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Color tricks that change the perception of your home!

jerrimae gutierrez

    Jul 31, 2021

    23 Minutes


Adding yellow increases focus, while hints of red allude to passion. However, when combined with some color tricks ideas, such impact may suddenly change!

The Psychology of Colors

Choosing the color for your home’s exterior and interior is vital. Often, 70% of the ambiance that one can feel is attributed to the hues of the room. Colors can do a lot. It could set one’s mood, change one’s perspective, and a lot more. For example, deep blue encourages efficiency and light blue gives a sense of peace. Yellow increases focus while red deepens passion. Colors don’t have to be extreme to get the message across. Orange can be used to expand one’s thinking, but it doesn’t mean that all your walls should be painted to a jack-o-lantern shade of orange. It could be an accent piece such as a thinking chair, a pillow, or a lampshade.

All of the colors have different psychological meanings and will affect people in various ways. Colors have implications for people which have been evolutionarily and socially enforced. And it would be best if you considered the influence of these colors as you decide for your home.

Color Impacts Emotions and Behaviors

According to the chart above by CoSchedule, orange portrays energy yet is inviting and friendly. It is a balanced color. Color can make us feel happy or sad. It can make us feel hungry or relaxed. It’s crucial for you to know the psychological effect color has on an individual and the intended room or place that color will encompass.

Color influences Men and Women Differently

Hallock’s study on gender-based color preferences showed that women preferred softer colors over brighter colors while men chose otherwise. Among all the colors included, blue tops the list as the most preferred color, 57% from men’s and 35% from women’s. See the pie charts below for a more detailed analysis of these gender-based color preferences.

In another study, in terms of color mixtures, findings revealed that men liked achromatic colors like shades of gray or pure colors. Men find these colors along with forest green, brown and beige, blue (from light, medium to navy blue), bright yellow, black and white attractive and appropriate to their modern home designs. 

Meanwhile, women preferred tints and bright colors. Most adult girls like lighter colors that include blue and white, pink, light gray or shades of a blue-green color palette. According to research, about 15% of women go for light gray for their interior paints because it is elegant, modern, and calming. The other 15%, on the other hand, prefer cream and bright yellow, 11% like blue, and for another 9%, tints of red, pink, and lavender seemed best.  

More than 30% of women go for white and off-white for ceiling and wall painting purposes because of its proven impact on creating spacious, fresh, and modern interior designs.

Different Cultures drives different color emotions

A single color can have different meanings across different cultures. White is a typical wedding and celebration color, but for those with an Asian background, it represents a color of mourning. But then why do we still have all-white kitchens in design and why is it popular? Well, white in that case has a completely different meaning … sterile and clean or pure. Plus add another color and then white becomes the backdrop. 

They say blue is the color of calm across all cultures. With all that said, there are some general rules for applying color universally and some of which are given below:


Accent Colors

In combining home furnishings, wall paints, and home decors with different colors, one must note the set of color combinations that should be used to give the room a cohesive, finished look. One way to determine the color combination is to pick the room's accent color ahead of time. Accent color refers to the pops of colors that catch one attention immediately upon entering the room. It could be any color that stands out from the color of the surroundings, like sets of decorations and home furnishings in red hues on a white wall paint or a group of white decorations on a blue interior. Accent colors could be vivid and bold colors like yellow, orange, and red or more toned-down colors such as gray, brown, or darker shades as long as it is strategically combined with the other colors. Examples of proven accent color combinations are gray and blue, which induces a peaceful and calming ambiance, or brown and pink  to achieve an environment-friendly look that looks chic and decent like the photos below:

Contrasting colors

Aside from deciding upon which accent colors to use, another way to combine colors properly is by taking into consideration the colors that provide maximum contrast against another. Contrasting colors are colors that are direct across from one another on the color wheel and they are also known as complementary colors. Blue beige and red-orange are examples given by the color spectrum below.

Combining the colors above creates a fresh and lively effect perfect for creating a stylish look in one’s home. If you’re curious about what these types of combinations look like, take a peek at some of the photos below:  

Color Wheel of the Interior Design

Because there are many sets of colors, interior designers may find it hard to pick a color palette that fits well in one’s interior. Good thing, the color wheel exists. Designers use them to define spaces and compile color schemes. But how do designers use them? 

