Imagine how you would feel walking into a stark white room versus the same room with walls painted with an enveloping comforting earth tone such as golden bisque. You would feel very different in each of those two rooms, wouldn’t you?
Color has the power to change the entire energy of an environment and is very important to consider when creating a space that feels good. Color can change a mood, activate your emotions, and affect your subconscious. The impact of color is greater than just what you see through your eyes; it also has a vibration that affects you both physiologically and psychologically.
In addition, your reaction to color is cultural and depends on your traditions and beliefs. For example, in America, people wear white at weddings, whereas in Taiwan, where I grew up, people wear white at funerals, so culturally speaking, white means something different depending on whether you are American or Chinese.
Color likes and dislikes are also very personal, so I always advise clients to stay away from using charts that list what colors are good for the various rooms in the home. I prefer to work with what feels good to them. Although every color has a meaning in feng shui, it doesn’t make sense for me to suggest that someone paint a room blue just because it’s a good feng shui color for that room if the person doesn’t even like the color blue.
Feng shui color systems
There are multiple color systems used in feng shui that can cause confusion at times: bagua, five elements, and rainbow spectrum, to name a few. The bagua color system uses green to represent new life and growth, purple to symbolize wealth and abundance, and pink to represent love and marriage. You can use these meanings as your intention when you choose colors.
The five elements color system, uses the colors green, red, yellow, white, and black, and assigns meanings to each of these colors. You can choose to use these colors to represent the elemental qualities that you desire to enhance such as red for action (fire), yellow for stability (earth), and green for growth (wood).
The rainbow spectrum color system is based on having all the colors of the rainbow in a space to create a positive feeling in a room or in a home.
Psychological color attributes
Interestingly, the discipline of psychology also has a color attribute chart that provides information on the subconscious impact that colors have on people. Some of this is very similar to the feng shui color attribute chart and is useful when you want to find colors that evoke certain emotions. For example, the psychological chart I have says that yellow represents joy and happiness, grey pulls down energy, and red provides energy and stimulates the appetite.
Bring in the essence of nature
When it comes to color, if you are not a trained interior designer with experience in picking out colors, keeping it simple is safest. Color and color strips can be confusing if you are not an expert, but by following the guidance that nature has set forth for us, we can appear as though we are experts.
My advice is always, when in doubt, use colors you would find in nature. Look at your favorite landscape image, or go to the park. The colors you see in nature are the colors that you can bring into your home without making a mistake. We never tire of looking at nature, so by choosing shades of our favorite colors from nature, you can create an environment that is based on nature’s perfection.
[Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD’s. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.]