We all know that the state of our homes can affect our mood. But it wasn’t until our friends at the online design service Decorist tipped us off to a certain Minnesota State University study that we realized just how powerful color can be. The key findings? Red increases stress, while green and white decrease stress. Whoa. Since we could all use a little more zen at home, we asked Decorist’s design team for the color schemes they rely upon time and time again for the ultimate dose of mellow.
“Peaceful and calm, blue paint colors can calm your mind, lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety and even slow your heart rate,” says Decorist marketing director Julia Millay-Walsh. “For a calming effect in a bedroom, sitting room or other relaxing space, choose a soft, quiet shade.”
“After spending time in green rooms, the MSU study found [that] subjects had lower stress rating scores compared to red rooms. Green paints with beige or pale yellow undertones are suggested to be the most stress-relieving shades,” she explains.
3. Soft Pinks
“While bright, vivid pinks like fuchsia or dark pinks that are nearly red may actually increase your stress levels, soft dusty shades of pink, which have a heavy dose of white, can have a peaceful, calming effect. Look for pastel pinks that won’t overstimulate you.”
“Unsurprisingly, whites can also be remarkably calming. The MSU study found that, like green rooms, white rooms could reduce stress levels. However, subtle differences in tone can actually cause very different reactions. To create a calming environment, stick to clean, bright whites and avoid dull paints or those with dark, moody undertones.”
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