It's Official: Americans Are Over Neutral Paint Colors

Blog:It's Official: Americans Are Over Neutral Paint Colors

It's Official: Americans Are Over Neutral Paint Colors

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From: Country Living


Neutral shades like white and beige might dominate the discussion on social media, but it turns out Americans actually prefer paint colors that are much more vibrant.

In a National Painting Week Color Psychology Study by Harris Poll on behalf of Sherwin-Williams, 58 percent of 2,201 adults polled agreed that homes should contain more vibrant colors as opposed to neutral shades.

"Vibrant colors can have positive psychological effects," Dr. Sally Augustin, principal at Design with Science, a design consultation firm based on cognitive science, explained in the press release. "Emerald greens can be energizing, seeing red can give us a boost of strength, and yellow can provide a sense of warmth."

What's more, a whopping 62 percent selected blue as their favorite color—a finding that aligns with previous reports.

"We don't really know why, but no matter where on the planet you ask people what their favorite color is, they're more likely to tell you it's blue than any other color," Dr. Augustin tells

But she has some theories.

"We think this might be because of how our brain developed," Dr. Augustin says. "Maybe we have a sort of 'soft spot,' if you will, for processing the color. When we were living on the savannah without all the tools that we have now, blues would have been great to us and have good associations. The color of the sky on a good day, or a water hole scene from a distance—both of those are blue."

It makes sense: A good chunk of people—45 percent—say blue evokes a sense of calm.

But color preferences get more granular when you look at the different regions and age demographics of the United States.

In the South, blue indexed even higher than other regions. Southerners are also more likely to mention pink when it comes to home exteriors—a note that calls to mind the colorful houses of Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina.

Midwesterners, on the other hand, tended to favor green, pink, and red in social media posts, more than the rest of the country, while women on the West Coast were more likely to mention red and men black.

Oh yeah, and speaking of black, at 32 percent, the moody hue was actually the country's second most popular color, especially among younger people, followed by red (31 percent).


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