Pablo Picasso once said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”

Let’s set the scene… you’re driving and spot a red sign up ahead. Without being able to make out the words, you prepare to stop. You arrive at a gender reveal party where they cut a cake, revealing blue frosting. You’re seeking a healthy dinner and decide to try the restaurant with the green logo.  If you read that paragraph and thought “stop sign, baby boy, farm to table restaurant”, then you passed the test of color associations. 

From a young age, we are trained that red means hot while blue means cold, green means go while red means stop, pink is for girls and blue is for boys, and so on. Understanding colors, and the associations they carry, helps artists and designers do what they do best. 

Elyssa Dorf, Founder and Creative Director of Cheery Designs, takes a special interest in the world of color. Her motto is “when you can’t choose a color, choose the rainbow.” She is fascinated by not only how colors make you feel on their own, but also how colors transform when they are side by side. For example, green on its own can appear nature-like and zen until it’s paired with red, and now you think of Christmas. Elyssa uses this knowledge of color and color mixing to create her own line of “Cheery Art” for her business Cheery Designs.

While art has always been an important finishing touch for a home or home office, now more than ever, we need our spaces to bring us joy. Elyssa’s art is colorful, whimsical, and meant to be the focal point of rooms. She’s aware that a pop of color can command a room and makes pieces to order based on people’s preferred colour schemes.

The proven healing powers of color are actually powerful beyond its properties as a mood booster. Numerous scientific studies discuss color as having healing characteristics, and the centuries-old method of “color medicine” highlights just how long this concept as been around. Phototherapy was practiced in countries including Egypt, China, India and Greece, using sunlight as well as primary colors for their healing qualities.

In addition, in an article by The Farthing about how color psychology positively impacts interior design, it explains how color choices in rooms can hugely impact people mentally and physically. For example, blue can bring down blood pressure and heart rate, whereas orange can evoke enthusiasm. Purple is known to have a restful quality, whereas yellow is known to exude happiness and comfort, bringing optimism and a sense of refreshment.

For many of us, our home office was something we used maybe a couple times a month if that. It’s not surprising that so many of us have struggled with the challenges that have arisen from working in the same space within our homes for months on end. The power of interior design in your work from home space must not be underestimated, and the right colors could be the mood booster that your work space has been lacking.

The effects of certain colors are almost instant when we open our minds to the benefits. Artwork can serve as a moment of calm, a token of nostalgia, motivation or aspiration. So first, it is time to reevaluate your space and how it makes you feel, and get started on decorating by adding color and cheer to your walls.