the way you feel in your new and improved environment.

Today we’re focusing on two colors, the effect they can have in your home, and their psychological impact on your mood, emotions, and general appeal. If you’re scratching your head thinking, “Wait, there are psychological implications to my color choices?” Yes, there are. Read on to find out more about the effects of two very impactful colors.


The World’s Favorite Color

Marrs Green

According to the “World’s Favorite Colour Project,” a survey of 25,000+ people across 100 countries conducted by paper company G.F. Smith in 2017, the world’s favorite color is Marrs Green. Marrs Green is the result of mixing blue and green into a white base creating a color that is most often referred to as “teal,” though there can be many variations and tones of this greenish- blue hue. As a color it brings forth feelings of being in nature and a connection to the natural world. Caroline Till, the editor of Pantone’s Viewpoint Colour Magazine, says of the variants of the color green, “As the contemporary condition of ‘nature deficit’ rises in the context of increasingly urban and digital lifestyles, we seek to reconnect with the natural world, hence the current global popularity of the color green.”

Marrs Green is a soothing color, reminding us of lush, verdant leafy forests and jungles, and is a common color found in nature, hence its innate appeal in an ever increasingly drab concrete world devoid of the bright natural colors and tones of the natural world. The website says teal, “blends blue’s tranquil stability with green’s optimism and healing properties. Teal is the color of restfulness and mental and spiritual balance. The calm shade has a natural dignity that is not contrived or ‘in your face.’ Teal’s understated elegance encourages a calm, reflective mood. Brighter teal tones are unique and smart.” You can see why the variants of teal and in particular Marrs Green are so attractive to the eye and are subconsciously alluring. Marrs Green is used by designers to add a sophisticated splash of color to a neutral room, most often in the bathroom, living room, or library, places where there needs to be less neutrality and a little more color. Eleonora Valle, art director at Onefinestay says you should consider the mood you want the room to emit. “Marrs Green will bring energy to a living or dining room, but it may be a bit loud for a bedroom if you’re looking for something more calming.”

In other words, if you’re looking to spruce up a room that feels a little flat and not very alive, you don’t necessarily need to paint the whole room Marrs Green, but adding some Marrs Green in the way of couch pillows, furniture, artwork, or even a throw rug can do wonders for a room that needs something a little more invigorating than the usual neutral earth tones.

A few final notes on Marrs Green as a design flourish: remember that greens are the color of nature symbolizing growth and harmony and they are beneficial to health and body by slowing the metabolism and producing a calming effect. Greens are also associated with serenity and calmness, which can be subtly applied in the home with relative ease using small, but effective changes to your walls, floors, or furnishings.


The World’s Most Relaxing Color

Navy Blue

Another color to consider when choosing the primary or secondary decor for a room is Navy Blue. According to the previously mentioned “World’s Favorite Colour Project”, Navy Blue was voted the most relaxing color and as such can often be found in places like the bedroom or family room in the form of bedding, wall hangings, throw pillows, and floor coverings. And, according to Stephanie Pierce, the director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets, “Nature-based colors, particularly those that are representative of water, have long been sought out as colors that tie to tranquility and relaxation. The history of navy in interiors has evolved from lapis to ultramarine and Prussian blue in bath or bedroom settings to create a soothing spa-like feel.” From another perspective, this time from Sue Wadden, a color expert from Sherwin Williams, “A bedroom serves as the bookends of our days, so use a deep shade of blue on the walls, layering in nature-inspired blues and greens, to create a restful hideaway.”

Using navy blue or any close variation like cobalt blue, which is slightly lighter than navy, for painting entire rooms or just to add color to a neutrally painted room can work wonders for enlivening a space. Small inexpensive design flourishes like artwork or window coverings can also relax the space or add life and vitality to a room while simultaneously bringing the feeling you’re looking for when decorating or re-decorating a room. Color can also play a vital role in accenting an already comfortable and inviting space in your home. Try using Navy Blue as an accent to bring out the other colors in the room whether they’re neutral colors like off-white, oatmeal, or beige.

Conversly, navy blue can have stimulating effects, possibly increasing productivity and results if it’s featured in a home office or library. Color psychology studies show that navy blue is also associated with trust and dependability which may account for why it is used by law enforcement officials across the world. But you don’t have to think of blue as having a negative connotation. Having your office primarily dominated by Navy Blue, whether it’s the walls, drapery, or furnishings can inspire creativity while simultaneously increasing productivity. So, it could be said that navy blue on one hand represents authority but also offers calm and confidence simultaneously. Having a home office painted navy blue seems like a no-brainer when considering the notion of getting things done and getting them done right.

Adding color to a room or many rooms in your home can really make a difference, altering the feeling your home exudes and breathing new life into the doldrums. Try adding Marrs Green or Navy Blue to the color scheme of your home and see how it transforms the way you and your guests feel or interact in the new setting. These colors elicit emotions that are a little softer, a little more comforting, and last but not least, will bring a sense of harmony to your home you might not find in bright or electrifying colors like red and yellow. So, take the chance and try enhancing your decor with one of these two popular, calming, and inviting colors.

For more design trends or to speak with a local LIV Sotheby’s International Realty real estate expert, visit us at or give us a call at 805.507.0074.