Aesthetics Matter: The Link Between Color & Joy
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Color & Joy
I adore Ingrid Fetell Lee’s book Joyful. She brushes aside the idea of the traditional home filled with beiges and whites and reminds us of the joy that having a colorful and lively house (and life) can bring. She asks us to think about when we feel most joyful and notes that many people bring to mind turquoise beaches, deep orange sunsets, birthday parties, festivals - places filled with color, vibrancy, and life.
She tells us that research “demonstrates a clear link between our surroundings and our mental health (p. 5).” People sleep better if they have sunny workplaces, flowers can help people’s moods and their minds, and we feel better in clean, open, lively places. Our well-being is intrinsically linked to color, light, and a nice sunlit room. The more daylight we’re able to get, the better our mood, alertness, and productivity will be.
It is funny to think about - most of the places I’ve lived have had white painted walls, beige or brown couches, and black or wood furniture. It’s almost like propriety is washing the color right out of us, reserving bright colors, baubles, and fun for children, and telling us that we must grow up. I love color though. It really does bring me a ton of joy. Some of my favorite things are sunshine, sunflowers, green grass and trees, lakes, fruit, and fun patterns. I don’t want to live a neutral life; I want to live a bright and vivid and joyful life!
Ever since I came to that realization, I’ve been working to fill my home with color, light, and energy. I am slowly building the number of plants I have in my house to produce energy and add oxygen and light. I am keeping my blinds open more and letting in the sun. I am getting more colorful tapestries and prints to fill my walls, and I am building my collection of crystals and essential oils. When I buy furniture next, I’m going to switch it up and get a bright and colorful piece or two.
Once you begin looking into color therapy, you’ll realize how interesting and impactful it can be. Color therapy uses the benefits of different colors and shades to affect your well-being. Each color has a unique light wavelength, and the energy of each shade can be used to boost your mental and physical health.
The benefits of light therapy are astounding. For those who live in the north where sunshine occurs fewer days of the year and for others likely to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), light therapy can help to mitigate depression and anxiety. There are some great inexpensive options that can help during the winter. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Thanks for supporting The Superhero Handbook!
Color Therapy and Emotions
Colors and emotions are closely linked as well. You can use colors in your life and home to impact your mood and push it in the direction you desire. Warm colors (like red, orange and yellow) can help you feel happier, more optimistic, and more energetic. They can be a bit too active, though, and are not typically recommended for calm spaces like bedrooms. Cool colors (like green, blue, and purple) are more calming and soothing, though they can also sometimes represent sadness.
Let color guide your way as you decorate, accent, and paint the rooms in your home. A great way to do this is by supporting artists at your local craft fair or farmer’s market, or to purchase any of the incredible art from Society6. They have a huge variety of awesome tapestries, art prints, and more, and every purchase pays an artist, “empowering creative expression
across the globe.”
Colors & How to Use them in Your Home
Red is the color of energy - it is intense, powerful, and makes us feel excited. This isn’t good to have around when you want to be calm (like in a bedroom), but it certainly brings the party. In a living or dining room, red brings people together and stimulates conversation.
Orange is exciting and enthusiastic - it is an energetic color like red. It isn’t best for a living room or bedrooms, but it’s great for an exercise room or anywhere you want to increase your energy.
Yellow is joyful - it reminds us of sunshine and happiness. It works well for kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms. It makes things feel more energetic and joyful, and it brightens up small spaces. It’s so bright that it’s best as an accent rather than a big part of the color scheme.
Green is restful - it can keep a kitchen calm, encourage unwinding in living areas, and can make you feel more comfortable and close to those you’re with. Green also works well in a bedroom as it is calming and relieves stress.
Blue is relaxing and serene - it is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. Warmer blues and bright blues help encourage relaxation in common areas. Darker blues can bring us down, though, so stick with colors that are a bit brighter or softer.
Purple sparks creativity and spirituality - it can display health, beauty. or security, and it works well for bedrooms and bathrooms. Dark purple can be rich, dramatic, and sophisticated; lighter purple is more restful like blues.
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What colors do you want to fill your home with? Do you have any rooms that could use a bit more joy? I'd love to know your plans for a brighter, more colorful, and more joyful space!