The Psychology of Colour

Although colour psychology has been historically contentious, the question ‘Does colour affect my mood?’ has been asked in every marketing department, design office and art gallery over many years and they’ve all come to the same conclusion: yes!

Colour psychology is an area of colour theory that believes colour can influence specific emotional states. Some of these are universal, such as blue and green being calming, and some are culturally specific, such as associating black with death or the gendered use of pink and blue. Even though psychologists are sceptical about this form of colour theory, research has shown that colour absolutely affects us in certain ways. For example, the colour red is more likely to grab your attention and cause you to rate others as aggressive or dominant, while blue encourages trustworthiness and, for participants exposed to blue light, lead to greater mental acuity.

Interior designers employ colour psychology to cultivate the atmosphere of a room. Depending on the colour used, a room can be designed to relax or to energise – therefore many bedrooms use soft or cool colours like blue, pink or white, while living spaces are more often bold with pops of bright colour like red, yellow or black.

When you’re picking colours for your home, consider what kinds of emotions you want to evoke in your guests. Here’s a short list of the colours and some of their associated emotions:

Here are some other tips for creating the right mood in a room:

Limit the colours in the room. Too many colours will make a room feel chaotic and cluttered.

White and black will make the room feel bigger and smaller respectively.

A study by Joe Hallock in 2003 showed both men and women say blue is their favourite colour, but women will also include purple in their top colours. It’s speculated that this is because colour-blindness is more likely to affect men, and women are more likely to use a variety of terms to describe colour (e.g. turquoise, teal, aqua) while men will use primary hues (e.g. blue, green).

Depending on which colour combinations you use, whether they are analogous or contrasting, may also affect the colour’s meaning or how attractive it is; your bright red statement piece, for example, is less likely to stand out if it is surrounded by similar colours.

While the science behind this is still in flux, it is still a field worth considering when you are designing your perfect interior. Luckily for you, ArtissIn has a wide arrange of colours to choose from, so you’ll always have the right piece for the occassion!