Something that is really fun to do and that helps build design awareness and design skills is to choose a color, any color, and observe everything that is that color for a half hour (even a whole day if you are hardcore). At first, you will start noticing just the color and the noun that has that color, but then you start noticing on a visual side the color temperature, the specularity of the object, the presence of any other colors and perhaps whether a complementary or monochromatic system is present.
You start comtemplating the essence of local color and how it is effected by neighboring structures. But, even further, you will notice in your mind a large list of items of that color that you have been taking stock of for some time. Are there any connections? Maybe sneak in some other colors and begin to make comparisons and contrasts. Red, White, and Black are very popular diner colors. Red and Yellow are popular for a lot of burger joints. In fact, red is present almost everywhere it would seem in the food sector. Orange is very popular among communications surrounding health, vegetables, fruit smoothies, even exercise. Is it because of carrots, peppers, and oranges having vitamin C or beta carotene?
By doing this exercise daily, you begin to sharpen your observation skills and design sense. You increase your awareness of color in the world around you. This knowledge can help in understanding the meanings behind the use of different colors in design. It can help you make more sense of your environment, bugs, plants, animals, other humans, clothing choices, movies, art, communications. It can help you in your own design to make better decisions about color in communicating emotion, mood, style, meaning, and purpose. Color is fun. It is all around us and more often than not, it means something.