There are always cultural accents (but that just keeps our "language" fresh and interesting!), like white symbolizing purity in the West and death in the East - but for the most part, color needs few words to understand. Here are a few quick examples:
- Red - means passion, either in love or anger
- Blue - is calming or can mean depressing
- Yellow - ranging from life giving and energetic to extreme edginess
Both positive and negative emotions are tied in with color and how they affect us both physically and emotionally.
One reason we are looking for direction with color is that is EVERYWHERE. In the design related field, it is part of every single choice we need to make for our homes. This can be stressful, because even switchplates have color choices! So many choices can become overwhelming.
On the other hand, color choices give us a lot of control over our environment and we can help to create the feelings we want gain from our environment. Paint is the perfect example here: You can change the nature of a room by simply changing the color on the walls. It's also one of the cheapest design tools - a $40 bucket of paint goes a lot further to transforming a space than a $40 yard of fabric. Both the fabric and the paint do have a commonality: one of the basic elements we of how we relate to both is via their color.
What colors turn you on? I find that my personal paint color palatte for my home is become both lighter and muckier (these are not exactly mutually exclusive characteristics) - heavy colors aren't making my heart soar, right now. Neither are colors that are too, well, colorful. I suppose we could call them saturated, but the effect is that they are too colorful and distracting from the activity going on in the room.