Our sight is the most direct of all physical senses. All we have to do is open our eyes to see an ever-changing kaleidoscope of light and color that profoundly affects our well-being. While we make daily decisions about how to beautify our surroundings, we often don’t realize the impact they have on our physical and emotional state, but decades of research show that color affects our thoughts, our actions, and our health.

Throughout our lives, we associate feelings, memories, and meanings with our experiences of color, and these associations create our color preferences. Many of us have strong preferences for certain colors, and while personal taste matters a lot, it seems that most people prefer colors in the so-called “universal” order: blue, red, green, purple, yellow, orange. However, these basic benefits can be affected by fashion. Although the influence of color on interior design is now well documented, little is available regarding the environment.

Red for vitality

Red is the color of love and a great energizer. It keeps you alert, helps you cope with the demands of life, removes negativity and gives you courage. Representing willpower with a drive that pushes you to do more, its energy is a helpful encouragement. Some, however, may find it too stimulating when they are under pressure, as it can increase stress.

Exposure to red color causes measurable reactions in the body. Blood pressure, temperature, and energy levels increase, circulation improves, and breathing, heart rate, and brain waves speed up. These are only temporary effects that disappear quickly when the color is removed.

Orange for optimism

Orange is primarily the color of joy; its impact promotes a sense of well-being, providing relief from everyday life’s worries. Warm and welcoming, upbeat and sociable, it is full of energy and will act as a stimulant to those in its presence, albeit with a milder effect than red.

Orange, which is preferred by the intelligent and talkative, is often chosen in tests by people who suffer from mental or physical exhaustion, perhaps signifying a subconscious desire for a life with less stress.

Yellow for contentment

Yellow, the brightest color in the spectrum, represents the power of the sun. An excellent aid in concentration and study, yellow energy provides intellectual and inspirational stimulation, encourages mental agility, aids clarity of thought and absorption of facts, and helps to deal with difficulties. Yellow is also a helpful color for the shy and lonely, as it brings a sense of optimism and self-esteem.

Green for growth

Green is the color of nature, a balanced shade that neither warms nor cools and brings harmony to all present. The green of young saplings is a powerful image in all societies and symbolizes regeneration. For this reason, green is believed to bring change, create new paths in life, and encourage hope. Calm and relaxing, it offers a refuge from the outside world and creates a sense of calm. It is very suitable for meditation as it promotes a focused state of mind.

Green acts as a tonic, balancing the energy of the body, mind and spirit, calming and relieving mental tension.

Blue for the spirit

Blue encourages relaxation and calm and is a good color for contemplation, promotes meditation, and inspires patience and peaceful thoughts. Blue makes you aware of the need to rest and make room in your life. Blue is the color of modern stress and anxiety; its calming effect will relieve tension.

Blue is often the first choice in color selection tests and is always a cool color with a cooling and cleansing effect that calms the mind and soul. Tests have shown that exposure to the color blue has a calming effect that lowers blood pressure, heart rate and brain wave activity – interestingly, this is also noticeable with exposure to the color violet (which combines blue and red).

Violet for inner peace

Purple is a rich royal color that has been used throughout history to represent knowledge, self-respect, spirituality, dignity and wealth.

Generally not a popular color, it is preferred by sensitive people who enjoy art and philosophical debates, and is very conducive to meditation.

Armed with this knowledge and the availability of nearly 200 standard colors in every shade imaginable, what’s stopping you from thinking differently about outdoor furniture in the future? Use red to whet your appetite in the dining room, yellow to promote learning in the outdoor classroom, or blue in the lounge area to encourage relaxation during exams… Could you apply a little color theory to your outdoor space, or perhaps just be bolder in your choices to light up an otherwise uninspiring corner of your campus?

To choose your color from the 200 standard options available, Click here.


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