The Psychology of Color in Interior Design

Do you have a favorite color? If you could, would you paint every room in your house that color? We’re willing to bet that you wouldn’t. In fact, you probably enjoy and prefer different colors when placed in different environments – have you ever wondered why that is?

Colors can have a dramatic effect on our mood, our appetite, and our behavior. Our brains respond very differently to various hues within the color palette, and this response can make specific colors more appropriate for certain areas of the home. You don’t need the whole rainbow, either – with the right shades and accents, you can even make a single-color room work for your needs. When it comes to interior design, choosing colors for reasons greater than simple personal preference can make a big impact on how our homes keep us productive, and contribute to our overall wellbeing. Keep these tips in mind when looking at paint swatches and colorful accessories for your next design project at home.

The Bedroom

The goal of a bedroom is to create a place of rest and tranquility. Gentle pastels and natural colors do well here to help soften our temperaments at the end of the day, and wake us up gently in the mornings. Cool, relaxing colors such as natural greens and a variety of blues can help balance emotions and re-center us after an emotionally strenuous day.  Blues are known to impart a calming effect on our nervous systems and soothe our psyches – adding shades of blue to the bedroom can help bring down your respiratory rate and slow down your heartbeat. Purples, greys, pinks, and other pastels can work in the same manner to help gently bring collectiveness to our emotions and help us physically wind down after a long day.

The Kitchen

Our choice of color in the kitchen can have a significant effect on our social interactions, comfort, and eating habits. Studies suggest that the simple act of swapping out the color of our plates can actually help us eat less. As for the walls, red is often included in commercial kitchen and restaurant themes, and for good reason – the color red can build up your appetite, which can be helpful for those finicky eaters. Yellow is another popular color applied in the kitchen because of its ability to energize and stimulate sociability. If you have fond memories of the kitchen of your youth, try choosing those colors for your current kitchen to bring an air of happiness and comfort to your surroundings.

The Bathroom

Not surprisingly, the way you feel about yourself first thing in the morning can set your mood for the entire day. So why not ensure you see yourself in the best light when performing your morning rituals? If you find that green is your color, try splashing it onto your bathroom walls for a little boost of extra confidence as you get yourself geared up for the day. Pair your flattering color with white, another common and traditional bathroom color, to complement your good looks with a sense of cleanliness and order.

The Home Office

Choosing the right home office colors can help our brains focus. Popular in office buildings, grey has been shown to increase creativity, and acts as a good supporting color for other accents in the workplace. Shades of green foster balance and concentration, blues can boost productivity (a good choice if your job requires long hours of concentration), yellows are great for creative types, and reds are helpful for high-energy positions.

Colors – and their intensity – can have a profound effect on us, both physically and psychologically. When choosing a color scheme for your interior design, keep in mind the basics of color psychology: blues and greens affect the nervous system and calm the mind, yellow stimulates optimism and sociability, greys increase concentration, and reds stimulate activity and appetite. The right color combinations will instill balance within your home, and help you get the most out of your surroundings.