Have you ever walked into a room saying, “Ahh,” as if it’s the most restful place to be? Or maybe you’ve had the opposite experience of feeling totally energised on entering a space?
What is it that makes us have these strong, spontaneous reactions to our surroundings?
Your reactions and psychological responses could be due partly to the colours used in the décor and design of the space. Although psychological experts don’t all agree, and there are many variations on this theme, many agree that colour psychology can play a significant part in our lives.
Historically, different cultures have regarded colour as having the power to affect your mood, feelings, health, and even your behaviour.
So, if you want to change the mood you experience in your home, consider the following information. It might help you achieve the ambiance you’re looking for.
1. Blue. If blue is your favourite colour, you might not be too surprised to find out that this particular colour will aid healing and help manage pain. Blue can also promote feelings of tranquility.
2. Green. Because green brings thoughts of the outdoors and the wonders of nature, it’s believed to bring about feelings of serenity, restfulness, and perhaps even joy. Some people (me included!) find that the colour green decreases stress and increases feelings of relaxation.
3. Orange. Orange is said to promote healthy lungs and produce energy and vitality in people. Closely related to red, orange is considered a warm colour that brings excitement. You know it’s true—when you walk into a room that’s painted orange, it definitely grabs your attention. There must have been lots of energy during the 1970s!
4. Yellow. The colour of the sun produces feelings of warmth and brightness. Like orange, yellow cannot be ignored. It’s even been referred to as the most ‘visible’ hue in the colour spectrum. If you want to ‘cheer up’ your kitchen, yellow might be the right choice for you. I once had a yellow kitchen bench top. It’s also known to be the safest colour for cars.
5. Red. Full of drama and mystery, a room painted red is evocative of emotions such as comfort, intensity, warmth, and even love. Red is often used as a highlight colour, for example for kitchen splash backs or a feature wall.
6. Black. Although you may not consider black a true colour, it’s an important hue. The colour black is the result of a complete lack of light. In terms of your feelings, black can induce a gamut of strong emotions. You might experience sensuality, mourning, or sadness when you’re exposed to black.
• In film, you’ll notice that black is often used to represent a deep, dark, ominous character.
• Ultimately, black is not only a conflict in terms but can bring about conflicting feelings for many as well.
7. White. The opposite of black, white evokes feelings of innocence. It’s customary to have a lot of white in hospitals as the colour has come to indicate sterility and cleanliness. Although white walls are viewed as boring by some, the colour is often used to trick the eye when walking into a room.
• Want a room to appear bigger? Put some white paint on the walls. If you want a dark space to appear lighter, white is your solution. Using white as a trim colour in a room will make your wall colour ‘pop’.
• Your feelings in a white room will run the gamut from feeling bright to being overwhelmed by the overload of light and space around you.
• It may be bland on its own, but white can enhance the appearance of deeper colours and hues used with it. So, how you feel when you see white depends on how much white is used and the way the other colours in the room are presented. Check out the paint samples in your hardware shop and you’ll be amazed at the different shades of white!
Colours are powerful in that they do affect how you feel. To lift your mood, bring about feelings of tranquility, or induce excitement, use these basics of colour psychology to decorate your home. Encourage the mood and feelings you strive for just by skillfully selecting wall and accessory colours!
When you’ve finished with that project, you might also be interested in looking at the role colour plays in other areas, for example how you dress. Once you start looking at colour in more depth a whole new world could open up to you!