One important consideration is the position of the colour in the space. The same colour will appear very different on the floor versus on the wall versus on the ceiling. As an experiment, take a large swatch of colour and hold it in each of these three different orientations. The starkest difference is the ceiling orientation, which makes the colour appear grayer. The position of a colour in the space also has a significant impact on the psychological effect of the colour. For example, a rich burgundy carpet on the floor will feel warm, solid, and almost regal. That same burgundy on the ceiling will most likely look heavy, intrusive, and disturbing. So, orientation is a key consideration when you are trying to predict the psychological effect of a colour selection.
Each colour creates a relatively commonly shared set of psychological associations. These associations vary slightly from person to person, and they vary significantly depending on the context and surrounding colours. Still, it is helpful to have a set of general points of reference to better understand the psychological effect that each colour creates.
Common colour associations
• Red -- arousing, exciting, stimulating. It is also considered to be strong and masculine. It is a warm colour and is often thought of as actually hot. It advances relative to other colours, making it appear closer. Red is associated with passion and vigour.
• Pink -- soft, acquiescent, sensuous. As red shifts to pink, it often shifts gender association from masculine to feminine.
• Orange -- exciting, stimulating, intense. The liveliness of orange has an almost whimsical quality that is less serious than red.
• Peach -- soft, sunny, warm. Soft peach has a feminine quality to it.
• Yellow -- luminous, sunny, cheerful. Soft yellows can seem expansive and open, which magnifies the feeling of spaciousness. Intense, pure yellows can seem acidic and irritating in large amounts but whimsical and energizing in smaller amounts.
• Pale yellow -- neutral, expansive. As yellow pales, it loses its colour and requires a cool adjacent colour to react with to have any colour dynamic in the space.