Color as therapy? Really? Yes indeed.

Color definitely affects us in both directions and can create both positive and negative feelings.

Think for a minute how you feel when you enter a space that has a pleasing feeling and evokes a positive reaction.

In the reverse, sometimes you are in a place that just does not feel good to you and you can’t wait to get out of there.

There are many underlying reasons for both feelings. My years of assisting numerous clients have taught me that color is one reason.

Working with older, more conservative folks, I gingerly and carefully introduce the idea of adding color to their environment.

Once shown the potential benefits of color, they are very happy clients, excited about the results.

The one place we can feel good is in our homes. My focus in interior decorating and designing is for my clients’ benefit. Their home environment must reflect and surround them with a feeling of happiness and peace.

Here, outlined in print, are colors and combinations of colors that can cause excitement, and-or restful and peaceful feelings.

This is what I call “color therapy.”

Did you know colors can speak to you? “Come on in,” says the color blue, especially when mixed with a few earthy and leafy tones. White accessories, brown wicker baskets and natural fiber rugs make a wonderful counterpart to smooth, warm blues.

Blue is also known to encourage productivity in the brain, so it’s a great color for an office or creative space in your home.

White, citrus tones and a zip of purple or deeper grape shades can make a room warm, inviting and dramatic. Shades of pinks and purples can warm and enchant with polish and positive emotional results.

Cool whites in a layering effect when paired together with gray and silver offer a respite retreat, great for bedrooms.

Tropical colors in mild doses can bring a smile to your heart. Shades of sea glass and splashes of lemon-lime make turquoise even more fun.

Using shades of tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit and lemon, all very cheery hues, enhances the feeling of welcome both indoors and outdoors.

Lemon, lime and orange are complementary, rather than competitive with each other. They blend very well together.

Green brings nature and the outdoors into our homes. I use green as an accent color with almost any other color.

Adding touches of green in well-placed accessories, such as leaf-patterned pillows, ferns or artwork gives your environment a nice shot of nature, making the space feel warm and restful.

The naturals, shades of bone white, shadowy grays and tans, speak for themselves. They are warm, calming, soothing and allow for reinforcement of nature rather than competition with it.

Red is the color so many are afraid to use in the home. I love a red dining room. Appetites increase when seated in a warm red environment.

Many restaurants use this color, as well as bright blues. Red especially stimulates the hunger genes.

You can use color therapy and the revitalizing effects of color everywhere and anywhere in your home or office. Choose the right shades and you cannot fail.

Diamond Riegel is an interior design consultant and owner of Designs by Diamond, Bluffton.