Regarding your home, color has long been used to create feelings of comfort, peace or space. Not only on interior walls, but also on furniture. Throughout history predominant colors have given us insight into a societies mores and beliefs. The Victorian Era was dominated by oppressive dark colors. Primary colors were unheard of. Iron beds were alwayspainted “black” and although some had beautifully decorated brass….the design of their beds were very straight and geometric. Whereas the beds that were produced in France, and are attributed to the Art Nouveau Era, were quite the opposite, with beautiful flowing lines that were sensual in nature and were actually known for mimicking the female form. The French were also known for using a palette of soft pastels on their beds and other household furnishings. Other furniture in the Victorian period was also dark and oppressive. Even the type of woods that were used were traditionally dark woods, such as walnut or cherry. The lighter woods like pine were rarely used. Yet Country French decor was dominated by light waxed natural pine wood. When their furniture was painted, it was with brighter more cheerful colors.
The colors and mood of the Victorian Era went hand in hand. It was a very repressive period in history. Sex, in any manner or fashion, was not only never discussed, but was frowned upon.
How people are affected by different color stimuli varies from person to person. Their gender can be a strong determining factor.
Blue is the favorite choice for close to 35% of all Americans. This is followed by green nearly 16% , purple 10% and red 9%. There is even evidence that color preference can depend on the surrounding temperature. People who tend to be cold, prefer warm colors like red and yellow. People who tend to be warmer, prefer cool colors like blue and green.
Close to 80% of the information which we process through our senses, is visual. But, color does more than just give us information about our surroundings……..it affects our mood and how we feel. Color in our home, the way we decorate, the paint we select, the “finishes” we choose for items in our home, become very important to us because of the time we spend in this environment.
Studies have been done to determine how colors have a psychological effect on our mood……. ranging from peaceful to hostile and from focused to confused. The general temperament of a person can also influence the colors they choose to wear and colors they surround themselves with.
A physiologist will tell you to surround yourself with peaceful colors to eliminate stress and tension. Even bold primary colors can elevate your mood.
Quite often color can be a real dilemma with couples. Men tend to want to surround themselves with either bold bright primary colors or deep rich Browns and earth tones. Women, generally speaking prefer more soothing relaxing colors. So selecting appropriate colors for furniture, window curtains, bed coverings etc. can often be difficult if one of the two parties isn’t willing to bend a little bit.
I’ve been in the antique iron bed business for close to 40 years and have seen the unfortunate arguments couples get in to over the color and “finish” they want me to do on their beds. To lighten the tension is some instances I’ve told the husband or boyfriend that they should feel privileged to be allowed to share the same bed with their other half………..let alone try and influence it’s color and “finish”. I must say this tact doesn’t always work……. but occasionally. But it does always bring a smile.
So when considering the “finish” for your next piece of furniture, wall covering, curtains or sheets for your bed……. ask yourself …… what color brings me the most pleasure and joy? Which color will I want to come home to every day. Guess you have your answer…..