The Psychology of Colour

As the end-of-year crescendo of activity starts to fade away, we find ourselves looking ahead to the next 12 months and contemplating what we hope they will bring. A new year presents us with a clean slate; an opportunity to usher positive change into our lives. Some people resolve to start getting use out of that neglected gym membership, whilst others vow to escape the shackles of procrastination and further their career.


For many it is also the time to revitalise the most personal space of all; the home. Redecorating in winter is not only a reflection of our renewed outlook for the year ahead but also (let’s face it) a great excuse to stay huddled indoors. One of the trickiest aspects of overhauling your living space can be deciding on colour schemes. Colour has a huge influence on how we interpret our environment, so it’s an important thing to consider wisely.


Inspiration for colours can come from endless sources; current trends observed in magazines, a favourite piece of furniture, or the villa you honeymooned at in Bali. Whilst it is important for aesthetic preferences and personality to be considered, there is a real benefit in considering the psychology of colour. Colours have a proven effect on the way we feel. This is a phenomenon that has been observed for many centuries, going as far back as Ancient Egypt where practitioners would expose the ill-stricken to certain colours believed to have healing properties.


Whilst the way we perceive colour is subjective, experts on the subject generally agree on certain principles. Read on to discover how colour can be used to create a home that is as pleasing to your mind as it is your eyes.


Photo credit: Jonas Ingerstedt



Shown to lower blood pressure and your heart rate, it’s no surprise that blue is associated with calmness and serenity. Lighter, softer shades can bring a feeling of zen to high-traffic areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Discover our blue-hued shopping edit here.




This stimulating colour has the opposite physiological effects to blue. Red is great for spaces used for socialising or entertaining – when used in a living or dining room red can promote conversation and liven gatherings with family and friends. It’s also a key component of Pantone’s far-fetched colour palette – one of the 2018 interior trends we’re most excited about.


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Considered the most restful colour for the eye, green promotes relaxation whilst also having enough warmth to encourage togetherness. It’s a great choice for almost any room in the house but works especially well in a hallway, making the transition from outdoors to indoors that little bit easier. If painting feels like too much of a commitment, why not try a green statement lampshade?


Photo credit: Fresh Home



The colour of luxury and opulence, purple is a fitting choice for sophisticated living rooms or master bedrooms. Darker shades add richness and drama, whilst lighter tones, such as lilac and lavender, bring restfulness. Feeling daring? Ultra violet, Pantone’s 2018 colour of the year, could be the hue for you.


Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess



If you want to bring happiness and creativity to a room then yellow could be the colour for you. It works particularly well in spaces with a lot of natural light, and is effective at energising and uplifting kitchens and bathrooms in particular.


Photo credit: Good Moods



A highly energetic hue, orange is best used as an accent colour due to its often-overpowering nature. It would work well in a room where you want to expend energy – a home gym, for example – or scattered throughout your living room. We love these citrusy scatter cushions from Trouva boutique Oklahoma.


Photo credit: Amber Interiors



Creating the impression of purity and cleanliness, white also makes a room feel more expansive.  Its real value lies in its flexibility; it works well in any room and you can add colour with furnishings and ornaments as you please.


Feeling inspired? Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more interiors ideas.

Feature image credit: String
Jonny Gaynon

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