Color psychology in interior design is not only about how colors affect your mood, but also how they can make you look good. We are constantly surrounded by different shades of color at home, which have a lasting effect on how we think, feel and even look.
Think about it – have you ever thought about why you feel more relaxed in an off-white or beige room? Why does your pink powder room make you look good? All of this is largely due to color psychology and how light hits color and reflects off our skin. According to research from the National Library of Medicine, colors have a profound effect on our minds.
When it comes to color ideas, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are generally considered to be hues that evoke happiness, optimism, and energy. These are ideal for public areas in the house such as the living room, dining room or balcony. According to research, red in particular helps increase a person’s appetite.
Cooler hues like green, blue and purple are considered calming and soothing and are ideal for bedrooms. Purple in particular is considered to increase creativity.
“The colors you surround yourself with are a big part of how you feel in a space,” says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. “Lacquer colors can have a dramatic impact on the atmosphere of a room, with warm and cool evoking very different moods. It’s not just about considering the colour, but also its subtle undertones and the colors it will sit alongside in the room, either as painted surfaces or as accessories.’
We spoke to some experts to understand how different paint colors affect us both mentally and physically. Here’s what they had to say.
How different hues relate to color psychology in interior design
1. Pink can lift the spirits
A subtle glow emanates from pink walls, making both people and furnishings look brighter and more flattering. This makes pink bathroom ideas great for making sure you look your best as you get ready for the day.
“Pink is a great color inspiration for the living room because it’s unexpected but inviting and warm,” says interior designer Jennifer Morris, founder of JMorris Design. “The hue adds richness to the overall tone of the light, whether it’s creating an intimate atmosphere for a gathering or preparing for a restful sleep.”
In 1979, psychologist Alexander Schauss published a study proving that pink calms the mind and reduces aggression. Because of this, pink was used in US prisons for decades. Also known as Baker Miller pink, it was used to similar effects at a San Bernardino juvenile detention center.
“Pink evokes the feeling of softness; It’s also a color that’s inextricably linked to nature and flowers,” says interior designer Natalie Tredgett. “Psychologically, color calms us down, which is why it’s nice to be in a pink room. Furthermore, we all look and feel good in a pink room. Now that there are different shades of pink, you can use this shade to create different moods.”
2. Blue gives a sense of stability
“A Travelodge survey of 2,000 UK households looked at how bedroom color affects the quality and duration of sleep,” Jude Stewart, design writer and author of the book ROY G. BIV: A Most Surprising Book on Color. “Blue was the clear winner: Blue-drenched sleepers get an average of seven hours and 52 minutes of nighttime sleep. Because the hue is associated with a feeling of calm, it helps people relax better.”
It is also a color of depth and perception. It is considered an indicator of security, order, stability and reliability. Plus, multiple colors go with blue, making it a versatile hue to design with. “In a bedroom, warm tones of pink, red, or lilac make you feel safe and secure, but cool tones of aqua or blue promote better sleep,” says Suzy Chiazzari, color consultant and holistic designer.
“Blue is by far the most popular color in the world,” says Natalie. “It’s associated with uniform and workwear – suits, police, jeans – and has a sense of dependability. This makes residents feel comfortable and calm.” Studies also show that blue helps people concentrate better.
3. Sage green can induce a sense of calm
This calming, natural shade is very popular, and many other colors go well with green. Green in particular has a calming effect on a child. Studies have proven that green can improve a child’s reading speed and comprehension. The color helps to reduce fears and is reminiscent of the great outdoors.
The color is also associated with responsibility – think of hospital gowns and operating rooms that represent this hue. Green also motivates people and makes them feel like they can achieve anything.
“Soft muted tones like mushroom sage green are gentle and have a calming effect that work particularly well in spaces like bedrooms or dining rooms, creating an elegant and soothing atmosphere,” says Ruth. “For an uplifting yet calming scheme, consider warmer, earthier neutrals paired with deeper hues to create a contemporary look.”
“Colors that promote recovery and a state of active rest are greens of various shades and blues that aren’t too dark, but you should choose any color you love and turn it down from its loudest hue, and that might be the.” the perfect color for that is you,” says Jude.
“It might be tempting to choose colors that are too sleepy or too dark because they promote better sleep. But that choice could leave you feeling groggy when you try to wake up in the morning. Think about how a color carries from day to night, from sleep to wake,” says Jude.
4. Teal inspires optimism
A deeper version of green with a mix of blues, teal is a dark cyan with an imposing presence. It is reminiscent of tropical lagoons, dense jungles and beautiful dancing peacocks. It’s a happy medium and the best teal color to easily decorate with.
The rich yet balanced hue can be uplifting, energetic and optimistic to work with. The color also signifies trustworthiness and dependability, perhaps a perfect antidote to uncertain times, troubled times.
5. Red can evoke feelings of prestige and dominance
Red is associated with passion and love. It is a color that evokes strong emotions. The shade, especially in red living rooms, can energize the mind and body. In fact, research says red can also increase heart rate. Because of its long wavelength, it is one of the most visible colors on the color spectrum.
“Cognitive psychologists believe that red spaces make people working in them more accurate and careful; according to a 2009 study in Science magazine,” says Jude.
Red is also a color that evokes feelings of dominance, power, and prestige. This is a good color for home offices or study areas.
6. Purple can cause sensitivity in children
People often think of purple as a mysterious, spiritual, and imaginative color. Because it is a shade rarely found in nature, it is considered fascinating. The hue is a combination of red and blue and is often associated with royalty, and due to its different shades, there are many colors that go well with purple. Purple is great for evoking sensibilities in children, but in a child’s room you want to limit it to accents.
“Purple supposedly gives sleepers a measly five hours and 56 minutes of sleep a night,” explains Jude. “The lesson for interior design fans seems clear: if the thought of purple gets your heart racing, keep those sleep-disrupting pops of purple concentrated in accent pieces rather than enveloping entire walls.”
What paint colors are the most flattering?
The light reflected from the colors and finishes in the house affects how we look. Deeper tones make us appear darker and softer tones make us appear lighter. Of course, this depends a lot on your skin tone, the time of day and the quality of the indoor light.
It is widely believed that pink can make pale skin appear lighter. “The color pink alludes to retro, while still remaining modern. Light bouncing off pink walls or furniture makes pale skin look more radiant and radiant,” says Jennifer.
Similarly, deep blues reflect light in a way that flatters any white skin tone. This is perhaps due to the fact that the color is widespread in nature (sky, ocean, flowers).
When it comes to green, it can be an uplifting hue, but its tone needs to be chosen carefully. “Green is a great color for indoors, but it needs to be used with a bit of thought as it can make people look sallow if it’s not the right shade. Choose warmer shades of green instead of pastel or neon to make you look better,” says Jennifer.
“It’s true that a teal or green room – painted in colors like Dulux Heritage Maritime Teal or DH Grass Green – makes a redhead with a lighter skin tone look stunning, and red or orange rooms really make a darker complexion shine,” says Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux.
“Colors that are the opposite of our predominant natural complexions are the ones that really make us the focal point in an interior,” says Marianne. “If you have blue or green eyes, pale skin and dark hair, consider coral and soft pinks — like Dulux Heritage Potter’s pink — and if you have darker skin and brown eyes, virtually any bold color will make you look good while.” You’re pale neutrals can make you look washed out.’