Room colour psychology is an integral part of your daily life, affecting your moods and energy levels simply through the room color you choose for your walls. Colour is a powerful design tool that can make the rooms in your home feel more calm, cheerful, comfortable, dramatic, or a myriad of other emotions you may or may not welcome. Surprisingly (not not surprisingly), most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the effects of colour in the rooms of their homes and choose based on ‘favourites’ alone.

The way colour affects us dates to the ancient Egyptians who studied the effects of colour on their mood and used it to accomplish holistic benefits, such as red increasing circulation, orange to increase energy, and blue to soothe pain.

Look around you – how do the colours in your home affect your mood? Do they match the desired feeling you wish to have in each room? The activities that take place there? Let’s explore what each colour means in terms of interior design.

Exploring Colours in Interior Design

Red Paint in Homes

Red traditional dining room with dark wood furniture
Red traditional dining room with dark wood furniture

Red is an intense colour that can psychically stimulate us. It can increase appetite, heart rate, make us feel more energized which can stimulate conversations. It has both positive and negative connotations, such as anger and love. In the home, red makes a great accent colour because of its ability to draw attention without being too permanent but also works well as a bold wall colour in the right situation. Use it in the dining room to increase your families’ appetite, or in a living room to raise the energy and set the stage for stimulating conversation with friends. Just remember, a little goes a long way.

Where to Use Orange in Your Home

Orange blanket on grey couch in living room with orange lamps and art.
Orange blanket on the grey couch in a bright flat interior with orange lamps and poster on the wall.

Similar (but different) to red, this energetic colour evokes excitement and enthusiasm. Its warmth connects people and brightens spaces in a positive way. Use it in the living room or other social areas of the house to encourage engagement and spark joy. It is also popular as an accent in the home office and in home gyms (thanks COVID) to keep you alert and motivated.

Adding Yellow To Your House

Yellow Home Office
Yellow Home Office

Yellow is best known for its ability to channel sunshine, optimism, and happiness. However, intense shades can make people irritable and some studies have shown it is also the colour that leads babies to cry more. However, it’s the perfect colour for smaller rooms like bathrooms, entryways, or hallways to visually expand the space while creating an uplifting environment. We also like it in the office because it brings that extra joy into stressful days and keeps the room feeling light for later evenings and earlier mornings. You can either coat your room in it for a big ‘wow’ moment when you walk in, or add more subtle yellow accents through furniture (like this one we have in our design studio) for drops of sunlight throughout the day.

Creative Home Office with Yellow Accent cabinet
Creative Home Office with Yellow Accent cabinet

DIY: Yellow is actually the colour of the year for 2021? We all need a little joy this year!

Getting Green Inside

Master Bedroom with green accents
Rattan lamp above king-size bed with floral green bedsheets in bright bedroom with lamp and suitcase

Green is associated with nature, fertility, and wealth. It represents growth, freshness, and harmony and tends to make people feel safe and secure. Lighter greens, which bring to mind the new growth of spring, feel more energetic, while deeper forest greens have a more serious, somber connotation. Green is well suited for every room in the house and can have a calming effect when used as the main colour for decorating. We love greens used in the bedroom, especially when paired with woods and rattan to give almost a luxury boho feel.

Dark green accent wall Paired with dark wood
Dark green accent wall paired with dark wood

Blue is For More Than Bedrooms

Creative Turquoise Home Office with red accent chair
Black metal desk with typewriter and books standing in a Turquoise room with marble shelves and red chair

Blue is by far the most favourite colour around the world. Why wouldn’t it be when it’s associated with a warm sunny day by the ocean! This cool colour is the most soothing and relaxing of all the colours. It has a natural calming effect, so it is considered to be beneficial to the mind and body when used in the home. Blue also stimulates creativity – it’s perfect for spaces where people are encouraged to think and be creative, artistic, or otherwise innovative. Blue is also perfect for bathrooms when then the goal is to create a relaxing and “spa-like” space (for those who want a bit more colour than green and warm wood tones)

Note: Blue should not be used in the dining room as it suppresses appetite (and it is hard enough to get the kids to eat their veggies!)

Neutrals (brown, black and white)

White and black children room with tipi tent, cradle and rocking horse
White and black children room with tipi tent, cradle and rocking horse

These are the absolute staples of any room design. These neutral colours are great used on their own in monochromatic schemes or throw in color to energize the room, remove color or desaturate it to introduce calm and tranquility. Adding White creates a timeless classic aesthetic while Black gives a bit more edge to a room. Brown creates rich, cozy, and grounded experiences because of its association with the stabilization of the earth.

Neutral Colour Modern Bathroom with wood cabinet
Neutral Colour Modern Bathroom with wood cabinet

Eye-Catching Colour Combinations

Deciding on the colour palette for a room can be high stakes and fairly tricky. Before you begin choosing paint colours, furniture, or decor, it’s important to understand which colours work best together and why, and which ones you actually love!

Opt for Colors with Like Temperatures:

Colors can be bucketed into two groups—they’re either warm or cool. Colours are the most harmonious when paired with like temperatures.

Go Monochrome:

There is nothing better than a monochromatic palette. Example: pale blue with a deeper blue will always look stunning and rich.

Choose Complementary Colours:

Opposites attract and this certainly holds true when thinking about colour in terms of the colour wheel. Colours opposite one another are complementary and look beautiful when paired together.

*More on this in our next blog!! (stay tuned!)

Here are three popular colour combinations for homes to get your inspiration flowing:

Navy and Blue

Gold and navy blue colour palette bedroom
Gold and Navy Blue Colour Palette Master Bedroom

We love how the glamorous gold accentuates the strong, rich quality of navy-blue. Mixing gold with navy blue adds a sense of ‘luxury’ and warms up the space with a sophisticated palette. Navy blue and gold can work with either crisp white or cream, depending on the tone you are looking to set. The white linen of the bed helps this chic room feel fresh, while the ‘bone’ cream on the drapery ties in the woods and keeps it from feeling cold. Our client already had a navy wall in her room and loved how it made her feel, and so the design stemmed from there. Check out the full Navy blue and Gold design project.

Red and White

Red and White colour palette for home entryway
Red and White Colour Palette for Home Entryway

Oh Canada! The colour combination of red and white is a bold color combination that is the definition of a ‘pop’ of colour. You can feel the energy with the entryway bench almost vibrating on the spot, which is why it must be selected for specific areas so as not to cause a disturbance in your home. This entryway is perfect for making an impact.

Peach and Blue

This peach and blue colour palette is reminiscent of the ocean and morning skies which evoke the feelings of rest and tranquility – perfect for a bedroom. The light-hearted peach throw blanket makes you want to melt into bed, without the intensity a pink or red would have. This was a room we staged in a character home in Inglewood, Calgary and spoke to the demographic so much is sold in a single day.

We are totally on board with painting your home your favourite colour, because you need to love a colour to want to live in it full time. However, along with ‘favourites’, we hope that this guide has inspired you to consider WHICH favourite colour is most suitable for your lifestyle goals and the mood you are trying to set in different areas of your house. Interior design plays a huge role in how you feel in your home, which impacts how you start and end your day – so it should be something to consider as you embark on your home remodelling journey.