Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design

Author: YU+ME Design Inc. | | Categories: color at home , color Psychological , colorful interior , home decor , Interior Design Company Vancouver

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"What is your favorite color?"

This is a question we ask and answer a lot during childhood. Colors are very important to children and almost every child knows their favorite colors. As we get older, though, our favorite colors do not seem to matter as much. But this is hardly because we stop having favorite colors.

Adults have favorite colors too; they just don’t pay as much attention to them. The question is; why should people even have favorite colors at all? Why does a color resonate with one person strongly, but not with others?

The colors we find most alluring reflect our personality or mood. If someone always gravitates towards a certain color, it is because the color agrees with some aspects of their personality. But if they are only attracted to the particular color sometimes, it is simply a reflection of their mood at that time.

When we stop to think about it, colors matter a lot. They influence our choice of car, clothes, shoes, and even, where we live. Countries and companies also identify themselves by colors. But why do colors have such a profound effect on us?

Why colors affect people

Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design

Colors affect us because color is an element of light. It is easy to understand colors when we think of how light affects people. Lights alter our state of mind. The quickest way to make people fall asleep is to switch off the lights. And to wake them up, all that’s needed is bright lights.

These effects of light are the results of its interactions with our brains. Different light intensities create different responses. Colors do the same thing because color is nothing but different shades of light as reflected by different objects. This is why the colors in a home communicate diverse emotions to the people inside it, explains Real Canadian Management.

Use of color in interior design

Colors can make people feel happy or sad, weak or energetic, aggressive or compassionate, creative, or apathetic. This is why how a room is painted matters; the wrong colors will hinder the activity that a room is designed for. For instance, orange-painted classrooms help in learning because the color inspires children to be sociable. On the other hand, brown or black in a school environment stifles learning. Similarly, because red is over-stimulating; it is a good color for areas where people are not allowed to linger, like the toilets and locker rooms.

The right combination of colors can be used to create an optical illusion and make a room look larger or smaller than it actually is. It can produce a sedative effect in places where people tend to be aggressive. It can be used to stimulate people's creativity and inspire collaborations in a work environment. It can even be used to stir people's appetites around the kitchen, dining room, and restaurants. All that is needed is to be aware of the way different colors affect people.


Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design

This color is stimulating because it makes people feel energetic. It is emboldening and elicits feelings of passion or even anger. This is why it is associated with danger. Red may be used in small amounts in kitchens and areas where energy is desirable.


Blue creates feelings of stability. It is soothing and people tend to become calmer in blue-painted rooms. This makes it a good color for bedrooms. In the bathroom, it is used to create a spa-like effect. However, because blue is associated with formality, it can feel cold.


Is similar to red but milder in its effect; its energy tends toward energetic fun more than passionate anger. It elicits feelings of adventure, playfulness, and friendship. Orange is a great color for places where playful creativity is needed.


Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design
Photography by NGOC MINH NGO

Yellow inspires optimism and makes people feel upbeat. People in yellow rooms tend to become excitable, and more likely to raise their voices. Because yellow stimulates conversations it should be infused in areas where people assemble.


Green is the color of nature and the color that people feel most at home with. It generates a sense of hope and abundance. It is also associated with fertility. Green blends perfectly with most colors. It can be used generously around the home.


Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design
Photography by mikkel VangMi

Purple is the color of sophistication, creativity, and royalty. It also associates with feelings of dignity but can cause people to tend toward the dramatic. Purple is a good choice for rooms where small children play.


Black gives the impression of solidity. It is stately and inspires feelings of gravitas. In large quantities, it can feel oppressive and make people feel despondent. It should be used in small amounts to offset contrasting colors.


White is neutral and offers a blank palette. It creates a sense of alertness without orienting people toward a particular mood. It is effective off-setting the effect of bolder colors and as a background color.

One of the simplest but highly effective rule rules for choosing home colors is; use people's favorite colors in their sleeping areas and other colors in kitchens, living rooms, and other areas.