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Interview With Color Psychology Interior Designer MaLinda Perry

Art is an emotional purchase. So it’s only right that your art finds an emotional connection with your interior design. We talked with MaLinda Perry, an interior designer pioneering the use of color psychology, about how to make sure that great piece of art brings character to a room.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I grew up in a family of architects and interior designers. I remember being very little and sitting at drafting tables designing clothes, paper dolls and furniture. This is where I learned the value of great design goes hand in hand with the emotional connection. I have been blessed to live in several different states and travel around the world. My design practice has brought me home to Wyoming. My style tends to be traditional, but my trademark is emotional designing. We call it this because when a client comes to me there is always something that belongs to them that has great value or importance that invoke emotions. I have one son, Ashton, who recently adopted a three-legged Germanshepherdor, Baby LuLu. We are a hockey family so that keeps us busy most of the time. 

Where do you find your design inspiration?

My inspiration is always found within my client. It goes back to their love for a particular item or a memory. Color is my passion though and I can always find inspiration there. 

You recently spoke about color psychology at the International Design Society conference. Can you share a cliff notes of your presentation?

Speaking at IDS was amazing and quite an honor. Color Psychology is something I have followed for many years. It goes beyond trends. It’s so interesting to link current events to the psychology of how color makes us feel. For example, blue is everywhere right now. This is a color that makes us feel secure. It represents justice and vigilance. Blue is a negotiator color.  Look at our current events, war…elections…economic uncertainty. This is a color we need right now…it grounds us. Color has the power to bring forth emotions some good and some not so much. Depending on where we use color, we can change a mood, increase hunger, makes time fly or stand still. Understanding this makes us better artists, designers or advertisers. I find it funny that while white makes us feel clean and innocent, it is also indecisive. So many times I have heard a client say, “I want to add color but I just don’t know which way to go”, while they are surrounded by white walls. Find a color and just commit. Paint is easy and can always be changed. Once you have color, a whole new world comes alive!

How do you approach art with regard to your design projects?

I usually approach art as the final step. Once the walls are painted and the furniture is in place then the art can tell me where it needs to go. Each piece has its own personality and will bring that to the space.  Once in awhile, there is that one piece that needs special attention calling itself out as a focal point. These pieces draw more attention when lit. Sometimes there are pieces that just need to hang out with one another, strength in numbers. Art is easy to relocate but it isn’t always so with furniture. I can honestly say, I have never chosen a paint color to match the art. My grandmother taught me long ago that art stands alone. A great piece of art will bring character to a room, matching art to your walls is like camouflage and it can lose its importance.

What’s an easy thing people can do to improve how their art is displayed?

The easiest thing I can tell a buyer about displaying their art is: make sure it fits the space. Art is an investment and the last things you want are to display a piece and have it get lost in vastness. Also, eye level… I’m itty bitty, as my son calls me, so not my eye level… but the eye level of an average height person.