Psychologists tell us that color accounts for 60 percent of our emotional response to a room. When selecting flooring for your home or office, your color choices will impact the energy level, mood, and productivity of everyone in the space.
Green is a great flooring color choice for people who sit in front of a computer for long periods of time, and its soothing quality makes it ideal for nearly any room. It causes the least amount of eyestrain and is mentally associated with nature, which is calming. Green is tranquil, invigorating, restful, and balancing.
Like green, blue is also a calming color that represents stability and recalls the beauty of nature. It is thought to lower blood pressure by provoking a sense of calmness and peace, and it promotes clear, meditative thinking.
Use yellow to promote a positive, cheerful, friendly work environment. Yellow activates memory, stimulates the nervous system, promotes communication, and sparks creativity. It is welcoming, sunny, associated with happiness and health, and works well to brighten up darker areas such as stairways and corridors. Yellow is a powerful color, and should be used in moderation, since in large amounts it can be overstimulating.
The color of love, red, is associated with high energy and an elevated heart rate. It is passionate, daring, and stimulates the appetite. Since it can provoke such a strong mental reaction, it should be used sparingly in a business setting. Given that red has the potential to result in anxious, high-stress employees, it is best confined to areas where they don’t spend too much time, like hallways and bathrooms.
Neutral colors are useful for calming and balancing a space, but they carry little emotional appeal. While they are good, basic, safe choices, overusing white, gray, and beige can have adverse effects on an individual’s psyche.
Color can also alter perception of the size of a room. To make a room seem more intimate, choose a floor covering darker than the room’s walls – dark blue, purple, and rich browns will create a cozier feel. The floor color defines the boundaries of the room, moving the eye downward. On the other hand, a lighter floor color reflects more light, making a room appear more expansive, so smaller rooms should have brighter flooring to open them up. Install lighter shades of carpeting, hardwood, and stone to make the room feel larger than it actually is.
When choosing flooring, it is important to consider the patterns and colors at work in the room. If you already have colorful walls, bold furniture, and patterned throw pillows, you should choose flooring that is more subtle and muted. On the other hand, if your walls are bland and furniture is basic, jazz it up with a herringbone pattern for your hardwood flooring, or add interest by creating a patterned tile design.
Color is a subtle, yet critical, element of design. The power it has to shape the way we feel about a room is almost magical. Used properly, the right color combinations foster productivity, cheerfulness, creativity, and energy, transforming a room from a space into an experience.