Happy Monday (not!) and welcome back,
Here at the Madison Seating blog, furniture is not only our business but also our passion, and we endeavor to share that passion with the greater furniture loving community at large by touching on a diverse range of furniture related topics. The one aspect of furniture that is perhaps most fascinating of all, (to myself at least) is the apparent subliminal psychological effect certain aspects of our everyday furniture can have on our lives.
I first encountered the phenomenon in an article I posted only a few weeks back entitled “Emotional Instability Caused by…Wobbly Furniture!?”, detailing the apparent effects of unstable furniture on our attitudes and emotional health, but I recently came across an equally fascinating article on the psychological impact individual colors and color combinations and how they affect people in profound, subconscious ways.The following are some excerpts of the original suite101.com article, posted last year.
Color In Public Spaces
Walk into a fast food establishment, pause momentarily and look at the paint colors on the walls, colors in the furniture, and on the menu signage. Most likely there is a predominant use of red, orange and yellow. These ‘hot’ colors speed up the metabolism, cause blood pressure to rise and increase appetite. You may realize that you order more food, eat faster and leave the restaurant quicker due to the subliminal effect of the colors.
Within jails pink is used in a unique way. It is painted on walls where drunk, aggressive people are placed. In a short time aggressive behavior stops and intoxicated individuals become more sober. Pink has a tranquillizing, muscle-relaxing effect on the subconscious. The director of the Institute of Biosocial Research in Tacoma, Washington, Dr. Alexander Schauss, says, “even if a person tried to be aggressive or angry, he can’t. It’s a tranquillizing color that seems to sap your energy. Even the color blind are tranquillized by the pink rooms.”
Dr. Oscar Brunler, a Scandinavian physicist and doctor, is known for scientific research in the field of color therapy. One of his discoveries involves the consumption of alcohol, with slightly intoxicated individuals. Test results showed people placed under red lighting continue to drink freely, while those placed under yellow-orange lights refuse alcohol.
For those doubting the powerful effects of color therapy, Dr. Brunler explains that when we speak of color, it is the energy waves we are referring to. He believes that colors are far more powerful than medicines. Scientific proof exist that colors possess energetic, vibration qualities. So it’s not difficult to recognize these energetic vibrations actually affect the energetic vibrations of our bodies.
Color In Ancient Cultures
Remarkably, the use of colors to influence and heal people is traced back centuries to the golden age of Greece, the Egyptian healing temples and the Hindu religion. Within these different societies, color therapy was recognized as a powerful healing method. In contemporary cultures, Indians burn gemstones into powders and sell the ashes as medicine. These powdered stones, called Bhasmas, can be purchased throughout India.
In ancient cultures, clothing was not worn only to look attractive but to evoke feelings relating to deities. Remember the ceremonial purple robes of religious leaders? Purple is the color which represents divinity, peace, tranquility. When looking at purple, people subconsciously respond with these emotions. Add purple to your wardrobe to evoke these subconscious emotions from people around you. By wearing purple, the calming energy vibration will flow into your aura and help you to feel more calm and peaceful.
Healing Qualities of Color
Throughout history color has been used to treat specific ailments. Color healing methods include using gemstones, colored clothes, sipping color solarized water, eating specific colored foods, visualizing and breathing specific colors or shining colored lights directly onto the skin. The famous psychic, Edgar Cayce, prescribed color treatments for thousands of people. He would view a person’s aura and determine where an imbalance existed. He might then prescribe placing a colored cloth over a specific area of the body or perhaps drinking color solarized water to help cure the ailment.
Some people believe drinking water infused with the vibration qualities of color will help heal specific ailments. To solarize water place it into a colored vessel, such as a green glass pitcher. Place the pitcher in direct sunlight for at least one hour. The solarized water is then sipped over a period of time, not ingested as a full glass. Proponents of drinking colored water believe it aids in healing specific ailments, balances energy and creates overall good health. For example, if a person is feeling overly irritated and nervous, which is caused by an overabundance of red, sipping on blue solarized water may help replace the needed blue color in their aura. By drinking the calming, soothing blue water the person’s energy begins to quiet and the red is replaced by the more peaceful blue vibration
Contemporary Use of Color
In today’s world, color is used in room interiors, advertising and hundreds of other ways to subliminally influence the masses. Professionals who work with colors are aware of how colors powerfully influence people. Colors influence us to buy products, evoke reactions in interior spaces, feel healthier or more exhausted. It is amazing how we are subliminally affected throughout our daily lives.
Here are some examples how of colors influence people:
- Several years ago, a London company painted their massive gray machinery a light orange color. Overall morale improved in the once-disgruntled employees, accidents decreased and employees were documented as singing while they worked.
- In another company, employees complained that the black metal boxes they packed pipes into were so heavy they were straining their backs. Without their knowledge, the black boxes were painted green. Employees were instantly elated with the ‘new, lightweight’ metal boxes.
- In operating rooms, sheets and gowns are a pale blue, which calms and soothes people. Some rehabilitative hospitals use different shades of red, orange and/or yellow to energize depressed patients. Techniques such as projecting specific colors onto walls, painting waiting rooms calming colors or using colors on floors to speed up the sensation of moving faster are other techniques used in healing institutions.
- Salesmen placed in a red meeting room and a green meeting room, with no way to tell the time, will perceive the length of meetings differently. When asked, salesmen in the red room will estimate the meeting was much longer, while salesmen in the green room will estimate the time to be shorter.
- A famous bridge in England, Blackfriars Bridge, had an unsettling reputation for suicides. The original black iron work of the bridge was re-painted green and suicides declined by one-third.
- A past athletic director at the University of New Mexico painted his team’s locker room bright red which stimulates the heart rate and metabolism while intensifying aggressive feelings. He painted the opponent’s locker room pale blue, the color that evokes calm, passive behavior.