Colour Psychology in Interior Design

As an interior designer we are aware how a colour can impact a room adding a burst of colour or using it on the walls to add depth or warmth. When taking a brief, colour is a key question to the client attaining their likes and dislikes, understanding what the room is to be used for whether it be for work, relaxing, entertaining etc. Colour is one of the main factors and can have such a powerful effect to the room’s atmosphere.

During this pandemic we are all spending considerably more time at home, colour psychology is more important now than ever before within interior design. Asking questions such as… can we improve our mood by adding/changing colour within our home. Our dining room is now been switched from the entertaining room to the workplace or classroom. Can you be productive in a room designed to be used for entertaining?? Living rooms where we relaxed in the evenings or on a lazy weekend are now where we are spending the majority of our days, can we feel uplifted in a room that is designed to chill us out. Are our bedrooms calm enough to help us have a restful sleep after a long day?? How much of effect is this having on our children and our own emotions??

Hearing more and more children suffering from anxiety as a mum you can’t help but worry. It’s an unknown rollercoaster that we ourselves struggle to work outlet alone these children who hear things on the radio/tv, passing quiet comments between adults in the kitchen, what do their minds make of this? As parents to two young children ourselves we have noticed a big difference in our little ones anxiety, struggles with sleep and communicating their emotions and frustrations. We try to keep communication open with both children, let them ask their questions when they are ready and answer as honestly as we can and feel appropriate for them to hear.

I am not saying we all need to redesign our whole home for this pandemic as there is a light at the end of tunnel, we will not be living like this forever. We can introduce colours into the room to help uplift, add positivity, happiness or invoke calmness to our days. So many colours have different meaning and evoke so many emotions…

There has been a lot of research conducted with the relationship between colour and both adult and children emotions. Colour can help connect the neuropathways in the brain, when colour passes through the retinal cells in the eyes, create brain impulses to the hormone regulating endocrine glands which then evokes an emotional and psychological response. These can also have effect on the central nervous system, which is why we see the different effects colour can have, they can cause excitement, calm, inspiration, anxiety tension and enhance our performance.  Children are known to be more sensitive to colour, especially younger ages, where they may not be able to communicate their emotions through speech or write it down and teenagers who are going through their own hormonal progression. As a society we tend to use colour as a tool to help describe actions red for anger, danger, stop, green for go, safe, and right. These are all around us from birth.

Colour also effects the ambience and space of the room making it feel warmer or cooler, larger or smaller, lighter or darker, which in turn effects these brain impulses.


Is a dramatic hue known to rouse emotions its positive links are with passion, love, excitement and energy?

Also associated with power and ambition thought as a productive colour for home office, many office spaces and creative spaces.

There are a variety of tones in the red spectrum such as crimson, burgundy and bright red can be used to create a range of styles from traditional to pop art feel.

Research has shown that although this strong primary colour often seen used with children toys it should only be used as an accent colour, using an intense red in children’s rooms or study areas can have a negative and aggressive. effect on behaviour, leaving them feeling tense.


Known as a joyful colour linked with happiness, optimism and sunshine giving the feeling of warmth, joy, enthusiasm, fun and inspiration.

.Psychology of colour - Yellow

Symbolically used for mental and spiritual wellness. This light colour affects the memory, motivation and attention, therefore is great to use in children’s spaces, use as accent colour intense yellow can evoke tenseness and anger.

The variety of shades such as mustard, through to pale yellow are always vibrant addition to your room, use of metallic golden shades to induce light and space in to a darkened room lifting the ambience.


Blue is a strong colour, create feeling of tranquillity, relaxation, loyalty peace and success. This is a perfect colour to use in spaces you want to relax such as bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces.

Psychology of colour - Blue

Blues are known to reduced body temperatures, blood pressure and pulse rate, giving that feeling of space and comfort reflecting the colour of the sky and ocean.

For children cool colours such as blue are recommended to aid concentration while also being a relaxing environment. Too much blue or dark blue can invoke feelings of sorrow.


Bringing the natural world indoors, giving a sense of calm and balance.

Green is one of the most relaxing colours, research shows it has calming effect on the nervous system and can contribute to better health.olour Psychology Green-2We use green in society to represent safe to cross, to use, recycle, its associated with positivity influencing our mental health reducing tension in the body.

It’s the perfect colour to use in children’s and teenagers’ bedrooms, Combining the serenity of blue using greens with a yellow undertone helps teenagers relax and have mental clarity.

Colour shades vary from emerald, lime and through too olive tones, you can introduce these colours into your room by use from wall colours, accessories or simply adding plants and foliage.


Pink tends to be thought of little girls’ rooms and is not a first choice for other spaces.

Psychology of colour - Pink

It can invoke warmth and comfort, having a positive calming effect on us and our children as it is a feminine, nurturing colour, linked to love. Research shows can lower heart rate.

Shades vary from ‘baby’ pink, fuchsia, rose, through to magenta. It can be used in adult spaces by using refreshing patterns and fuss free furniture. It is best to be used as a feature colour too much pink can be oppressive and tiring, as its not known to be an energetic colour it’s best to be used in restful places and avoided with shy children.


Is traditional associated with wealth as it was the hardest of colours to make therefore only rich and Nobel people could afford it. Today it is linked with spirituality.

Psychology of Colour - Purples

Purple gives the feel of luxury to any interiors. Research has shown it stimulates creativity as well as having a calming effect. Therefore, perfect to use in areas which involve creativity activities as well as children’s/ teenagers’ rooms and spaces.

Although can be thought of a feminine colour, especially the lighter spectrum such as violet and lavender, darker shades as plum and aubergine combined with greys and blacks can give a masculine feel.

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~Wassily Kandinsky