Can colours affect your mood?

Olwin Home Colour affect your mood yello natural home boho chic decor

If you feel like you need a change in your home after spending so much time in lockdown, we get it! We strongly believe that a happy and healthy home is key to your physical and emotional wellbeing. It is therefore important to make sure your interior is inspiring and nurturing. Now that spring is coming it’s the perfect time to start afresh. But where do you start? While there are countless ways to redecorate, nothing is more efficient than switching up a colour scheme in order to easily transform the atmosphere in your home. Not only that, but colours can also affect your mood! Here we will look into which emotions each colour evokes.

How colours affect your mood

Modern research shows that our brains release different chemicals that impact us physically and emotionally when we lay eyes on a colour.

The brighter and lighter a colour, the more cheerful and optimistic it will make you feel. On the other hand, deep and dark colours can often create a sense of sadness if not well balanced with lighter shades.

When choosing a room’s colour scheme, bear in mind that balance is best achieved with a mix of warm, neutral and cool colours. Regardless of personal preferences, warm, bright colours tend to evoke feelings of happiness and energy, whereas cooler, pastel colours promote serenity and calm.

Warm colours

Colours with warm undertones such as reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows are radiant and cozy. Note that, because warm colours seem to advance, they make small rooms appear smaller and large rooms more intimate. 

Red

Red is the most intense and dynamic colour. As the symbol of passion and energy, it is known for stimulating appetites and conversation, which is great for bringing social rooms to life. However, ihas also been shown to increase blood pressure and heart rate, which is not ideal for resting areas where colours should evoke a feel of serenity and relaxation. 

Red signals confidence, ambition, and strength, which can help motivate us when we need to be active or task-oriented. This can make it a good option for an office or study space. That said, red can also provoke anger and irritability so should be used in small doses. Favour its use as an accent colour rather than the primary colour of a room. You can look for muted, rich reds which have a softer and more elegant look.

Pink

Pink is the calming colour of love. There is actually something called the Pink Effect: exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves. It can also help relieve feelings of anger, aggression and neglect. As such, pink has the opposite effect to its primary colour, red, as the longer you are exposed to it, the calmer you will become. It is a flexible colour that can work well in most rooms. Lighter pinks are great for childrens’ rooms and promote feelings of love, playfulness and kindness. 

Farrow & Ball International Colour Consultant, Joa Studholme, explains the benefit of introducing pink into a modern home: “Everyone is so busy, and we’re constantly staring at and swiping hard, flat screens. Incorporating softer, more tender shades can make it feel as if your home is giving you a hug.”

Orange

Orange is an exciting colour that enhances a feeling of vitality and enthusiasm. It encourages extroverted behaviour, ideal for promoting interaction and relationship building, but not so good for living rooms or bedrooms where you want to wind down. It’s a great colour to exercise around but can also increase appetite. So watch out about using too much of it in the kitchen, as you might end up eating all those calories you just burnt!

Yellow

Yellow can be helpful in easing depression since it stimulates serotonin (the feel-good chemical) in our brains and is associated with laughter, hope and sunshine. This colour makes you feel energetic, happy, and spontaneous, making it fantastic for living areas and kitchens. Particularly helpful for making you feel more lively while making your morning coffee. 

Yellow is a warm and welcoming shade that reflects light. This makes it very suitable for poorly lit rooms or hallways, brightening the mood as soon as you enter the home. However, bear in mind that too much bright yellow can cause fatigue and anxiety. Soft, buttery yellows are more calming and easier on the eyes. To get the most out of yellow, use it sparsely as an accent shade against neutral shades.

Cool colours

Colours with cool undertones include greens, blues and purples, which are usually calming and soothing. Cool colours appear to recede, making a room appear larger. Since these tones can make a room feel colder, they work better in a sunny room while they might not be as comforting in a room with little natural light.

Green

Green is one of the most restful colours for your eyes and has restorative and mind-clearing effects. Green brings to mind health, new beginnings and wealth. It is therefore a great colour for most rooms, and particularly for your home office. It also resonates with nature and the outdoors, making it both calming and invigorating, and helps to reduce anxiety. An easy way to introduce green into the home is to bring in some refreshing plants and lush greenery, which don’t only look good but also have a wealth of positive effects on your mental and physical wellbeing.

Blue

Blue can make you feel centred, relaxed and serene. This colour can help lower blood pressure, clear the mind and help steady your breathing. As it is the colour of the sky and the ocean, the naturally cooling and calming effects of blue are ideal for inspiring tranquillity in bedrooms and bathrooms. Since blue is also known to improve focus and productivity, it would work well for an office or child’s study area. In addition, it can help balance hyperactivity in children and promotes imagination and intuitive thinking. 

That said, not all blues have the same effect. If the balance isn’t right, dark blues may invoke feelings of sadness, while pastel blues may come across as a little chilly, especially in rooms with little natural light. In these rooms, choose blues with warm or muted tones.

Purple

Purple is a rich, dramatic colour that conveys notions of mystery, creativity, royalty and wealth. Lighter purples such as lavender and lilac are good options for a bedroom as they are calming and light, whereas deep purples aren’t the best for the mind to relax. 

Neutral colours

Neutrals like white, black, beige and grey can also make you feel calm. The fewer colours you combine and the more simple and minimalist a design is, the more calming it will feel. Neutrals are great to balance out brighter accent colours. Earthy tones of beige and brown can help you feel grounded and give an impression of warmth and serenity in a home. Privilege these when trying to create a natural aesthetic.

There you have it! Now you know how different colours affect your mood. Next step: decide how you want to feel in each room and start redecorating. If you are planning on using paints, make sure you choose low-VOC options to keep your home nice and healthy. We’ve written an article about how to reduce exposure to VOCs if you want to learn more about this.  

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