COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY

While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about room colour, it affects us every day. Room colour can influence our moods and our thoughts.

Colour affects people in many ways, depending on age, gender, ethnic background and climate. Certain colours (or groups of colours) tend to get a similar reaction from most people; the variations come from the shades or tones used. This is why it’s so important to choose colours wisely.

Red raises a room’s energy level. The most intense colour, it pumps the adrenaline like no other hue. It is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure and speed respiration and heart rate.

Red can make some people feel irritable. Invoking feelings of rage and hostility, this is a colour that should be avoided as the main colour of a room.

Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. In halls, entries and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming.

In larger spaces yellow should be used sparingly so as not to be overwhelming. In large amounts, this colour tends to create feelings of frustration and anger.Accents and splashes of bright yellows in a larger room are energising and uplifting.

Blue is a very calming colour that can make you feel centred, relaxed and serene. It is known to help clear the mind, bring down blood pressure and slow respiration and heart rate. That is why it is considered calming, relaxing and serene.

While blue rooms are lovely to lounge and rest in, it is important to note that pastel blues can come across as very cold and chilly. Light, warm blues are great and are easily balanced with warm hues and furnishing.

To encourage relaxation in social areas, consider warmer blues, such as periwinkle, or bright blues, such as cerulean or turquoise. Dark blue has the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness. Refrain from using darker blues in your main colour scheme.

Green Helps to reduce anxiety. It is one of the most restful colours for your eyes and is known to be restorative, mind-clearing and encourage composure. Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow. Green also has a calming effect when used as a main colour. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax. It encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness.

Purple, in its darkest values, is rich, dramatic and sophisticated. It is associated with luxury and creativity; as an accent or secondary colour, it gives a scheme depth.

Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly.

Orange evokes excitement and enthusiasm, and is an energetic colour. While not a good idea for sedentary spaces, this colour is great for an active space such as an exercise room or gymnasium; it will bring out all the emotions that you need released during your fitness routine.

In ancient cultures, orange was believed to heal the lungs and increase energy levels.

Neutrals (black, grey, white and brown) are basic to the decorator’s tool kit. All-neutral schemes fall in and out of fashion, but their virtue lies in their flexibility: Add colour to liven things up; subtract it to calm things down. Black is best used in small doses as an accent. Touches of black work well to ground the colour scheme and give it depth.