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Published January 2021

Colour Psychology

When decorating an interior, think how helpful it would be if you knew what psychological impact your chosen colour would have.

The fact is, there are many factors that can influence how we feel and experience colour. So it is always useful to have a basic awareness of colour psychology when planning colour schemes.

Colour psychology explores the impact colour has on human behaviour

While this remains an area where there is so much more to learn, continuous research is developing our knowledge and understanding of colour psychology. We all react to colour and its effects in different ways, so preferences and responses cannot always be generalised. Culture, language and memories all contribute towards the impact colour has on our behaviour.

There have been many studies, but these are either very specific or very general. Colour referencing systems are not consistent and so there remains much debate surrounding the psychological and physical effects of colour.

Colour crosses the boundaries of different fields of enquiry

Physicists focus on frequencies and particles, chemists on molecular structures, neuroscientists look at brain signals, and opticians and physiologists look at how the eye sees. Artists on the other hand use colour instinctively.

In short, colour is a subjective matter. Most people will have an opinion on colour and, on many occasions, there is neither a right nor a wrong answer.

What we do know is that there are three basic properties of colour; hue, saturation and lightness, and any variation of these will impact on how a colour is perceived.

A lightened version of red becomes pink. A room painted pink will have a different impact from one that is painted maroon. A navy blue is dark and will create a different energy, in comparison with a room painted a pale sky blue. Vibrant shades tend to be best suited to a contemporary environment, although there will be exceptions.

Whilst lighter tones are less demanding and generally calmer, in contrast to vibrant colours that are highly energetic and more intense.

Under-stimulation too can result in restlessness and irritability, whereas over-stimulation can result in discomfort and increased muscle tension.

Colour Advice

In every living area, workspace or commercial hub, colour is something you can’t do without. Get expert advice on utilising colour to its full potential to create the perfect environment.