The Psychology of Colour in Interior Design

Most of us have an emotional response to the colours around us, they can really alter the feeling of a space which in-turn affects the way we feel - this is why it's important to plan your colour scheme before designing any space in your home. Regardless of how much or how little you use of certain colours, it's still important to consider the emotions they portray.
The way certain colours make us feel is of course completely subjective - everyone is different and has had different experiences throughout life. These ideas are suggestions only, based on what we know about how different colours make most of us feel, most of the time. 



Connotations: energy, passion, danger, excitement, adventure, warmth

When used correctly, this colour can make a room feel warm and snug - despite this, too much can easily make a space feel chaotic and claustrophobic. It is also known to be invigorating & energetic, so not advised for areas used by nervous or easily-stressed people.
USE: living room, games room AVOID: bedroom, bathroom


Connotations: femininity, romance, charm, playfulness, love, tenderness, peace

Dependant on the tint, pink can give off different feelings. Pastels are usually soothing and calming whereas hot pink communicates playfulness.
USE: bedroom AVOID: kitchen, dining room


Connotations: heat, sunshine, creativity, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, expression

Like most colours, orange also has different connotations depending on the shade. Darker oranges relate to halloween, pumpkins and autumn leaves whereas brighter oranges represent sunshine, holidays and heat.
USE: dining room, kitchen AVOID: bedroom, bathroom


Connotations: sunshine, heat, optimism, cheerfulness, positivity, energy, stimulating

Yellow is bright and welcoming so is perfect for special occasions. In the home it can potentially be a little too over-stimulating; apparently babies cry more in yellow rooms.
USE: games room, hallway AVOID: bedroom


Connotations: royalty, luxury, power, creativity, wisdom, pride, magic, delicacy, stability, calm, peace

Purple rarely appears in nature which is why it is largely considered quite a sacred colour - lavender is considered precious and delicate. If you're trying to create a nature-inspired space, try not to overuse shades of purple since it isn't actually common in nature itself.
USE: study, bedroom AVOID: dining room


Connotations: imagination, inspiration, sensitivity, depth, trust, loyalty, wisdom, intelligence, cooling

The colour blue represents the sea and the sky - both of which bring about feelings of calm. It is considered relaxing to the nervous system and is also said to sharpen the mind. Since blue gives off feelings of wisdom and intelligence, it is a great colour for spaces you would like to show knowledge and experience.
USE: study AVOID: living room


Connotations: sophistication, harmony, calm, energy, serenity, creativity, balance, cooling, tranquility, patience

Depending on the shade/tint, turquoise can feel very different. Teal is associated with sophistication whereas lighter shades such as aqua represent fresh water. Both bring about feelings of welcome and harmony.
USE: bathroom, bedroom AVOID: kitchen, dining room


Connotations:  life, nature, energy, growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, ambition

This is the most restful colour to the human eye. Since it is the colour of nature, it's a serene and harmonising colour that does well in any room. We are used to seeing the colour green in the advertising of natural foods and medical products so we assume safety when we see green.
USE: any room


Connotations: hygiene, sterility, purity, perfection, innocence, heaven, illumination, simplicity

White feels cleansing and promotes a feeling of freshness. A white picket fence surrounds a safe and joyful home. Too much white can cause headaches since it is such a bright and brilliant colour.
USE: kitchen, bathroom AVOID: study, dining room


Connotations: strength, authority, elegance, sophistication, formality, death, mystery, fear

Black is the opposite to white - it absorbs all colours and puts nothing back into a room. Black should only ever be used as a statement accent colour in any space.
USE: study AVOID: bedroom, bathroom


Connotations: home, warmth, earth, wood, stone, wholesomeness, grounding, foundations

Brown is a great colour to use as an accent in any space, it's similar to black in its effect, but warm browns are friendlier and more optimistic. Brown is a colour that is associated with nature and the earth; it feels comforting and nurturing.
USE: any room


What did you guys think of this blog post? A little different to my usual style but I personally love all aspects of interior design - even the super nerdy parts!


Love, Bethany


tags: interior design, how to