Color Theory – Choosing Colors to Maximize Productivity in Your Home Office

Ever wondered why restaurants are red, doctor’s offices are white, and beach houses are blue? Color Theory, the collection of guidelines which designers use to communicate with users, is used to create appealing color schemes in visual interfaces (be those websites, offices, or rental homes).

There are a couple of technical terms that go into understanding color theory, and how it is used.

  • Monochromatic: taking one hue and creating other elements from different shades and tints. This is something typically used in nurseries. Different calming shades of grey or blue create a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Analogous: three colors located beside one another on the color wheel
  • Complementary: use of “opposite color” pairs. This is something one would see in an elementary school – the bright, contrasting colors energize and excite.
  • Triadic: three colors which are equally distant on the color wheel. While these colors may not be vibrant, the color scheme can be used to maintain harmony and high contrast. It is easier to use triadic colors for decorating, not only to give you more options, but to split from a standard complementary pattern.

In order to understand those, a brief review of the color wheel, for anyone who may have forgotten.

A quick way to remember it? ROYGBIV. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

Never underestimate the power that paint, or decor, can have in a home office. Your workspace is all about productivity, so if you’re looking for basic colors to increase your effectiveness while decorating your home office, there are a few important ones.

  • Red is a stimulating color meant to evoke a strong physical response. This is a great color if you have a demanding or energetic job. Constantly going to meetings or working with clients? Red will keep you energized and engaged throughout the day.

While it may be a little overwhelming to suddenly paint your walls red, this is a great color to use to compliment your office. Throw up a picture frame or two in a bright red, or add a cute desk chair, like the one below from wayfair.com.

  • If you are looking for something more calming than red, blue is a soothing color, helping to aid concentration. With better concentration comes more productivity. As one of the most popular office colors, blue supports clear communication and helps maintain a calm, put-together attitude throughout the day.

Is your office looking a little dingy? Repainting a small space is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Check out your local Lowes or Sherwin Williams for a can of light blue paint. With a few coats, your office is sure to look better than ever.

  • Yellow is a more emotional color than red or blue. It is meant to energize and radiate positivity – think: sunflowers. With more motivation, you can feel confident that you’ll get the job done.

If looking for a new paint color, a light yellow is your best bet. Not only will this brighten your room, it is subtle enough to blend with the office decor you currently have. If adding accessories, grab a bright yellow throw or pillow to put in your office. Or, a picture or wall hanging is a great way to add a bright splash of the color.

  • When looking for more balance, or patience, green is a harmonic color, sure to help. Green can create a sense of calmness and reassurance, similar to light blue. By increasing your patience and willingness to work with others, this color can help you become a team player. If you typically start your day with yoga or a meditative practice, before diving into work, green is a great way to carry that “zen” feeling throughout your day.
  • If you find yourself distracted easily, mind jumping from one task to another, consider warm white colors for your home office. These colors are great to avoid distractions, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. Also, white is the easiest color to match with accessories, furniture, and other decor you already have on hand. Any shade of white or light color works, from gray-beige to snow white.

Still not sure what shade to paint your home office? Try a few key decor items first – a desk chair, a pillow, curtains. By adding a few splashes of color to your home office, you are sure to increase your productivity and add interest for any virtual meetings.

Bring color theory into your home, finding a balance of colors and finding your theme. Whether you choose monochromatic white and grey for a modern, professional ambiance, or bright yellow for a cheerful, energetic space, color theory will help you find an appealing design for your office.

If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, or want to keep these suggestions in mind, check out our Color Theory Downloadable Guide!

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