The psychology of colour and interior design

Everyone knows that the human brain is incredibly complicated, and we understand very little of its inner workings. When it comes to the generation of individual thoughts, and how these bring about unconscious associations, many specialists are at a loss for an explanation. What we do know, however, is that the ways a person thinks and acts can be subtly influenced by a wide variety of factors, including shape and colour.

Therefore, if we can establish how different shapes and colours impact upon a persons’ thoughts, it can then be very easy to use colour to create positive moods and associations. This is something I try and do in all of my projects, and is one of the reasons that my clients are so happy with the end result.

Generally speaking, colours can be divided into two types; warm and cool. As a rule of thumb, warm colours such as yellow, red and orange will evoke feelings of passion and activity, whereas cool colours which include purple, blues and greens are linked to evocations of harmony, calm and peace.

It’s not just the colour itself that has an impact though, but the intensity of the colour. Vibrant colours will make the mood ‘warmer’ and stronger, so a vibrant red will result in stronger feelings of passion than a subdued red. Pastel colours, however, have the opposite effect, and make the colour effects more ‘cool’. As such, you need to be careful with pastel blues in case it moves beyond feelings of relaxation into feelings of sadness.

One of the colours I find most versatile is yellow. Bright tones can bring optimism, creating an upbeat and cheery atmosphere. I have done this to great success in a number of my earlier projects around the Little Venice area of London. It can be easy to add too much yellow, however, and may cause the room to become too child-like. Orange tends to work in the same way.

I could go on, but I don’t want to reveal all of my secrets! Hopefully, from this brief explanation, you will understand how the psychology of colour plays an important role in interior design, and shows that there are huge complexities to creating the perfect house. As always, if you want any more information, or are interested in having me help you, please contact me today!