Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design

Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design


Artists and scientists have long known that colors affect people’s moods. They know that specific colors can influence the human mind and move it toward serenity, anxiety, aggression, lust, trust, creativity, hunger, anger, hostility, or even, healing.

Interior designers have also found this quality of colors helpful and have deployed it to create whatever atmosphere they desired in a room. Interior designers choose the colors of a space based on the colors that foster the right mood for the activities that are done in that space.

Thus, they choose colors that promote learning and creativity when designing a classroom, or colors that encourage thinking and collaboration in an office. In a restaurant, they may use colors that stimulate appetite. And in the bedroom, they will choose colors that evoke calmness, explains OmniKey Realty.

Colors have these effects on the mind because colors are essentially light. The natural light that we are surrounded by is composed of wavelengths of light with different colors. And the human brain responds keenly to light as daytime makes us alert and nighttime makes us sleepy.

Each wavelength has a specific reaction that it stirs in the human mind. It is these same reactions we witness whenever we view objects that are painted in or which emit that same color. Here is a brief sampling of the effects of different colors on the human mind.

1. Red

Red is associated with passion and rightly so. Due to the intensity of this color, people in red rooms tend to feel an increase in their energy levels. Red raises the amount of adrenaline in the blood and makes people more driven or focused. It is a powerful color to use in situations where ambition, boldness, passion, power, speed, and competition are important.

2. Yellow

Yellow is another color that evokes high energy, but not in the same way as red. The energy of yellow is joyful, positive, spontaneous, and friendly. People in yellow rooms tend to be more vocal and emotional as it is energizing in a welcoming way. But it can also lead to excessive anger and cowardice. Yellow is often used in spaces where conversations and socialization are important.

3. Orange

Orange, being a combination of red and yellow, displays the characteristics of its parent colors. However, it avoids the extremes that are evident with red and yellow. This color evokes moods and feelings that are mostly constructive. Orange inspires positivity, optimism, and creativity. The color is also used in therapy due to its ability to balance the body’s energy levels.

4. Green

Green is the color of nature and abundance. It is one of the few colors that can be used in almost any room in the home. This is because of the sense of harmony the color creates, similar to the feelings of wellbeing that people experience in a garden or forest environment. Green makes people hopeful, generous, relaxed, and at peace with themselves and others.

5. Blue

Blue is a powerful color and it inspires trust and evokes calmness. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, and slow respiratory and heart rate. This is why it is one of the best colors to use in the bedroom or bathroom. Due to its ability to inspire confidence, peace, and loyalty, it is often associated with authority, power, and stability. Blue also reduces aggression.

6. Purple

Purple has a long history as the color of dignity, royalty, and luxury. It has a certain charm that suggests richness and distinction. Purple is also linked to innovation and imagination. It has been found that children in purple-painted classrooms exhibit deeper levels of creativity. Places where this color may be used to great effect are around front doors, entryways, or in the dressing room.


What to think of when choosing colors

Interior Design, Paint Buckets, Etch Interior Design, Austin, Texas

When choosing the colors for a home, school, or office, it is important to look beyond the impact of individual colors. Care should be taken to ensure that the various colors flow seamlessly into one another.

In addition to the psychological impact of the colors, their visual appeal, as well as, achieving a cohesive design is important. Additionally, these color principles are not limited to wall paint only, the color of décor and furniture also matter.


Important things to bear in mind when choosing colors are:

  • Using contrasting color palettes in rooms, without trying to make them flow together, will create a look that is jarring and upsetting.
  • When painting walls in connected spaces – such as an open floor plan – it is often better to use a single paint color and break up the monotony with accent colors.
  • If using a variety of colors in the different rooms of a home, sightlines from one room to the next should be taken into consideration.
  • Light and texture are two aspects that should not be forgotten. The level of illumination within rooms will impact the depth of paint colors. The fabric and texture of wood/stone surfaces, upholstery, flooring, blankets and pillows, all have an influence.


There you have it. Important things to remember when choosing colors for your interiors.

Interior Design, White Bedroom, Etch Interior Design, Austin, Texas

Contributed by OMNIKEY REALTY