Psychology of colour

Colours


 

Colour has always been important as it is associated with moods and feelings. In this article we will go through the meaning of the following colours:

Red

Cherries in China
Associated with: Danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure and optimism.
Best for: The colour red is known as a sociable and lively colour and is used to stimulate the appetite, making this colour a prefect choice for dining rooms.

Though Reds have become more and more popular over the last couple of years and can range from fiery, passionate, sophisticated and warm, reds can also be overpowering and lead to headaches. It is a good idea to vary the shade of red on one wall or just use it for accessories. Reds should never be used in a baby’s room.

Pink

pink
Associated with: Love, fresh, flirtatious and distinctly feminine.

Best for: The colour pink has become very fashionable again and can be found ranging from soft pink to tropical coral or playful raspberry. Pink is a good colour for bedrooms as it can be peaceful and restful and if mixed with a hot fuchsia, introduce passion.

Pink can come across as too sweet and girly – to counteract this you could introduce a neutral colour or hints of dark charcoal, brown or black.

Orange

orange-sunset-12671
Associated with: Stability, reassurance, warmth, sunset, autumn leaves and it’s also supposed to be an aid to digestion.
Best for: Living and dining rooms.

Orange is becoming increasingly popular and this year’s oranges are rich, cozy and slightly spiced but be aware that orange can make a room look smaller, so make sure you only use orange in a room with lots of natural light.

 

Green

green
Associated with: Promotes feelings of well-being and harmony, nature, security, stability
and balance.
Best for: The colour green is known to aid concentration, making it a good colour for offices and study areas and bathrooms.

Green can make people complacent or too laid back, so inject different shades of green such as deep olive or the colour of new leaves to make the room fresh.

 

Blue

blue
Associated with: Soothing and calming, loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative, prevents nightmares, promotes intellectual thought and is believed to keep hunger at bay.
Best for: Bedrooms and bathrooms.

Depending of the natural light in the room, Blue can look cold and therefore be unwelcoming. To prevent this make sure you choose a blue with a warm undertone such as oceanic turquoise or shades of wispy clouds.

 

Yellow

yellow-14
Associated with: Sunshine and energy, creativity and stimulates the intellect.
Best for: Kitchens, dining rooms or north facing rooms.

Yellow should not be used for a bedrooms as it is not a very restful colour. Yellow ranges from soft creamy butter to deep amber and is a friendly and inviting colour. Be careful with yellow as some stronger shades can enhance feelings of emotional distress.
 

Lilac

Lilac
Associated with: Feminine, spiritual matters as it simulates the misty area between the sky and heaven.
Best for: Bedrooms and bathrooms to create a stress free sanctuary.

Lilac can be insipid. Try to liven it up with black or silver, or both.

 

Purple

purple
Associated with: Magic, creativity, joy, fertility, sensuous, luxurious and sex.
Best for: Bedrooms

Purple was once reserved solely for nobility. The colour purple is sumptuous and elegant. Purple ranges from deep plum, mysterious mauve to cheerful windflowers shades. Purple can be overpowering, so try to tone it down with a light shade of purple, use it for a feature wall or just accessories for your room.

 

Brown

chocolate
Associated with: Stability, security and a very practical colour.
Best for: Living rooms

The colour brown is also known as the ‘new’ neutral and with the various shades of taupe and beige brown, will look great with almost any colour. You could for example introduce a livelier colour for mental stimulation such as green or blue to compliment the brown.

 

Grey

gry pig

Associated with: Sophistication.
Best for: All rooms

Neutral colours such as grey can be used to bring sense of order and peace to a colourful palette. Grey is considered smart and sophisticated and ranges from dark charcoal to misty silver and looks great when paired with colourful accents.

 

Black

45202-black-wood
Associated with: Drama, death and eccentricity. It is a non-colour that absorbs all colours and reflects nothing back.
Best for: Nothing in particular but can be used in moderation.

Black is most commonly connected with depression and should not be used for a base colour but used to temper the sweetness of colours like pink.

 

White

Associated with: Innocence, purity,wholeness, cleanliness and completion. White is the combination of all the colours.
Best for: 
Accents, highlights and creating space.

White is most commonly connected with sterility and can make a room feel cold and bland. It is best used in moderation.

Matt Avion

Photographer, entrepreneur and British. Lives on the wonderfully creative island of Bali. What else is there to know?

1 Response

  1. July 12, 2014

    […] all referential material, the psychology of colour, see  Psychology of colour, is a guide. Factoring in personalities, cultural differences and personal emotional associations […]

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