Last week, Sherwin-Williams released the results of its "Color Psychology Study" in observance of the forthcoming National Painting Week. The survey, conducted by consumer insight agency Harris Poll, randomly selected 2,000 Americans across various demographic brackets while also combing through over 12,000 geotagged social media posts. It sought to draw conclusions about what paint colors American homeowners gravitate towards when decorating their homes.
The poll has some vaguely compelling demographic insights: When asked what connotations each colors carry for them, baby boomers said they find green more calming than millennials do, while the latter is more likely to characterize green as energy-inducing. Men associate yellow with weakness more often than women (it’s a 35% to 17% difference).
On the whole, though, 58% of respondents preferred vibrant hues to neutral greiges or whites. When it comes to the color that most survey respondents want on their walls, 62% prefer blue, a color that united survey respondents across social strata: gender, region, age. 45% of respondents claimed they find the color calming. Black trailed blue at 32%, and red wasn’t too far behind at 31%.
These results aren’t terribly surprising; I know quite a few people in my age bracket who’ve opted to paint their rooms a soft, bucolic blue. If asked, I probably would've gone with green, due to growing up in a childhood bedroom with pistachio-colored walls—though, call me old-fashioned, there’s nothing terribly wrong giving your walls a nice, chalky coat of white.
Shop the Story
Have a blue bedroom? What colors do you like on your walls? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.