PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOUR

It's not something the average person thinks about everyday, but colours affect how we perceive the world around us; and therefore, how we feel about that world on a day-to-day basis. 

 

BLUE

Blue is, without doubt, one of the strongest colours of the spectrum. Deep, bold hues, such as navy (as seen in the right hand picture) and royal blue, are great for evoking confidence and are associated with admirable qualities such as loyalty, trust, peace and success. Lighter shades of the colour (such as the one used in the bedroom in the left picture) instil a feeling a of calm and tranquility, which makes them great for bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces where you want to relax. Additionally, you can cleverly use blue to cool a room with much sun and heat.


 

 

Symbolism: 

power, energetic, passion, 
ambition & tranquility.

 

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The color blue has a calming effect, as studies have shown that when people spent an extended amount of time in a room painted blue, their blood pressure decreased, as did their heart rate. You could successfully use blue in your bathroom, to create a tranquil spa like atmosphere or in a bedroom to instill a sense of serenity.  However, there is an exception to this rule, as electric blue is known to be quite energising and overstimulating for the eyes, so will have the opposite effect. 


 
 
 

GREEN

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Green is an extremely positive choice of colour as it often associated with growth, renewal, prosperity and generation. It immediately brings the natural world to mind as it an incredible way to bring a refreshing sense of nature indoors, especially if your home is located in a city with little surrounding greenery. The hue comes in a variety of attractive shades, ranging from emerald and jade to olive and lime. It makes a ideal wall colour in spaces where you need to open your mind such as kitchens (below left) and home studies, and, as it’s closely linked to money and prosperity. 


 

Symbolism: 

Growth, prosperity, regeneration, nature. Tones like emerald green are historically symbolic of luxury and opulence.

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On a ‘primitive’ psychological level, the color green tells us that we are safe; in a fertile, water-rich environment, above freezing temperatures, there is enough to eat and we will survive. We can relax.  This is why pale green tones are used in bedrooms with much success. However, be wary that if used improperly, it could make the space feel bland and cold. For example, if you were to use a green with blue undertones in a room that lacked natural light. 


 
 
 

YELLOW

Yellow is seen as an optimistic, uplifting and cheerful colour. Warm, bright and pure yellow colours are light reflective and became very popular in the 19th century (left picture). Whereas green-yellows give a modern/fresh appearance as they appear cooler than the warm yellow which are closer to orange on the colour wheel. Playful yellow shades make a perfect match for children’s bedroom and nurseries


 

Symbolism: 
Happy, radiant, joyful, optimistic.
Associated with intellect & 
personal power. 

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PURPLE

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Purple is associated with a wealth of wonderful emotions from depth and creativity to fantasy and nobility. It looks right at home in feminine spaces (using hues of pale purple and lavender), but deeper versions of the hue (such as aubergine or mauve) can also be incredibly masculine. The colour also carries a regal charm and suggests luxury, which enables the tone to bring real presence to a space. For example, purple has been really effective in the lounge space picture below. The room has been accessorised with a traditional grand chesterfield style sofa, impressive artwork and an extravagant chandelier light fighting. A real sense of opulence wealth has been created here. 


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Symbolism: 
spirituality, fantasy, wealth, oppulence, luxury, gender neutrality.


Pantone have forecasted ULTRAVIOLET as 2018’s Colour of the Year. It is impossible to ignore the historical, political and socio-economic links that the colour purple holds, especially for the gay and women’s suffrage movements over the past century. It’s really no surprise with recent turn of events that this colour has been foretasted for the season ahead as the colour heavily represents gender neutrality. 


 
 
 

ORANGE

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Orange has connotations of fun, joy, and playfulness. It encourages social interaction in a fun, conversational way, so is an excellent colour to use in social spaces where entertaining will take place. 
Orange also represents physical comfort, and expresses the feelings of abundance. Oranges with has a higher percentage of red creates livelier, more energised spaces. For example, the terrocotta/burnt sienna colour (left picture) is a warm, cheerful and relaxing orange colour, which is easy and calming on the eyes. Whereas, the brighter oranges (right picture) have a quirky, retro feel and is much louder/energetic. 


 

 

 

Symbolism: 
warm, social, lively, 
energetic and extroverted. 
Reminiscent of the sunset & spices. 

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Tip: 
Oranges are good choices for rooms which lack natural light, particularly in pale values such as salmon, peach and apricot tones. This is often a good choice for bedrooms as these tones are quite relaxing and romantic. 


 
 
 

RED

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Red is one of the more dramatic hues in the colour wheel and one of the most enticing colours when it comes to rousing emotions. It’s often coupled with sentiments such as passion, excitement and energy. Red has also been shown to increase heart rate, inciting focus and creativity. Futhermore, red is linked with ambition, action and will-power which is why red can be a productive choice for home offices and creative spaces. Rather than an overwhelming all red interior, which would be a overstimulating for the eyes in an office environment, many companies opt for red furniture and accessories (as shown in the picture below right).  The colour is not only powerful in its most basic form but also boasts many beautiful sister shades including tomato red, crimson and burgundy. 


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Symbolism: 
power, energetic, passion, excitement, ambition, creativity, focus, warmth.

 

Tip: 
Pyschologists have also completed studies showing that the colour red induces hunger, so this colour would be very appropriate for a cosy (due to the advancing nature of the red) dining room.