HOW COLOUR AFFECTS MOOD | The Home Design School


Colour wheel

Before we dive into this week’s post, I want to make it very clear that I don’t do ‘woo woo’. I don’t believe in fairies, unicorns or wishing on shooting stars. Sorry (not sorry). 

But something I do believe in, is that colour can have a very real effect on our mood. And that has been backed up by numerous scientific studies.

Big businesses know all about colour psychology.

Have you ever noticed how many company and organisation logos are blue? Just google it and see. Dell, Samsung, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Philips, Nasa, BMW, Ford… truly, the list is almost endless.

The messages of colour

Blue is the colour of trustworthiness, calmness and stability. And of course, these are the messages that these organisations want to send out about their brands. 

McDonalds, on the other hand, choose vibrant yellow and red for their restaurants because they are colours which energise. As a fast food chain, they want people to eat up fast and move on, and their colour scheme reinforces the behaviours they want from their customers.

Big businesses know that the environment we are surrounded by affects our behaviour, and that colour has a very real impact upon how we feel and behave.

And so, of course, the colours that we choose when decorating our homes are really important to the feeling that we evoke in our living spaces.

So what colour should we paint our homes?

As always with this question, the answer is ‘it depends’. It depends what the function of the room is and what mood you want to create in that room.

Firstly, start with the mood that you want to create with your room, and then take it from there.

Do you want your room to be a bright, vibrant and stimulating environment, or do you want it to be calm and relaxing? Different colours, used in different ways can give you these different atmospheres.

Let’s turn to the trusty colour wheel for some help.

The twelve tertiary colours of the colour wheel are split into two main sides. The reds, oranges and yellow form the ‘warm’ side of the wheel, while the blue and green side of the wheel form the ‘cool’ colours.

Generally speaking, using warm colours gives you a vibrant feeling to your room and using cool colours gives a calming effect in your room.

But the story doesn’t end there. You see, it’s also about which individual colours you use too.

When decorating your home, you need to firstly consider the feeling you want to create in your room, and then think about how you can choose your colours to create that feeling.

Take a look at the associations of each colour below:


The colour of trustworthiness, calmness and orderliness. Best used for spaces where you want peace and relaxation, such as bedrooms or a spa-like bathroom.


The colour of nature, deep greens can promote a feeling of calm and relaxation, but if too much yellow is added (such as lime green) the colour can have the opposite effect and be quite a vibrant pop.


A bright, cheerful colour. Good for breakfast rooms and entertaining spaces as it is high-energy. You can’t be sad in a yellow room!


The colour of vibrancy. Great for a party room, and it is said to stimulate the appetite, so it works well in a dining room. Although it’s said to be the colour of romance, avoid using red in the bedroom, otherwise you may struggle to get any sleep!


Energetic and fun, it is best used in play spaces (like a children’s playroom) or creative workspaces. 


Purple can be opulent and luxurious. It evokes feelings of warmth and being cocooned, and as such it is a popular choice for bedrooms. 

To find out more about how to choose colours in your home, watch the paint colour tutorial below.

How does colour affect your mood?

Let us know in the comments below.



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