Continue reading to discover some more color rules employed by interior designers to create winning color combinations for everyone’s home.

Warm vs. cool colors

This rule utilizes warm and cool colors in one's design. Vibrant colors like red, orange, and yellow, as well as the neutrals like brown and tan, are considered warm colors. Meanwhile, cool colors are seen on the other side of the spectrum. Some of which are blue, green, purple, and gray. Take a look at the photos below for examples of how designers incorporate this in one's home interior.

The 60-30-10 rule

Choose three colors and pick which one of them--normally, the most neutral or subdued hue will be used to cover 60% of the room. The other color, normally bolder, takes up 30% of the space, and the boldest shade will be used for the remaining 10% of the room. Take a look at the photos below, for example.

The analogous color scheme

Like the 60-30-10 rule, this scheme employs three colors, but they were utilized differently. The rule is to use two out of three primary colors, and the third one will be a mix of the two. For example, if they chose red and yellow, the third dominating color should be orange. See the photo below, for example.

While this won’t be part of the general rules, being knowledgeable about the next topic may be a wonderful addition to your list, I’m talking about ... 

Color Tricks


Let’s start with the infamous “dress.” Way back in 2015, the dress became a polarizing viral topic. Some people saw the dress as white and gold, while others saw the dress as blue and black. Well, actually, the dress has only one version, and it’s the blue and black dress, but still, individuals from each camp could not see eye to eye and frantically sought to understand why they saw one set of colors while others did not.

Your eyes can be tricked into believing it is one or the other by the lighting and background colors around the dress. A paper published in the Journal of Vision explained the science behind the dress’s shifting colors. “When your brain tries to figure out what color something is, it essentially subtracts the lighting and background colors around it,” or, as the neuroscientist interviewed by Wired Magazine says, tries to ‘discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis.’ This is why you can identify an apple as red whether you see it at noon or dusk.”

For those who find the notion of having shifting interior colors fun, harnessing the power of this color trick is recommended. Take, for example, the interior of Chromaflair, a compact home office and bathroom renovation inside one of the penthouses at 56 Leonard Street. White/green marble finishing was used to design the attached bathroom. Still, when you take a closer look at the marble when sunlight passes through the blue glass in a geometric pattern, the marble’s color is seen differently compared to the color of marble that is not covered with the blue glass.

The room’s name, “Chromaflair,” probably came from the name of a unique and multi-layer pigment flake that has the same name. These pigment flakes give paints, coatings, plastics, textiles, and packaging the ability to change color depending on the angle at which it is viewed and the angle of incidence light. Currently, there are seven standard colors offered by VIAVI Solution, and the names of these pigment flakes were inspired by the color seen at approximately 0° and 45°, respectively.

Color Concept

Another color trick is using combinations, as seen below. It almost resonates with the first example; however, the color changes are not as drastic as the previously mentioned dress in this article. These sets of color combinations can only trick how you perceive the brightness of the inner circle’s color depending on the background color. This color trick strategy is made possible through the concept of Color Context. Notice how the yellow color of the inner circle on the upper left changes as its background color changes from bright yellow to bright red.

Another example would be the image below. The chess set may appear as if the upper chess set is white and the bottom set is black. Well, actually, both groups have the same color. The background just changed.

Color tricks that employ color context ideas are perfect with home decors. Take a look at the plant's color on a blue wall versus the color of the plant on a white wall. See how the background color makes some difference in the color of the plant.


I hope you find this information valuable and interesting in planning for your next property construction or renovation in Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, or even Burnaby! Don't forget to share this information with your future renovator, custom home builder, or general contractor just in case you're not planning to get an interior designer.

Colors play a vital role in how we perceive our home. Thus it is crucial to consider how colors impact emotion and behavior and how it influences gender and cultures. Knowing the proper color combination and the various rules for using them is beneficial too. For those who want to get a little artsy, incorporating color tricks using the different color concepts is highly recommended. Color tricks will not only induce creative imaginations, but they are also helpful in creating a joyful vibe as long it is done correctly.

Try to consider the end-user of the space and incorporate this while selecting your next theme for your home. Ultimately it's your place, and you can decide to have it just the way you want it to be. 

This article was last updated on Aug 11, 2022