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How to use Colour Psychology in your Home: An Expert’s Guide

When it comes to selecting colour schemes for our lounge, kitchen or bedroom many of us will simply choose the colours we like, but particular colours can have a huge impact (for better or for worse) on our well-being, mood and subconscious. 

We’ve teamed up with colour expert Gareth Henderson of gih studio, to uncover the powerful effects colour has on our emotions. “Colour has an undeniable psychological impact,” says Henderson. Find out more about the emotive power of colours and how this can affect the mood in your home.

Red

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#kennethbrowndesign #reddiningroom

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“Red is bold,” states Henderson. “It seeks attention from your eye because it contrasts with the majority of colour that is around us, which happens to be blue and green.” Vibrant red can stir-up energy and be very impactful in a room. Consider some popular terms you’ve probably used, like ‘red-hot sale,’ ‘seeing red’ or ‘red-carpet treatment.’ On the downside it’s also associated with caution, opposition or danger. 

The Positives: exciting, energising, dynamic, stimulating, dramatic, motivating, impactful

The Negatives: aggressive, antagonistic, danger, warning

Orange

Orange colours remind us of bold, beautiful sunsets, cascading autumn leaves and refreshing citrus. The colour is associated with high energy levels and enthusiasm. Like red, it’s a warm, stimulating colour that encourages action and thought. An excellent choice for promoting conversation or physical action. Just be warned that orange can take on an immature tone if it’s used too abundantly. 

Positives: positive, fun, whimsical, active, friendly, sociable, good-natured, glowing

Negatives: frivolous, immature, loud, cartoonish

Yellow

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Gorgeous Mexican Style Kitchen 😍🌻

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Yellow is a positive, cheerful tone that’s soft yet stimulating, just like warm radiating sunshine. Mellow Yellow has been known to lift one’s self-esteem and spirits. “Use shades of yellow to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere,” suggests Henderson, “but be advised that saturated or intense yellow can create feelings of insincerity or deceit.” 

The Positives: joyful, friendly, radiating, optimism, nourishing, hospitable

The Negatives: cowardice, caution, fear, betrayal

Green

Green is definitely an on-trend colour at the moment. This is probably because of its ability to act as a natural stress reliever. Garden green is associated with nature and its abundance: lifegiving, refreshing and nurturing. So, it comes as no surprise that green has a calming and reassuring effect. Try green colours if your aim is to promote restorative relaxation. 

The Positives: healthy, balance, life, growth, soothing, fresh, restorative

The Negatives: Envy, jealousy, illness

Blue

“Blue is a natural cooling colour and has an excellent calming effect on both the body and mind,” says Henderson. When thinking of blue it’s common to come up with images of the ocean or sky. For this reason, it inspires tranquillity. It also has associations with intelligence and productivity. Try blue for clarity and communication. “Harsh blue lighting can associate with depression or feeling blue,” warns Henderson, “so be mindful of the tone you choose and try not to light a blue wall with blue light.” 

The Positives: serenity, dependability, aquatic, authoritative, classic, confidence

The Negatives: coldness, emotionless, aloof, melancholic

Purple

Purple is a dramatic, rich and sophisticated colour. “Interestingly, the colour doesn’t readily occur in nature so it has a mysterious, rare appeal,” explains Henderson, “it was also a fabric that was historically difficult to dye, so it cost a fortune and was reserved for royalty and the wealthy.” Find your inner spirituality, creativity and imagination with purple. It can, however, be perceived as overwhelming and distasteful if used to excess.

The Positives: luxury, spirituality, imagination, sophistication, mystery, drama, prestige, wealth

The Negatives: decadence, extravagance, aloofness

Pink

“For the most part, pink is a soothing, feminine tone.” says Henderson. “Being a softer version of red, it can stimulate creativity depending on how you balance it out with other colours.” Pink symbolises compassion, support and kindness, so consider using light shades of pink to create contentment and childlike innocence. Be advised however, that dark or shocking pinks associate with being nonconformist or eccentricity. 

The Positives: affectionate, compassionate, soft, youthful, tender, sweet, innocent

The Negatives: outrageous, nonconformity, eccentric, gaudy

Brown

Brown is a rich, earthy colour which, like green is associated with nature. Sturdy, reliable brown offers stability and predictability. Often associated with tactile elements, like leather or wood, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking to communicate being practical and dependable. It can be seen as a little bit too utilitarian or masculine at times, but with the right light, textures, lines and accessories it can bring a wholesome feel to a room.

The Positives: reliable, supportive, authentic, grounding, steady, wholesome

The Negatives: serious, boring

Black

“Black is obviously a power colour,” confirms Henderson. Just like Coco Chanel’s iconic little black dress, it exudes timeless elegance. It’s bold, confident and authoritarian. Black is often associated with wealth, style and sophistication. Use black if you want to make a bold statement. 

The Positives: elegance, style, sophistication, power, authority, bold, strong, modern

The Negatives: menacing, oppressing, mourning

Grey

Grey is a classic, neutral colour. It’s not as bold as black but it’s also a tone that suggests power and authority. Typically used and associated with corporate practicality, intellect, technology and luxury, grey tones have a complementary effect on surrounding colours because it is so unobtrusive. 

The Positives: balancing, neutral, intelligence, strength, power, sophistication

The Negatives: hibernation, lack of energy, bland, detached, reserved

White

All-purpose white symbolises purity and innocence. It’s often used in settings related to the health and wellness industry because of its clear association with cleanliness. “It’s classic, fresh and untarnished. Use white if you’re looking to create a pure or ethereal mood,” suggests Henderson. 

The Positives: Clean, fresh, purity, classic, simplicity

The Negatives: sterile, clinical, cold, elitist, unfriendly

Now that you have a better understanding of colours – you’ll be raring to go with those home improvements. The Mattress Warehouse stocks a wide range of bedroom accessories to help with your bedroom decorating. Find the best bed or mattress for your new home makeover. We offer free nationwide delivery.