Interiors & Colour Psychology

Interiors & Colour Psychology

Colour is a powerful tool. It doesn’t just have the power to inspire us – it can persuade, inform, educate, and so much more.

Traffic lights, street signs, and even restaurant menus have their carefully colours chosen to help people make decisions. And when used in domestic and commercial spaces – in a decorative way – colour goes a long way to create the ambiance we want to achieve.

Colour & Space

Not only can introducing colour into our spaces allow us to express ourselves to others, but it is also proven to have an effect on our psychology – with the ability to affect our moods and influence us emotionally.

This phenomenon, also known as ‘colour psychology’, can also be affected by cultural differences or upbringing of whoever it is that is observing the colour. Some colours are heavily associated with certain themes and emotions, for example:

  • White – signifies a sense of innocence or peace in Western countries. However, in Eastern culture white symbolises death and mourning.
  • Blue – has calming properties, so it’s ideal for relaxing spaces where you want to unwind like the bathroom and bedroom.
  • Red – is generally associated with danger or fire and can raise adrenaline levels. Ramping up the red can prove to be quite the stimulant, so it’s great for anywhere where you might want some interesting conversation, or even high energy space like a gym.
  • Yellow – is happy, uplifting, and energising. Hallways and entrances can often benefit from a yellow hue, as the colour can also help give the illusion of having a larger space.
  • Green – can conjure feelings of growth and stimulation. It’s also a fantastic way to brighten up and freshen up a tired space – making a room go from drab to fab.

Material Wealth

The use of different materials can also help to transform a space, given how we perceive fabrics and textures.

Smooth and glossy materials such as glass or chrome can be the perfect accompaniment to clean, modern spaces. However, they can make spaces feel quite clinical (bit, then have you ever seen a hospital with fuzzy carpets?).

More tactile textures, such as wooden surfaces, can make a space feel warmer and give it a more ‘lived-in’ feel – so they’re ideal for making spaces cosy and relaxed. Soft cushions, throws, blankets, and rugs can also achieve the same effect.

If you are not one for accessorising your space a lot but still want to warm up your space with tactile texture, wall coverings are a great way to add an extra dimension of depth.

When combined with colour, the effect you’re trying to achieve will be even more dramatic. Or comfortable. Or energised. Or…?

Credits to Alexander van Berge (photo) and Jeroen van Zwetselaar (interior designer - for their work.