Basic black

Associated with death and grief but also with mystery and the unknown, black is an inward-looking color, absorbing and silent. Used with care it can be dramatic and powerful, but in excess it can be overwhelming or depressing, soaking up energy and vitality.

Cool colors
Where to use--bedrooms, bathrooms, meditation and therapy rooms.
How to use--cool colors recede and can give an illusion of space.

Crisp greens

Sitting on the cusp between the warm and cool colors, green offers a sense of balance, that can exhibit itself in indecision. Green reminds us of the abundance of nature and is both restful and energizing. Green is closely linked to healing, and color therapists use it to soothe pain. On the negative side, it is a symbol of selfishness, jealousy, and laziness. Too much green can be depressing and debilitating.

Mellow blues

Soothing and sedating, blues generate a sense of hope, harmony and calm and also stimulate creativity, communication, and spiritual understanding. Color therapists use it as a tonic, and say it has antiseptic qualities. Research also suggests it may be effective in guided imagery therapies to reduce pain levels. Blue has been used successfully in mental institutions to calm violent patients. In excess, blue may be depressing.

Regal purples

Associated with the psychic and with intuition, purples are calming and soothing--they can create the right atmosphere for meditation. Purple is a royal color and as such is associated with wisdom and dignity, but it is also used in some cultures to symbolize sickness.

Indigo combines reason with intuition and discipline, and is associated with the process of change and the healing crisis. It is seen by color therapists as cooling and astringent, and also as having an effect on vision, hearing, and smell. Indigo can be linked to stagnation, mental fatigue, and striving without success.

Violet is associated with good motives, spiritual aspirations, and prosperity. Color therapists say it is calming in mental illness, reduces hunger, and controls irritability. However, its negative associations include over-opulence, snobbery, and prejudice.