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The psychology of colors: how colors influence our sensations. Editora Olhares re-releases the reference book on the subject that explains the relationship between colors and how they can be best combined. Everyone knows that colors have the ability to transform an environment, making it more pleasant, cozy, calm, or even oppressive. Understanding the relationships we create with colors, relating them to emotions, such as joy, or to sensations, such as tranquility or well-being, are essential in the work of architects, designers, advertisers, and professionals who work with creativity. This combination between colors and feelings does not happen by chance; they are the result of a series of common experiences that are stored in our subconscious. To associate red with luxury, white with purity, or the combination of black, red, and gold with power, is part of this collective repertoire that we acquire throughout life.

This is what The Psychology of Colors, the new title from Editora Olhares, investigates. In all, 13 colors and their chromatic chords (different combinations among themselves) are explained and exemplified over 311 pages. It is the most extensive and complete study of colors ever made, an essential manual for any professional who works with colors, especially designers, architects, decorators, and advertisers. In this article, we exemplify concepts of five of these shades and how they influence the décor.

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  • White: It is the sum of all colors, but also a color in itself for color psychology, since we attribute to it feelings and properties that are not attributed to any other color. New, good, truth, honesty, and innocence are some of the meanings of white, and it is not related to any negative concept. It is the color associated with minimalist design, which emphasizes shapes instead of colors. Even in other styles, white is essential, a base on which other tones gain more prominence.
  • Red: Red, the color associated with all passions, from love to hate, provokes different feelings. It is related to fire, blood, and life. Because it is related to so many strong feelings and symbolisms, it is a color less used in decoration, especially in bright and vibrant tones. Even when used on a piece of furniture or on a single wall, it does not remain in the background, always becoming the protagonist of the environment.
  • Blue: Blue is the favorite color of 46% of men and 44% of women among the two thousand people interviewed for the book. When paired with other colors, blue is associated only with good feelings, which perhaps explains why it’s so popular. Among the feelings associated with blue are sympathy, harmony, friendship, and trust. In the décor, it is associated with cold environments, due to its calming effect, being well suited to bedrooms and spaces for rest and relaxation.
  • Green: Besides its obvious connection with nature, green is also related to other elements and feelings, such as hope, fertility, credibility, and freshness. Although it is the result of the mixture of two primary colors, blue and yellow, in color psychology it is considered primary, because it is elemental in our experience and symbolism. It is considered neither warm nor cold, but in the middle of these extremes, and is an increasingly appreciated color as we age.
  • Yellow: Yellow is considered the most contradictory color of the thirteen analyzed in The Psychology of Colors. This is because the color is associated with several opposing feelings, among them optimism, irritation, jealousy, spontaneity, and joviality, associated with the sun and gold. It is the lightest color of all, which depends on the composition with others to create the desired atmosphere. When combined with white, for example, it looks light, but when combined with black, it looks garish.


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