If you have the time, go to Google Images to search ‘earth tones’.  The top 10 images include graphic design, tile, fabric, craft ink, stamp ink, fine art, a social website, makeup, and the Earthtones CD cover is, of course, earth tones. Creative use of color may be one tool to living healthier. Here are five considerations to base color on emotional solutions.

When it comes to bedroom design, the Home Buying Institute says, “Earth tones are always a safe color that will appeal to the majority.” The San Francisco Gate nods to this idea, including that “earth tones are frequently used in craftsman, bungalow and modern architecture. Light earth tones in shades of sand or beige help a small bedroom look larger and brighter.”

In fashion, earth tones are ever present. They are family to all colors on the spectrum. Jenna Lyons dons fashion appeal, sporting a conversation of earth tones with neon.


We first see earth tones similarly. The Exploratorium explains that “vision is how you see the world because light gets into your eyes.” Your eye uses that light to make an image of the world inside your eye—just as a camera uses light to make a photograph.  Vision functions to regulate the interpretation of color, tint, the sharpness of image.

Our behaviors differ despite seeing the same thing. Over-responsivity to light or specific sensations may become a distraction, or possibly cause an avoidance behavior. Under-responsiveness to bright lights, patterns or constant movement suggests a nervous system with a high threshold. Visual stimuli sends information to our nervous system which returns a behavior – like under or over responsiveness – as output.

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Institute, believes we simulate a reaction from the colors we view. “If you think of humans as having ancient memory with a kind of prehensile retention, we all have very basic reactions based on our experience.” In fact, Pantone forecasts color trends based on emotional solutions.

What we see is what we dwell with and deal with. “Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it. What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior,” shares Leslie Harrington, a color consultant and founder of A Center for Color Research.

polyvore – Benjamin Moore Sandy Beaches

Architect Sarah Scott said “the idea of bringing everything back to first principles pervades everything, from the uniform wooden furniture and plain white walls to the open air exposed steel and concrete stairs.” Where do you feel most safe? What product brings you peace? Safety is a good first principal to begin with as you explore how color may be a tool to achieve an emotional state.


the architecture of early childhood

 satisfying spaces