The psychology of colour

Jun 25, 2012 | Anoushka's Blog

Colour Wheel

I think we all know that colour can have a profound effect on our mood, from the colours that we wear, to the colours that we see in our indoor and outdoor environments. For thousands of years colour therapy has been used to help rebalance energy and promote the body’s healing process. No doubt we all have our favourite colours, and there could be good reason why we are drawn to some colours and not others. We could be trying to balance our own character traits on a subconscious level. For instance a high energy individual may choose to surround themselves with blue, known for its restful and calming qualities. This person may also steer clear of red, known to evoke high energy levels. When considering a new colour palette for our homes it’s important to think about each room on a few different levels.

Ask yourself these few simple questions:

How do I normally feel when I’m sat in this space right now?

What would I like to change about the colour palette and why?

What kind of mood do I want to create in this space?

Do I want to use a primary colour with an accent or two to add interest?

Then take each room and based on your answers to the questions above work with the colour wheel to come up with a suitable palette. Take a look at these tips below to get you started when selecting your colour palette.

Living Room

Often the most social room in our homes, this is where family and friends come together to socialise, interact and share fun times. Therefore this space could adopt accents of orange and yellows. Orange brings a sense of joy, warmth, and encourages social interactions. While yellow promotes qualities such as positivity, happiness, it’s generally a feel good colour. These are strong colours so keep them fairly muted to blend with your interior. This combination should make for a highly social, positive space.

Dining Room/Kitchen

These are the rooms where we prepare and eat most of our meals, and again often a key social area of our home. Red is a great colour to use in small hits. Known as an appetite stimulant this is a superb way to work some red into your space. However keep it balanced with something more neutral such as white or cream. Too much red evokes energy and become almost aggressive by nature.


Blue mood board from

Our bedroom is our sanctuary, this is the one room in our home that is our personal space, especially when we are living with a large family. Therefore this room needs to promote restful qualities. Blue is the absolute best colour to do this. Blue is calming, relaxing, and has been scientifically proven to help with insomnia. Use softer shades, pastels, sky blues and grey/blues.

Home Office

Home offices need balance, it’s a space that should assist energy levels, whilst feeling like a relaxed space to work in. Quite often we need to be fresh in our thinking when working, and depending on our job creativity can be important. Purples are the best colours here, perhaps mixed with a few hits of green. Purple and violet promote creative, original thinking, but use in moderation. Balanced with green which is a peaceful colour this could be a perfect colour palette to do your best work in.

It’s pretty daunting popping into your local hardware store and being faced with hundreds of shades of white, cream, and grey. Where do you start? Hopefully this has given you some guidance to help when choosing colours. It’s important to ensure that you test the colours on your walls in a large sample so that you can get a sense for how the light in the space affects the quality of the colour. Live with it for a week or so, and you will soon know if it’s the right colour and shade for your space.

Feel free to email me your home interior photo’s. Perhaps where you have tried something brave when it comes to colour, or a space you created where the colour palette works really well. I look forward to hearing your stories.

Happy decorating.

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