In order to be successful and profitable, a retail store needs to think about a variety of details, for instance: the location, the furniture, the ornaments, the employees and so on. But one of the most important things that must be taken into consideration is the paint color. This substance, that can be made or bought in many colors, has considerable effects upon any kind of business (whether it is a boutique, a department store, a drugstore, a shopping center or a supermarket) and it is truly incredible how it can affect anybody entering a store, because by its definition, a color is a way of transmitting and expressing certain feelings.

First of all, there are many facts and tricks that should be known about colors before choosing the suitable one which is going to be painted on the walls. They create the whole atmosphere; there is a psychology and science behind chromaticity and numerous sociological studies still examine and analyze how our eyes and brain perceive a diversity of colors.

Every color evokes moods and affects every one of us and even our behavior, for example, it is indicated that we use light colors for small spaces, so we can make them seem bigger, or in a considerably big room, it is suggested to paint the wall from the back with a dark color, so it can give the impression that it is smaller and more welcoming.

Logically, for a shop to be outstanding the future clientele has to be satisfied; as it is said, “The client is always right”. Therefore, the colors should be chosen accordingly to some of their features: their gender (or maybe it is a unisex store), their age, their culture and traditions (which can differ from country to country, or even from region to region), their income, how much money are they willing to spend, their education level, how well culturized they are.

A teenage girl will react differently to colors than a male senior citizen. It has been scientifically proven that humans make assumptions and judgments within the first 10 seconds of entering a new store, thus colors need to resonate with the future clients and tell, somehow, a story.

After knowing and targeting the future audience, it is time to use the “60-30-10” Rule. This rule, which is frequently used by interior designers, consists of using different percentages of color in one room, because using only one color, without even trying to contrast it, can be extremely boring and lifeless.

When decorating a room or a store, the colors should be divided into the following percentages: 60% of a predominant color (usually, the walls, because the paint of the walls actually sets the ambience), 30% of a secondary color (the color of the textures and textiles that are about to be used on the furniture and maybe on the curtains) and 10% of a color who has the role to contrast the rest of the 90% (primarily resided in a variety of ornaments, little accessories and details – like paintings, floral arrangements and so on). It is surely easy to notice the usage of this simple rule in magazines or on websites that promote interior design; it is ubiquitous because it is unlikely to fail us and even more, it brings only advantages.

The next step is to think psychologically and think about what we want to transmit through the colors. As Kenny Nguyen (the CEO of “ThreeSixtyEight, Big Fish Presentations”) says, if we only want to grab someone’s attention, we should use high-contrast combinations of colors, such as red-white, black-yellow (mainly the colors used on stop signs that are really easy to be noticed). But if our purpose is to induce a feeling of tranquility and harmony, we should choose peaceful colors, such as blue (the color of the sky and sea) or green (the color of nature).

Mostly, for an enjoyable and cheerful design, it is recommended to use bright and warm colors, even pastels, because despite all the differences that exist between us – mainly cultural, people respond generally well to them.

Somehow, the human visual perception is used to respond in a positive way in such situations and to create a feeling of happiness. These colors can be joyful, refreshing and a bit provocative.

If a store who is selling children toys’ or a jewelry store has the walls painted black (and only black), it will have no clients and then it will be bankrupt in no time.

Another thing that will make a shop livelier, after telling a story and setting a theme with its colors, is to notify the customers about any special products, maybe offers or sales. In this case scenario, red and yellow are the most recommended colors. They are easy to be noticed and they instantly attract people’s curiosity. As Lind Cahan says (a specialist into merchandising who has published several books concerning this topic): “People buy more when there is red”.

But we have to be careful if using such strong colors, because we do not want to “drown” the products we are actually selling. Used in large and inappropriate quantities, these colors will agitate people, will make them feel anxious and want to leave as soon as possible. After all, the décor is made to put in evidence the products that the store is selling.

By the end of the day, the décor of a store must achieve two things: make the customers feel relaxed and pleased and let the merchandise flourish. Henceforth, if the customers feel like they belong in that store and everything that they are looking for can be found there, not only they will buy many things (whether they need them or not) and spend hours browsing, but they will further recommend it to their friends and their acquaintances… and they will come back looking for more and more whenever they have the occasion to do so.