illus of two groups of people – one colorful, the other painted in neutrals

Go Bold or Play It Safe? Survey Reveals Homeowner Paint Color Perceptions

People say they’re ready for more vibrant colors, but many may still play it safe with neutrals.

That is one of the findings of the 2017 National Painting Week Color Psychology Study by Harris Poll on behalf of Sherwin-Williams. The study included an online survey and analysis of social media posts that include colors and areas of a home.

Gray areas

When it comes to color preference, there is a lot of gray. In social media conversation about colors mentioned with areas of the home, most people talk about neutrals, particularly white and black.

However, when asked directly, the majority say that more vibrant colors should be used throughout the home, such as red, blue and green rather than just neutral colors.

As part of the 2017 National Painting Week, Sherwin-Williams demonstrated the impact of color by refreshing hundreds of community organizations, sharing these new research findings and providing insights from color psychologist Sally Augustin and its own color expert, Sue Wadden.

“Homeowners shouldn’t stress when trying new colors, and many will likely find it is a worthwhile endeavor,” says Augustin, principal at Design with Science, a cognitive science-based design consultation firm.

The effect of color choice

Vibrant colors can have positive psychological effects. Emerald greens can be energizing, seeing red can give a boost of strength and yellow can provide a sense of warmth.

Blue might be a good choice for homeowners considering more vibrant colors, with 62 percent of survey respondents selecting blue as one of the colors they like most. The strong preference for blue is consistent across genders, regions and age. Many people also said they associate blue with calmness (45 percent).

“In the case of blue, it’s often subconsciously linked to trust, dependability, and competence and can also be associated with rest and provide a cooling sensation – making it a great choice for a bedroom or office,” says Augustin.

The color black is the second-most popular color (32 percent), followed by red (31 percent).

Check out our downloadable infographic.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of PPC magazine. Get more color info and ideas on the Sherwin-Williams contractor website.