Thursday, September 21, 2006

Painting the Nursery

By Brandi M. Seals

Many soon to be parents set out to create a soothing and cheerful room for their baby. The nursery is generally done in pastel shades of green, blue, pink and yellow. Those that know the sex of the child will often paint the room a corresponding color; blue for boys and pink for girls. The yellows and greens are generally used that want to remain gender neutral or who do not know the gender of their impending child.

I guess it is because pastels are soothing that everyone chooses them. But there are other options out there. Colors outside the realm have been shown to have soothing effects, while others give off a jolt of energy.

You may not realize it, but color does effect how we feel mentally and physically. It can affect our appetite, sense of serenity and much more. For example, it is said that many Italian restaurants use the color red because it evokes a feeling of hunger. When dining in a red room people tend to eat more than they would have otherwise. With that in mind, if your dinning room is red, perhaps it is time to choose another color.

If you are trying to decide what to paint your nursery, perhaps it is time to find out what emotions colors evoke.

Blue represents peace and tranquility. It is calm and stable and it promotes trust, truth, security and order.

The color blue when used prominently has the ability to slow one's pulse, reduce appetite and lower body temperature.

The color is associated with different thing depending on culture. For example, in China, blue is associated with immortality and for Hindus, blue is the color of Krishna.

Whether or not you readily believe that a color is associated with feelings or emotions, it is something worth considering.

Keep in mind that tonal values can alter the emotion derived by a color. For example, smoke blue gives off a more adult feeling and seems more cleanly and streamlined then say teal does.

Yellow is the color of joy, sunlight, optimism and imagination. It gives off several emotions, most of them positive. However, the color has also been associated with cowardice, jealousy, and illness through out history.

Since yellow is the color of the sun, it seems only natural that it been seen as a burst of energy.

The way people interpret white is very different from place to place. White, like black, is not a true color. It is what the eye sees when all color wavelengths are present.

In the West, white has come to be associated most notably with purity, simplicity and cleanliness. It is the color of snow, wedding dresses, and innocence.

White gives off this impression because the culture of the area dictates that women wear white on their wedding. Never-before-wed women (and increasingly those that have been married already) wear white on their wedding day to note their purity and innocence. It is extremely rare that brides wear any other color because it has a negative connotation.

In the East, white has a very different connotation. It has come to symbolize coldness or sterility and in Japan, white carnations signify death.

Red is a warm and energetic color. It is associated with love, desire, and anger. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure and increase one's heart rate.

In some cultures, like in China, red symbolizes a celebration and luck. In India red is like the white in the west. It represents purity and is used in wedding outfits. However, in some cultures red has a very different meaning. It has come to be associated with crime, notable prostitution. It represents the antithesis of purity.

Purple has long been associated with royalty to nobility. It is also an exotic color that adds flair to any room.

Green represents nature, health, luck and prosperity.

It is the color of grass and many other items found in nature. It has a fresh and invigorating feel. Items that are green may seem youthful and full of vigor. And yet the color itself is a peaceful and calming color noted for being very soothing.

While few people would ever choose to paint a whole room black, the moods it evokes should be discussed since it is a popular accent color. Black actually is not a color. It is seen when there is an absence of all color.

Black represents sophistication, formality, elegance and power. It is also associated with fear, evil, sadness, and mourning.

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