Colour has a huge influence on how we feel – in the world around us, in our clothes, and in our homes. Whether it’s a beautiful blue sky that lifts our mood, or dressing in our favourite shade of green, colour evokes feeling and emotion, even if we’re not aware of it.

The psychology of colour

Psychologists will tell you that colour can impact on your emotions and your behaviour. While much of our feeling about colour comes from our own personal taste and even experiences, there are some colour effects that are just universal. There’s a reason why lab coats are clean, clinical white, for example, or your local Indian takeaway is a spicy yellow or red.

How does colour make you feel?

Colours in the red spectrum – zesty orange, citrus yellow, crimson, russet – are thought of as warm and welcoming, associated with comfort, like an open fire on a chilly day. Colours on the blue side of the spectrum – aqua, teal, powder blue – are thought of as cooler and calming, bringing to mind tranquil pools of water and wide expanses of ocean.

Using colour in our homes

So when it comes to putting together a room scheme, there’s more to think about than just what colours you like. It’s tempting to surround yourself with your favourite shades, but what mood do you want to convey in your space? How do you want guests to feel when they enter a room?

The strength of a colour can also have an impact – for example, purple can be rich and dark for a sense of drama, or a pale and pared-back shade of lavender to soothe and relax. Orange can be an attention-grabbing flame colour that’s stimulating and fiery, or a darker terracotta for a Mediterranean vibe. Try warm colours in a dining room for a feeling of cosy conviviality, or use bright, zingy shades to liven up a kitchen or playroom.

Pack in some personality

Of course, personal experience can influence how we feel about certain shades. One person’s passionate red could be another’s warning sign. So keep to your own instincts when choosing your colour schemes. And be sure to convey some of your own personality and style with your colour choices.

Whether you go for ultra-modern all-white walls or a different shade in every room, make sure your colour choices create the home you want to live in. Good luck with your spacemaking!