COLOUR ME ENTERTAINED
CREATING JUST the right mood when you’re hosting a gathering or overnight guests can be as simple as paying attention to your colour scheme – and science. Much research has been done on the correlation between colour and emotion, including a study of college students asked to assign feelings for colours they were shown. Unsurprisingly, blue was linked with calm and yellow with happy. Aside from such universal associations, we’re also affected by a colour’s intensity, says graphic design- er and textile artist Susan Anderson: “The minute you put white in a colour and raise it into a very high pastel, whether it’s a warm colour (yellow) or a cool colour (blue), it’s going to give a sense of comfort.”
Anderson has been teaching colour psychology at Toronto’s Sheridan and Seneca Colleges for nearly 15 years and notes that soft pastels can also help inspire forgiveness – should your family politics require a little of that, too.
To add some oomph, red is the way to go, as it stimulates appetite and conversation. But use it with prudence; one wall or table accents like linens or flowers are enough to do the trick, advises Anderson. If yellow’s not your thing, boost cheerfulness with wood and warm metallics. And if you’re looking to impress the crowd, she says, reach for rich colours including garnet, hunter green and deep purple, which evoke wealth, influence and stature. But use sparingly, she recommends, as otherwise you may end up intimidating guests – unless of course, that’s what you’re going for! —TL