What’s Your Color Personality?

Discover the psychological meaning behind your preference for green, yellow, orange, red, purple or blue decor.

A colorful apartment in Boston’s Back Bay by Frank Roop Design Interiors (photo by Eric Roth).

Color is a powerful tool that has been known to affect our emotions and behavior. Advocates of color psychology believe that the colors we use to decorate our homes are not just a matter of aesthetics but are also reflections of our personalities.

For instance, people who gravitate toward warm tones tend to be more outgoing and enjoy connecting with others. Colors like red, yellow and orange are usually better suited for the kitchen, living room and dining room because they are thought to stimulate conversation.

On the other end of the spectrum, blues, greens and lavenders are known for their relaxing and soothing effects. They convey a sense of freshness and rejuvenation. These colors are wonderful for the bedroom, bathroom and home office. Individuals who prefer cool tones are generally soft-spoken and introspective.

So what does your proclivity toward certain shades say about you?


Red

Clockwise from top: The living room of a New York duplex by Doug Meyer Studio (photo by Mark Roskams); postmodern lamp, 1980s; Texcoco; woven pillow, early 20th century; Milo Baughman armchair, 1970s; woven pillow, early 20th century.

People who choose red embrace their fiery side and seek excitement in their lives. They are the daredevils and thrill-seekers of this world. They are warm and passionate, but also a little impulsive. Due to its aggressive nature, red usually works best as an accent color.


Orange

Left: The dining room of a Tribeca, New York, townhouse by Sara Gilbane Interiors (photo by Zach DeSart). Right: Art Deco side chair, early 20th century.

If you are attracted to orange tones, then your personality radiates energy and vitality. You are the social butterfly, the nurturer, the conversation starter. You are a cheerful person who appreciates the company of others and has a knack for entertaining. To arouse your appetite, add some pumpkin-orange or tangerine furnishings to your dining room.


Yellow

Top: The kitchen of a country house in Monlaur, France, by Samantha Todhunter Design (photo by Oliver Clarke). Bottom: Cathrineholm Lotus-pattern bowls, 1960s.

Associated with sunshine and roaring fires, yellow is uplifting and provides an expansive feeling. Those of you who identify with the color yellow, are typically optimistic — always looking on the bright side of life. For a cozy kitchen with lots of natural wood, paint your walls a buttery yellow.


Blue

Clockwise from top: The bathroom of Petit Trois restaurant in Los Angeles by Hancock Design (photo by Chris Patey); Henredon campaign chest, 1960s; Fontana Arte towel racks, 1990s; filigreed pendant lights, 1920s.

Blue is for those with a gentle and compassionate demeanor. If you are drawn to the color blue, then you are a dependable and trustworthy person who values peace and harmony in your everyday life. A light blue can be a lovely choice for a serene, Mediterranean-style bathroom.


Green

Left: The office and study of a flat in London’s Holland Park by Beata Heuman (photo by Graham Atkins Hughes). Right: Johannes Andersen armchair in Nanna Ditzel fabric, 1965.

Those who are fond of green are practical and down to earth. They are the advice-givers and thrive on helping others. They enjoy the great outdoors and reconnecting with nature. Mixing paler shades of green with wood tones will give your office an organic, natural feel.


Purple

Clockwise from top: The living room of a townhouse by Fox-Nahem Associates (photo by Pieter Estersohn); CF Modern Twenty Twenty bench, new; Persian rug, 2000.

Purple is for the witty and highly individualistic personalities who prosper in creative environments. They have a strong desire to be unique and tend to march to the beat of their own drum. Lavender walls and deep purple accents will add a dramatic flair to your living room.