Saturday, 24 June 2017

Colour Psychology - How Colour Palette Choices Affect Our Mood!

Whether or not we’re conscious of it, colours have an instantaneous, almost primitive effect on our mental well-being. Colour psychology has been used to great effect in many industries for a very long time; from restaurants to insurance brokers, savvy businesses all understand that in order to get inside the mind of a customer, they have to try to make the customer inherently feel something.

Our homes are not immune to this colour psychology either. Colour can help you to tell a story and invoke a sense of place and purpose.

The way a room is painted, decorated and lit plays a huge part in how we experience that space, and how it makes us feel. Certain colours make us feel positive, negative, optimistic and happy, sad, protected, agitated or peaceful. Therefore, whether you’re redecorating or starting from scratch, it’s a good idea to try and learn a little about colour theory, and about how colours can work best for you.

Neutral Bases
Like coffee beans in a department store perfume department, grey is the ultimate palette neutraliser. Choosing grey and other neutral tones and colours (beige, camel, ivory, charcoal) as the base for your home is smart not only because they are easily combined with flourishes of colour, but also because they’re non-aggressive palette choices which imbue your home and surroundings with a coherent, fuss free base.

When selecting your neutrally coloured design features, it’s important to think about where and what in the room you wish to highlight and what you wish to blend in. If you’re looking to highlight a piece of feature furniture or art, selecting soft furnishings and décor in neutral colours (such as grey curtains) are great ways to bring the focus and attention to the statement piece.

Bright Ideas
Certain periods of history are associated with differing points of the colour spectrum.

The late 1960s are remembered through the use of vivid, psychedelic colours, where the 1970s reverted to more natural brown and green hues. In the 1980s, neon and dayglo became fashionable again, while in the 1990s, black was back with a vengeance.

What this teaches us is that colours are not only able to change our moods individually, but that they are also able to capture a larger image of a time and place. This is important to remember when redecorating or redesigning your home. If you intend on creating a home with longevity in mind, choosing colours which are not a ‘flavour of the month’ (ie; Pantone colour of the year) or are not ubiquitous (lime green kitchen splashbacks circa 2015) will carry your home (and your feelings about your home) through to the next era.

Hot & Cold
Colour also has a way of giving temperature to a space, both through the use of decoration and lighting. Imagine a room with pure white walls and fluorescent lighting. Does it seem comfortable to you, or are you envisioning the inside of a hospital?

The way that our colour choices and any lighting interacts with each other is important.

If you’re trying to create an environment which feels warm, inviting and natural, play with warm lighting and natural textures. Resist the urge to over-decorate with saturated reds as well as warm lighting - since come summertime, you may start to feel like you're living inside a furnace!

Conversely, cool-toned colours such as blues and bright whites can help cool down a room in summer, and give off a distinct beach-house vibe when used well.

Calm & Collected
White tones are often associated with calmness, cleanliness and minimalism - which may be important to you if you’re in the process of change or upheaval. By imbuing your walls and surrounds with white, you’re allowing your surrounds to act as an oasis of calm, soaking up any excess worry or dread, while also creating an illusion of open space.

Professional interior designers rely on the well-known effect of whitewashed walls in order to create the depth and breeziness of a larger space in a small room. White has a strange ability to blunt our ability to gauge depth and space - which means it becomes a useful tool in opening up otherwise claustrophobic or tiny spaces.

When trying to come to terms with the colour choices available when designing or redesigning your home décor, it’s important to take the time to consider how you want the space to make you feel. Through the judicious use and placement of colour, you can help your home interiors to tell the story you want them to tell. 

How do the colours in your home affect your mood? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... what's your favourite colour to decorate with?

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