Choosing the right colour for the rooms in your home might be more important than you think. Colours work as a universal language. We intuitively describe red as warm and blue as cool — and the way we perceive colours has a profound effect on how they affect us in our surroundings.
"What color you paint your walls isn't just a matter of aesthetics. It's a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior,"
says Leslie Harrington, a colour consultant and expert on residential and industrial décor, quoted by webmd.com.
Check out our list of basic colours and their characteristics together with tips on how to use colour psychology to your advantage when painting your home.
The bedroom is supposed to be the ultimate relaxing space in your house. It lets you relax in the evening and helps you feel fresh and welcome the new day in the morning. Experts often recommend using cool colours known to have a calming effect and relieve stress levels in the bedroom. (Even music teachers recommend their students find a green or blue object in the hall and focus to focus on before concerts to get rid of stage fright.) Leslie Harrington explains the magic hidden behind blue shades:
Red tends to increase blood pressure and heart rate and stimulate activity. Blue does just the opposite.
Plus, according to this survey quoted by the Daily Mail, people sleeping in blue rooms get the most sleep compared to other sleepers. While we traditionally think of blue as a colour for boys, both genders respond to it the same way.
The general rule is that the darker the shades you use, the greater the impact they have on you. But be careful — using overly intense colours might result in rather aggressive or cold feelings in the room. For the most balanced colour scheme, try to mix both lighter and darker hues in the décor. Some people also like experimenting with violet in their bedrooms. Often associated with royalty, violet is a risky colour to use, as it can easily get overpowering and look artificial. But going for lighter lavender shades can be perfectly relaxing and pleasing to the eye.
Kids’ bedrooms are the place for you and your children to unleash your imaginations and play around with colour. Kids love spending time in bright and playfully coloured rooms that match their energy. On the other hand, there’s a challenge here. Besides bold colours for daily adventures, you also need to include subtler accents that will help your kids relax and sleep well at night. Orange, red, yellow, and green all work perfectly. If you can’t decide on a single colour, use blocks of colours. For example, go for orange for the shelving, yellow for the storage, and green or blue for the bed. If the shades you're using are too bold, put in a lighter addition in the form of a carpet or bed linens.
If you have a newborn, you should moderate all these tips a bit. According to houzz.com, softer shades of blue, pink, lavender, or airy yellow are well suited for sleeping babies. The light shades of wall colours and furniture have a pleasant soothing effect. (And parents will surely be interested in keeping their babies from feeling energized at night!)
Many people still follow the traditional pattern of leaving their bathroom white. Intuitively, white has a hygienic feel and showcases impeccable the cleanliness in a room. Today, there’s probably no need to stick to the image of a spotless bathroom, so consider leaving that white sterility behind. There are several different approaches you can take when it comes to choosing bathroom décor. For example, if you have troubles waking up in the morning and always take showers before leaving for work, go for energizing colours that will kick off your day, such as yellow or orange. On the other hand, if you view your bathroom as a place for relax in the evenings and generally use it as your personal spa, calming colours might be the best choice for you. According to Leslie Harrington, one of the popular designs that combines the best from both approaches is using blues and greens together with violet or turquoise, as they emit “a sense of being clean and fresh — and calm.”
It’s most important to focus on creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere so that members of the family enjoy spending their time together here. Experts agree that warm tones of reds, yellows, and dark oranges as well as earth tones such as brown and honey are a good option for the living areas of your home, including the family room and den.
"These are colors that encourage people to sit around and talk.You feel the warmth, the connection with other people,"
says Kate Smith, a colour consultant from Lorton, Virginia. Earth shades are also known to evoke feelings of security and reassurance — especially when used as wall colours.
For the dining room, colour experts would almost unanimously go for energizing colours. Don’t be afraid to be bolder than usual and use red or orange shades that will excite your diners. The results can be quite surprising.
"If your dining room is red, people may think you are a better cook,"
says Harrington. As we've seen, shades of red and orange increase your blood pressure and stimulate the appetites of your guests, and they seem to help encourage conversation over a meal. Have you ever noticed that red is often used in restaurants? Designers and venue owners certainly know their trade well. Orange, on the other hand, feels welcoming and creates a warm and comfortable atmosphere in a room.
If you often use the room after dark, midnight blue, dark grey, or aubergine might also create dramatic colour schemes for your late treats.
The kitchen is the place for bright, invigorating colours that will keep your energy level high while cooking. Red, yellow and orange shades are among the most popular here. Now that you understand the invigorating effects of red, you might not be sure whether it's the best idea for your kitchen. If you’re on a diet, yellow and orange might suit you better — they are warm and bright, but they don’t encourage you to eat more. Some people even believe using blue in the kitchen can prompt you to reduce the amount of time spent standing at the fridge by lowering your blood pressure and suppressing your appetite.
Colours as a Personal Statement
All that being said, it’s also vital to recognize how the power of colours links to our memories and personal preferences. Who cares if your choice fits with colour psychology? The only thing that really matters is your feeling about the place you live in. As Kate Smith says,
If you grew up in a blue-and-white kitchen and have great memories, blue and white may be the best colours for you and your family.
The bottom line is clear: get inspired by the colour décor tips in this post, but follow your intuition. Let us know about some interesting colour combinations you've come up with in your home.