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Color Psychology and Your Baby

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A summary of How Color Psychology Should Play a Role in Your Baby Nursery Color Selection...

This page will give you a brief introduction to color psychology as it relates to babies and their special spaces.

Babies are able to perceive color from the time they are around two to three months old, and just as particular sounds will elicit a particular emotional response in your baby, so too will different colors result in different reactions.

Warm Color Psychology

Warm colors include the red, orange, and yellow sections of the color spectrum.

They will make a large room appear smaller and cozy and they elicit feelings of happiness, comfort and relaxation. However, intense shades tend to be stimulating and exciting and can result in the buildup of too much energy - not what you need for smooth nap times!

While reds add a sense of warmth they can be over stimulating. If you want the warmth of red in your baby's room try toning it down from a bright, vivid red to a more earthy terracotta tone. Also avoid using it on all the walls. Maybe use it on a focus wall and balance it out with a more neutral shade in the rest of the room.

Bright, bold red has been associated with headaches and aggression. However, it is a great accent color. Use it to add a burst of energy and fun to a neutral palette.

Orange is less intense than red and still very warm. Only the most intense of oranges will result in over stimulation while the softer tones will create a place of homely comfort and vitality.

Orange rooms can tend to feel cramped though, so make sure there is an abundance of light before using this color.

Yellow is a bright, sunny color promoting feelings of happiness. It's great for brightening a dim room. However, bold yellows are associated with increased intellectual and muscle activity and if over used can be disturbing - babies have been found to cry more in yellow rooms.

Therefore, bold yellows should be kept to a minimum and used only as an accent color to add sparkle to your nursery design. Soft yellows are calming, however, and are a lovely sunny choice for your baby nursery.

Cool Color Psychology

Cool baby nursery colors include the blue and green sections of the color spectrum.

Lighter shades will make a small baby nursery appear spacious and airy and they are calming and soothing. However, darker shades tend to be depressing and cold so be careful when introducing these.

Blue is a wonderful color for promotion of baby rest times - a key component to a new mom's sanity! It slows down the human nervous system and produces a calming effect that prepares the body for sleep.

As mentioned above, dark blues can be cold and depressing and can zap your baby's energy leaving him listless. However, used sparingly as accent colors in your baby's room, dark blues can have a very striking effect.

Green is a calm, tranquil nursery color promoting feelings of peace and well-being. It is also a refreshing color that can lend vibrancy to an otherwise dim room.

Green can result in a complacent feeling, however, and is best counter-balanced with hot shades of red and orange to inject some energy into the nursery room.

Neutral Color Psychology

Neutral baby nursery colors include brown, beige, cream, ivory and white.

Neutral shades have a warm, relaxing, grounding effect. They enhance the size of the room, unify and tone down bolder colors and go with anything.

Neutral shades are an excellent choice for your baby room making a wonderful anchor for splashes of other bright, fun colors.

Black Color Psychology

Black has a modern, sophisticated connotation and is great for adding a sense of style. However, it is a draining, depressing color as it sucks light and energy from a room. Therefore, it should be used sparingly in your baby nursery.

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In summary:
  • Go for muted, warm colors if you want a warm, happy place for your little one.
  • Use soft, cool colors if you are aiming for a peaceful, restful space.
  • Introduce bold, bright colors as accents with your other warm or cool colors or anchor them with a gorgeous palette of browns and creams.
  • Keep the use of black to a minimum.

You can find more detailed information about color psychology in The Color Scheme Bible: Inspirational Palettes for Designing Home Interiors by Anna Starmer

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I hope this quick overview of color psychology helps you to create the perfect space for your precious little one!

For more baby nursery color choosing tips click here.

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