Colour is very personal, and we are drawn to our favourites, but when decorating our homes, it is worth questioning whether colours are meeting our emotional needs too. A little colour psychology goes a long way.
Patton Colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery, a powerful nod to green’s ability to provide balance in challenging times. Pantone chose the colour as a reminder of our need to reserve our natural environment, and interestingly, bringing green into our homes is a brilliant way to bring all round balance. How many of us would choose green though, beyond houseplants it’s an underrepresented colour in homes. Definitely an unsung hero!
Blue is on the whole seen as a calming colour, but can also be cold, depressing and too stimulating to some, so it is definitely one to consider carefully. By making us think of clouds, sky blue can make us feel safe and serene. Blue can be a blessing or a curse in dining spaces and kitchens as it surpresses appetite. While light blue is calming it can also encourage creativity, which I have seen first hand backfire in a very imaginative child’s bedroom! Dark blue encourages intellectual thoughts and a lack of emotion, brilliant for a library or office, but less welcoming for a family living room.
I had a yellow jumper once, which used to always make people talk to me in an upbeat way, brilliant if I was in the right mood, but a little discordant sometimes if I wasn’t feeling as cheery inside as the jumper. Yellow brings wisdom and intellectual stimulation, it is perfect for office spaces, bright yellow accessories could keep you focussed and alert. Yellow can make us happier too, as it releases serotonin in the brain when we see it. It is cheerful and high energy, but it has a flip side too, in some it is overstimulating and can encourage anxiety, irrationality and jealousy. So start small with this colour and see how small splashes effect your mood.
A very powerful stimulant, one of the most powerful colours, but one to be mindful of perhaps. Red can really fire up our energies and our emotions. It can motivate us to take action, great for procrastinators! It is the colour of sexuality and physical movement, it makes us passionate and active. It can on the flip side make us angry and jealous. Too much can make us irritable and angry, too little cautious and afraid.
Along with yellow and orange, red can make us trust food and want to eat. It’s why so many restaurants use the colour.
Combining the stability of blue with the energy of red, no wonder it makes a wonderful compromise for bedrooms – purple is also is said to increase your understanding and intuition. While red has passion, purple has depth, love and sincerity. It brings calm and relaxation and is the colour of imagination and spirituality. It also has regal and luxury connotations. Too dark a purple can make you angry and arrogant, too much purple may make you introspective, apathetic and impatient.
Black is a non colour. Powerful, sophisticated and elegant, it is often used by those who want to convey wealth, power or be taken seriously or create a sense of mystery. It can be oppressive, depressing and feel heavy to some. But combined with white it can be striking.
White is seen by those who love it as reflective, simple, hopeful even. It is often chosen by those who are honest, ethical and spiritually in tune. It gives a heightened sense of space to rooms. To some it can seem like indecision, coldness, or even emptiness.
Like blue grey has little association with food so often surpasses appetite. As a wall colour it is detached, impartial and non committal. It’s between black and white, perfect for those who find the extremes too stark.
What colours work in your home and why? What colours will you be trying next?
Image credit: Shutterstock Paint tins