A brief blog on Colour Psychology and how to translate emotions from Colour into interiors.
Green: The main positive psychological properties green communicates are peace, balance and harmony. It can rejuvenate and restore, giving the feeling of being connected to nature and feeling safe and secure. Symbolically, emerald green communicates luxury and elegance as in the jewel. The more yellow in the green it communicates refreshing, new life, new beginnings. Emerald Green is a warm yellow-based green but one with depth to it which gives the quality of being more refined and elegant. It’s quite a rich colour.
In fact, green does work anywhere, just by bringing plants into the home you bring in positive life energy and reconnect with nature which is so important for city dwellers. Green representing growth, renewal, prosperity and regeneration would seem to be the ideal colour to surround ourselves with. It’s no coincidence the majority of urban/city dwellers escape to the country on weekends and on holidays – it’s to re-connect with nature, take in the green on a subconscious level to restore, rejuvenate.
Yellow: is chosen for its positive psychological qualities: creating happiness, optimism and confidence for the future.
The best rooms in which to use yellow are hallways as these are usually dark and yellow is a welcoming colour and also in the breakfast room to help create a sunny, happy way to start the day.
Orange: Given the vivid vibrancy and saturation of colour, this is the energy needed to get people motivated, to reinvigorate their energy, their stamina, and to give them a much-needed boost. This is reflected in the amount of red visible. Being orange, there is also yellow present, which is about creating fun, happiness and optimism.
A true orange is about fun, joy, and playfulness. It encourages social interaction in a fun, conversational way. Orange is also the colour that stimulates the appetite. Whilst it is often stated that red stimulates the appetite, this is more to do with colour in culture. In Chinese restaurants for example they often use red tablecloths because red symbolizes good fortune.
Orange also represents physical comfort, and expresses the feelings of abundance. Tangerine Tango has a higher percentage of red so this creates a livelier, more energised feeling.
Orange is a great colour if you need stimulation or motivation, or if you will be using the room for entertaining, fun, or socialising.
Any space that is used for fun, happy, social interaction such as the kitchen, or entertainment areas is ideal. This is due to the psychological properties of orange.
Monochrome: Colour phobic but still want to make a statement? Go black and white.
Black and white interiors were associated with minimal bachelor pads back in the 1980s, but today, this pared-down colour scheme is fantastically on-trend, and looks sleek, strong and stylish. The trick is to layer a monochrome interior with plenty of textures and tones, to keep the core black and white colours looking sophisticated, but not severe.
Red: The psychological effects of the colour red are very easy to notice – red is an extremely powerful colour. As with other colours, the psychological effects of the coloor red depend very much on its intensity. So while vibrant, saturated hues of red have been shown to raise people’s heart rate and blood pressure, you might feel quite comfortable with muted, warm, earthy shades of red around you. That’s the type of red colour where you get all the warmth, comfort and energy, but with none of the exaggerated pulse.
Blue: Almost everyone enjoys looking into a blue sky and across a lake or the sea …
… because there is something calming about an expanse of blue. It appears to free the mind.
In interior decorating, you can use the colour blue to create a reflective, ‘intellectual’ atmosphere: it’s not easy to overheat emotionally and get upset or aggressive in a ‘cool’ environment – and the colour blue has actually been shown to lower our blood pressure and heart rate.
You can also use the colour blue to cool down a hot, sunny room. Obviously, blue doesn’t actually lower the temperature, but it makes us feel cooler. The reverse is true when you’re decorating a north-facing room. Blue walls, flooring, or furniture can give it a distinctly ‘arctic’ feel.
Like purple, the colour blue has royal connections, and was once very expensive to get hold of.
Lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone, had to be imported from far-away lands so that painters in Renaissance Europe could grind it to powder and make ultramarine (= ‘from-beyond-the-seas’) blue.
They used it to paint the garments of saints and royalty. And, of course, lots of skies.
But this is just the recent, European past of the colour blue. For thousands of years, and all over the world, people have loved this colour. Amazing blue glazes, dyes, and paints were developed as a result.
One of these is a special case: Indigo is a vegetable dye that can produce gorgeously deep, rich and very subtle hues of the colour blue.
If you want to use the psychological effects of the colour blue to create a meditative, spiritual environment, indigo is a good candidate for you. In classical Indian philosophy, it is the colour associated with the ‘third eye’, our capacity for intuitive understanding.
Naturals: the neutral hue is also said to be a symbol of structure, support and stability. As a result, the shade lends itself well to areas such as living spaces and kitchens, providing a tasteful and timeless canvas for family gatherings. It can be luxe but also can work effectively in rugged, masculine environments as so many naturals materials, such as wood and stone, work with this palette.
Aqua: is closer to green than blue. It is refreshing, uplifting, creative and cheerful, while at the same time being strong and independent.
Aquamarine strengthens creativity and inspiration. It soothes and balances the mind and the emotions.
Blue-green (or teal) is an advanced turquoise shade that symbolizes credibility and reliability. It is known to promote engagement and spiritual development.
Aqua colours provide clear thoughts and increased concentration that calm and recharge your energy.
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