The psychology of colours

Modern research has enlightened us to the fact that our brains release different chemicals that impact us physically and emotionally when looking at different colours. Not only has this been used for treatments such as light therapy, but marketers & businesses use it to control our moods and emotions.

 

 

With Lockdown, a lot of us have had a little more time to focus on ourselves whilst being stuck at home so much. With us suspending so much time surrounded by the same four walls, it’s high time we became more mindful of the colours we paint them!

Colour Qualities

Red

Red is associated with high energy and power. It’s the colour our eyes are drawn to first, so a little can go a long way. It symbolises courage, ambition, and strength. It encourages alertness and speed and connects us to our physical selves. Red may help instil confidence, get us going when we need to be active or task-oriented, and can help as an appetite stimulant so it’s a colour that can be added in all rooms of the house. When there is too much red present, or if someone is sensitive to reds, they may experience feelings of irritation, anger or hostility. there are two sides to every coin. Red is often best suited as an accent colour instead of the primary colour in decor.

Tip: Red can be intense, so introducing pattern can tone it down without losing the vibrancy.

Orange

Orange is a warm, inviting, and joyful colour. It creates feelings of sociability, enjoyable connection, and happiness. It has an emotionally-strong presence and promotes extroverted behaviour, making it a fitting colour for social spaces -such as dining, living & entertaining rooms- to promote interaction and relationship building. Because orange contains red, it too can be overused. Too much orange (or an orange that is too bright or intense) can be overwhelming and have a counterproductive effect of creating irritation and frustration.

Yellow

Yellow is the champion of optimism, brightness, cheery-ness, and mental clarity. It stimulates creativity, clarity, upbeat thinking and decision making. Yellow can be helpful in easing depression and encouraging laughter. However, studies have shown that over-exposure to yellow -in particular intense and deep yellows(showing elements of orange/red)-, can increase irritability, crying, hyperactivity, and can shorten tempers in babies and children as well as adults.

Tip: As yellow can be overpowering, allow yellow accents to shine against a sophisticated grey backdrop.

Violet

Violet is often a favourite colour among young women, it’s soft, delicate & feminine. It stimulates the problem-solving areas in our brain as well as stimulating creativity, intuition, and artistic ability. In design, violet communicates richness and sophistication. Based on this, it’s a fabulous choice for bedrooms and studies. Too much violet may result in feelings of insecurity or emotion suppression.

Green

Green nurtures renewal, balance, refreshment, and peace, which creates a calming influence and reduced stress. Indoor houseplants and herb gardens are an excellent way to bring green into homes. While there’s not much of a negative side to too much green, it can promote laziness and lack of initiative if overused.

Tip: Mix and match tones of green by drawing inspiration from the garden.

Blue

Blue encourages rest and calm and is a popular colour. Did you know, most people claim their favourite colour is blue?!  Blue can be useful in warding off insomnia and promoting deep sleep. It can help balance hyperactivity in children and promotes imagination and intuitive thinking. While blue can often be tolerated in higher amounts than other colours, it is a cool colour, and too much blue can shift into feelings of apathy, pessimism, or separation from others. Balancing blues with a warmer, more relational colour is smart for gathering spaces in a home.

Tip: Use a blue with a warm undertone to stop the room from feeling cold. Create the illusion of space with similar tones on the walls, mouldings and floor to merge the boundaries of the room.

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