Reds & Oranges
Reds and oranges are energetic colors. They are used to stimulate the body and mind, promote power, and increase appetite. That's why many dining rooms and gyms have one or more red or orange walls.
Painting by Andre Derain, L'Estaque, 1906
It is believed that yellow stimulates the nerves and purifies the body, lifting your spirits and reducing stress. Is it any wonder many kitchens are painted yellow?
Painting by Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1919
Blues & Greens
Blues and greens are restful, stable colors with a stress management quality. They create a soothing feeling, encouraging calmness. Does it make you think of spas or medical offices?
Painting by Georgia O'Keefe, Blue & Green Music, 1921
In this image there is an energetic orange flower. Adding its complementary color blue brings out the best in each.
It's fun to watch the yellow and orange flowers sway in the breeze, but the blue background makes this image so relaxing.
The red inner frame emphasizes the passion of this fun Las Vegas print.
According to Color-Related Studies...
- Warm-colored (yellow, orange) placebo pills are more effective than cool-colored (blue, green) placebo pills.
- Blue-colored streetlights can lead to reduced crime.
- Red causes people to react with greater speed and force, something that might prove useful during athletic activities.
- Black sports uniforms are more likely to receive penalties.
- Paint your office blue and green. In 1999, researchers at Creighton University found that employees in blue offices felt the most centered, calm and hopeful towards their work. Since blue can lower heart rates and green can reduce anxiety and is associated with money, a combination of blue and green is best for the office.
White Mat or Black Mat?
- White is the great neutralizer. Sometimes there can be so many colors and so much action in the art, that it is hard to choose one color - this is where white works well.
- Black creates negative space - so all you see is the art or image.
- White is a contemporary / fresh, clean / uncluttered look.
- Black is a sophisticated and elegant look.
- White works well when you want to group a look (multiple pieces framed the same).