Hearing Colors? Here’s What Colors to Choose in Your Home Based on Your Taste in Music

The folks over at Home Advisor did a really cool experiment where they matched colors to music genres. They got help from a couple of very special people who can actually ‘hear colors.’

Chromesthesia and home decor experiement
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‘Hearing colors’ — I bet you’re all familiar with this expression already, but did you know that it’s actually a thing? It’s a rare neurological condition called chromesthesia, which affects roughly 1 in 3,000 people.

For people with chromesthesia, listening to a certain genre or musical piece can automatically trigger different color visualizations associated with the sound. 

It’s obviously a rare condition, but for musicians, it can be an incredibly useful tool. Duke Ellington, Aphex Twin and Pharrell Williams are among those with chromesthesia. Pharrell actually stated: ‘I know when something is in key because it either matches the same color or it doesn’t.’

Our friends at Home Advisor had their interest piqued, and they decided to put this rare gift to good use. They enlisted the help of two people with chromesthesia and had them listen to various Billboard chart songs from 10 different musical genres. They did this to see what colors each musical genre evoked, and whenever the two participants had matching colors, they were added to that genre’s color palette. 

Consequently, Home Advisor came up with 10 different living room color palettes that match 10 music genres. If you’re a fan of one or more of these genres, then you can use this guide to decorate your home to match your musical taste. Check out the 10 palettes and genres below.

1. Rock

The two chromesthesia participants in the study listened to some rock songs on the Billboard chart, to see what colors popped in their minds.

The result is a rather dark and strong color palette, which includes chocolate-y and caramel-y tones, mixed with Champagne, Cream, and a bit of Smoke and Black. 

2. Country

Given that country music is all about wooden guitars, cowboy hats, ranches, saloons and chestnut horses, it’s no wonder that the colors evoked by this genre match that imagery.

The participants envisioned a living room featuring browny, earthy hues like Redwood, Tortilla, Laguna and Cream. 

3. Pop

Pop music is usually a pretty accessible genre, so it’s only natural that this pop living room features a mix of prime colors, pastels, as well as metallic hues – something for everyone, basically. The pop palette includes Navy, Jade, Black, Abalone, as well as Jade, White and metallic Gold. 

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4. R&B

The R&B room looks like it was designed by a qualified interior designer, that’s how harmonius the selected hues are. The resulting color palette exudes coolness and chill-vibe-ness, featuring tones and hues like Charcoal, Champagne, Prussian, White, Pearl River, and a touch of Lime.

5. Rap

The rap room is definitely the showstopper in this list, incorporating various bold and bright colors (which is actually eerily similar to rapper Wiz Khalifa’s home in Los Angeles).

This eclectic result shouldn’t really come as a surprise, given that this musical genre also includes a mix of beats, samples and influences. This fun living room features bright hues like Blue, Jade, Lime, Fire, Red, Peach and Hot Pink. 

6. Latin

The Latin room, unsurprisingly, bears resemblance to the R&B room, as well as to the rap room. This mash-up of pop, R&B, rap, salsa, tango, and so on, has resulted in a bright and vibrant color palette that includes Yellow, Cream, White and Pearl River. 

7. J-Pop

This bubblegum-like color palette evokes the ‘cute and sexy’ image of this pop music trend originating in Japan. The palette features colors that normally wouldn’t go together, but somehow they work, and the result is a colorful and young living room painted in hues like Red, Orange, Thistle, Silver and Amber.

8. EDM

The EDM palette is in a league of its own, for sure. The palette is incredibly vibrant and energetic, much like the musical genre it represents. You might say there’s even a nightclub vibe to this living room, which features colors like Navy, Blue, Azure, Gold, metallic Mint, and Electric Purple.

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9. Lo-Fi Hip-Hop Beats

This lo-fi color palette works really well for a living room, and it’s really on trend with the pastel hues that interior designers are talking up this year. This easy listening music genre evokes gentle shades like Tea, Cream, Baby Blue, Laurel and Air Force. 

10. Heavy Metal

This living room is the darkest, and most aggressive of all the rooms on our list. That’s right in tune with the music genre it represents, as heavy metal is loud, bold, and focused a lot on imagery — heaven and hell, hellfire, depths of darkness, leathers and metals, and so on. Consequently, this living room features dark, solid hues like Black, Charcoal, Denim, as well as blood-like hues such as Maroon and Mahogany. 

There are obviously a lot more musical genres and sub-genres out there, so naturally this list doesn’t cover every possible music taste. But, if you’re a fan of some of these genres and are looking to incorporate your music taste into your home decor, then this study by Home Advisor might serve as inspiration. Happy listening (and decorating)!

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Written by Ioana Neamt

Experienced writer with a background in real estate and a fondness for soaring skyscrapers and Victorian-style mansions. Also loves fancy homes with crackling fireplaces and views of snowy mountains.