Brown……and What Other Colors May Mean In The Home

When selling a home  the first thing most people are told is to  ”paint” it.

When one looks at a new home, first impressions focus on the paint.

So when it comes to color, most will see the color “BROWN” or cousins of brown in a home.

Color influences our emotions, actions and response to other people. 

In general brown (in a home) covers an array of colors:  sienna, bay , sand, wood, auburn, chestnut, nut-brown, cinnamon, russet, tawny, chocolate, tan, brunette, fawn, liver-colored, oak, bronze, terra-cotta, toast, umber, cocoa, coffee, copper, ecru, ginger, hazel, khaki, ochre, puce and puce (this listing was found in an article by Jacci Howard Bear).

Beige is the chameleon, taking on the warmth of brown and the color of white.  Other shades of beige used in the home include buff, camel, oatmeal, tan, sand, biscuit, cream and mushroom.  But it is brown.

So why brown?  One word—–Earthiness

As one reads about brown they will read words such as steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, solid, dependable.

When used with it cousins (tan, taupe, beige or cream) brown coveys the feeling of warmth, honesty and wholesomeness.  Brown is closer to nature or being closes to “natural”.  It can stand out or it can be sub-due.

Brown circumvents problems that other colors may have.  With its’ variation of shades it conveys different meanings and can stand out significantly.  When used in a large area the quantity and placement can deliver a powerful symbolism.

When used in various shapes and in combination with other colors, brown combinations tend to be easy to accept.

For instance the color blue is said to be calming and many believe that it brings peace and keeps bad spirits away.  Therefore blue often times is suggested as a color for the bedroom. However if over done blue can dampen ones’ spirit.  I like blue but I do not think it is a color for me in the bedroom.

Talking about colors influencing other people, I recall reading about painting visitors sports area pink.  It is thought that the pink color (especially bright pink) decreases the opposing teams energy.

As stated brown symbolizes the earth, order and convention.  Here is a listing of what other colors symbolize:

  • red:  action, confidence, courage, vitality.  Tiger Woods often will wear red something on the final day of a golf tournament.  A show of confidence. Red is said to stimulate the appetite therefore one may see restaurants use this color for decorating.
  • pink:  love and beauty.  Pink is said to be a tranquilizer.  As mentioned above sport teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.
  • orange:  vitality and endurance.  Orange is a color used most often in water wear and safety clothing.
  • gold:  wealth, wisdom and prosperity.
  • yellow:  wisdom, joy and happiness.  A study showed that jails painted yellow had inmates that lost their tempers more frequently and babies cry more in yellow rooms.  Yellow legal pads is said to enhance concentration.
  • green:  life, nature, fertility, well being.  This color has now become the standard when one addresses conservation, ecology and earth warming.  It is stated that people just before appearing on TV will sit in a “green room” so as to relax.
  • blue:  youth, spirituality, truth, peace.  When one is planning to be interviewed for a job most consultants will recommend wearing blue to the interview because it implies loyalty.  Studies have shown that people are more productive in blue rooms. Gyms painted blue are typical for weightlifters.
  • purple:  royalty, magic, mystery.
  • Indigo:  intuition, meditation, deep contemplation.  But many people believe that indigo can be a negative color and has to be adopted narrowly.
  • white:  purity and cleanliness.  White is the color of brides symbolizing innocence; other countries view white as the color for mourning and is used extensively at funerals.  Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility.
  • black:  death, earth, stability, submission.  Black is used in fashion because it makes people appear thinner.  Also villains wear black. 
  • gray:  sorrow, security, maturity. 

So brown is used extensively in the home because it tends to circumvent many of the issues of culture, symbolism, and shapes.