The Psychology of Colour: Using Colours in the Home

The psychology of colour has always fascinated me. I love to use different colours in the home to create different moods. Colour is incredibly symbolic. We associate particular objects or things with specific colours, for instance, football teams and logos. Throughout the day, we are experiencing colours rather than simply visualising them. Different colours produce different responses in the human brain. Companies spend fortunes employing people to ensure they make the most out of the psychology of colour in their advertising campaigns as well as in stores and restaurants.

The colours we use in our home are therefore greatly significant. They can affect our moods, the way we interact with each other and the way we treat that particular space. Colours also reflect our own personalities and the way we want others to experience our home.

Therefore, before choosing a colour scheme in any room in the home, it is important to consider how you want to feel in that room. Energetic, relaxed or comforted? You should then consider which colours will create the desired effect.


First of all, blue is known to have a soothing, calming effect. This colour is strongly associated with loyalty and trustworthiness. Blue symbolises water and the sky. Given its calming effect, blue rooms are said to lower blood pressure and the heart rate. Some dieters use the colour blue on the kitchen walls as it is said to reduce appetite. Use cool blue tones to cool down a hot or sunny room.

Blue is, in fact, an ideal colour to use in any room in the home.


Yellow has strong associations with sunshine, energy and happiness. The colour yellow is uplifting and lightens the mood.

Nonetheless, yellow can be rather bold and overbearing. Yellow is known to make people quick to anger. Consequently, avoid using bold tones of yellow in rooms designated for relaxation, eg. the lounge or bedroom. The colour is a good choice in hallways and entrance ways or kitchens. Yellow furniture or accessories are a great way to bring a splash of colour to any room without being too overbearing.


When we see red, we might think of a stop or a warning sign. Or perhaps fire, passion, and danger. As a result, when used in a room, the colour red can raise energy levels and help to retain focus. In contrast to blue, red is said to raise blood pressure and heart rate. Given its association with passion and excitement, red is often used in bedrooms. However, it is too stimulating for most. Red is most effective in hallways and entrances for it suggests strength and makes a strong first impression!


Green is strongly associated with nature. It creates a calm, relaxing atmosphere in a room. The colour brings energy into a space. Green can be used to relieve stress and is, therefore, a great choice for the bedroom. Indeed, green is said to help with fertility. Green is also a great way to promote a sense of comfort in the lounge.


The colour purple was reserved exclusively for the Emperor in Roman times. It is reminiscent of royalty, wealth, sophistication as well as creativity and spiritualism. Purple will add depth to a room. Lighter shades of purple have a calming, soothing effect. Lilac is recommended for the bedroom for this precise reason. Alternatively, lilac would be an ideal choice for the dining room.


Pink is traditionally perceived as a feminine colour. It has strong associations with tenderness, comfort and maternity. This colour can create a sense of peace and serenity in a room. Many meditation spaces use the colour pink to create a tranquil effect. Yet pink is also a colour associated with fun. Using pink in a room is said to promote feelings of kindness and gentleness. It is a great choice for the bedroom because of the relaxing effect of this colour.


Orange is the colour of enlightenment – Buddhist monks where the colour orange as a symbol of their pursuit of enlightenment. Orange creates a sense of energy and enthusiasm making it a great choice for any work out room in the home. The colour is rather bold and therefore makes it a great colour to accessorise a room. However because of its association with energy, orange is not the ideal bedroom colour, nor is it ideal for the lounge or any other relaxation room. Orange is said to aid digestion making it a perfect choice for the dining room.

Neutrals and the Psychology of Colour

Neutral colours can be used to tone down bright colours.


Promotes a sense of innocence and youth. White is associated with cleanliness and creates a refreshing atmosphere. White on its own can feel too clinical for some people but it works well with any other colour. Also, using different tones of white can be a great way to add a creative flair to any room.


Black is a dramatic colour which suggests sophistication and opulence, but it can be depressing when used too much in a room. The colour adds depth to a space but should be used in moderation.


When it comes to the psychology of colour, there are little positives I can say about grey. Grey is formal and sophisticated but is associated with conformity and seriousness. Yet grey demonstrates creativity and confidence. Grey can be used in any room in the home to create a stunning effect.


Finally, Brown is sometimes perceived as rather drab and boring, but us does have its uses. It is a practical colour which promotes relaxation. Furthermore. brown is reminiscent of nature and can be used to create a beautiful effect.

When decorating any room in the home, it is important to remember the psychology of colour. Choosing the right colour can help us sleep at night, unwind after a hard day, or bring energy to the room.

* All images courtesy of

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