Decorating for the Senses: Sight

Posted by on July 8, 2014

This is part of a series on Decorating for the Senses. Previously we went in-depth on the sense of smell with aromatherapy.

When we think of interior design, the sense that is probably first to mind is sight. How a room looks plays an enormous part in the human experience of the room. (Duh, right?) That’s what we spend the most time on, isn’t it? Putting together furniture, fixtures and finishes so it’s pleasing to the eye.

One of the most important aspect of that overall design plan that can greatly impact the look and feel of a room is color. Color is light, and light is energy that is received by the eye and transmitted to the brain and translated into what we perceive as red, blue, or lavender. Every color has a distinct frequency that has both a psychological effect and a physiological effect on the body.

When thinking about the functionality of a space –how it’s used by the person living or working there – it’s important to match the color effect to the function. For example, red literally raises one’s blood pressure and increases energy. It’s also the color of love and passion, so it’s little wonder why a lot of people think, hey, this is great for the bedroom!

But ask yourself – is raising blood pressure and generating excitement conducive to getting a peaceful night’s sleep? (The “other” primary purpose of a bedroom after all.) Not really. That’s why I say, “no red in the bed” and use red very sparingly as an accent color. I would recommend against painting all four bedroom walls red or having red sheets.

With the sense of sight in mind, here’s a handy chart of colors, their effect on the mind and the bod, as well as optimal uses in your room design plans.

Color Cues rev