Colour is a nonverbal form of communication. It has the ability to awaken our senses, stimulate our thoughts, and bring back old memories. It can also be used to represent ideas, like abstract prints on a canvas.
You might have heard how different colours can affect our mood, by bringing about certain feelings, and amplifying them.
Red, for instance, is considered to be arousing, exciting, and stimulating. But it can also be linked to feelings of anger and hostility.
What Does Research Really Say About The Psychology of Colour?
In 1665, Sir Isaac Newton experimented with light by passing it through a prism. He observed the various colours that fanned out into a rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
He wanted to test a theory: He wanted to know if white light was actually made up of all the colours that we can see.
He decided to place another prism, upside-down, in front of the first prism, and he was right! Newton was the first to prove that white light is, in fact, made up of the visible light spectrum.
This laid the foundation for further scientific research, showing that colours with longer wavelengths like red, orange, or yellow, induce states of arousal and excitement.
On the other hand, colours with shorter wavelengths like blue, indigo, and violet, induce low arousal states such as calmness, peace, and trust.
However, colour associations can also be deeply influenced by culture and advertising. Take, for example, Chinese and Indian brides who usually wear red, compared to Western countries where white is preferred.
Or how tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, use blue in their logos to represent trust and reliability.
The Perfect Colours For Interior Design
This begs the question: Is there such a thing as the perfect colour scheme for a home? It might sound cliche, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!
And since our individual colour preferences are influenced by a number of things, there is no "one-size-fits-all" method when it comes to choosing the "right" colours for your home.
Who would want to live in a place where every single house looked exactly the same on the outside, and inside? Creativity is the spice of life! And we can play with colours to express our creative side.
Finding your own palette means looking for different paint colours to help induce the feelings you’re looking for. Here’s a guide to some colour choices for different rooms in your house.
Associated with the sky and ocean, this hue can make you feel calm, relaxed and serene. A great colour for rooms where you want to relax and lounge about in, like the living room or bedroom.
Go for warm blue tones (with a more yellow undertone) instead of the cooler hues, so that the space doesn’t end up feeling too "cold". If the room is small, consider painting one feature wall instead.
Considered to be stimulating and arousing, it is linked to feelings of exhilaration and high energy. Red has also been associated with intense feelings like anger and danger.
It might sound appealing to some to paint a bedroom red, but it would be best to use this colour in an area of the house where there’s lots of energy, like a space you entertain guests instead.
Can be soothing in a way, but can also induce energetic behaviours, since it’s along the same spectrum as red. However, softer pinks are thought of as "sweet".
You might find this colour more suited to a baby girl’s room, or even the bathroom for a more romantic touch. Interestingly, it is used in hospitals to stimulate happiness, and in prisons to prevent erratic behaviour!
Thought to be a friendly colour, and is also perceived to be fun and energetic. Use this in a space where you exercise often, and avoid this colour in places you want to unwind.
Orange can also stimulate your appetite, making it a good colour for your kitchen and/or dining room (unless you’re going on a diet!).
Owing to the association of this colour with "happiness" and how it can be as bright as a ray of sunshine, it’s no wonder this colour brings with it positive energy and warmth.
It is cheerful and a great colour for the kitchen or children’s room, especially if the first rays of the morning sun catches the yellow on your walls.
Such a warm and rustic colour, it is generally associated with earthiness and durability, and carries with it a feeling of sophistication and positivity. But, brown can also be seen as dirty.
Therefore, it’s best to use it sparingly in places where you want to feel cosy. Introducing beautiful pieces of wooden (or even leather!) furniture into a room can also help to give it a nice homey feel.
A great colour for your home office as it is restful on the eyes. Often linked to nature, it offers those who love the outdoors a little something extra: Bringing all that lushness indoors!
Deep greens are associated with wealth and money, while mint green is associated with a more refreshing feel, so it’s up to you what you want the space to reflect.
Traditionally symbolises luxury and royalty. Deep purple hues tend to have a mysterious and romantic feel to them. Light purple tones, like lavender and lilac, are great for the bedrooms.
They can help induce calming and restful sleep. Deeper purples meanwhile, could be introduced minimally into social spaces, such as pieces of furniture or a feature wall.
This colour has had its fair share of positive and negative meanings attached. When it comes to the former, it oozes timeless elegance and classy sophistication, which is why you can use it for a bold look especially for the entrance.
However, for the latter, many have traditionally thought of evil and death when they think of this colour. So, make sure to use this colour sparingly, if you don’t want people to think they’ve walked into a haunted house
Colours are a personal choice and something that should be experimented with to find the perfect match, especially with all the time we’ve been spending at home.
It’s time to whip out the paintbrushes and give your home a fresh coat of paint, to break free from the old look and feel of your home!
With COVID-19 changing how we work and play, have you considered what homes of the future will look like? Take a look at our prediction of what future houses will look like, in 2031 and beyond!