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Interior Design Ideas

The psychology of room color

Come with us on a exploration of how color influences mood.

room with yellow sofa blue wall and plants

Did you know that the color of a room can affect your mood? It's true: it's called color psychology, and it's the study of colors as a determinant of human behavior.

If you're planning on repainting the rooms of your house, it's important to keep in mind that the color you choose can influence how you feel and act in those rooms. So, what color fits which room best? Here's a handy little guide to help you choose the right one.


Red is an intense color. It's been shown to raise blood pressure, respiration speed, and heart rate, so any room painted red is likely to boost energy levels. Red is the perfect color for rooms where you want to stir up excitement: it draws people together and can help stimulate conversation in living and dining rooms. To create a strong first impression of your home, consider painting the entryway red.

On the flip side, red can appear muted in lamplight, which creates a rich, elegant feel. So if you want to use red in a calmer room, like a bedroom, consider it for one you'll only use after dark to avoid over-stimulation.


Another energetic color, orange evokes feelings of excitement and enthusiasm. In a home gym or exercise room, orange is great; it helps bring out all the emotions you need to release while working out. In other rooms where a calming ambiance is desired, orange can be an overwhelming combination of red and yellow, so it's best to limit its use to an accent color.


Yellow represents happiness: it captures the joy of sunshine and is energizing in an uplifting and welcoming way. As a part of your décor, yellow will reflect light, so it's best to use lighter hues that are easier on the eyes. Soft yellows are perfect for kitchens and bathrooms as well as smaller areas of the house where you need more light, like hallways, entryways, and closets.


Green is restful to the eye and has an overall calming effect that's indicative of nature. Green combines the refreshing quality of blue with the cheeriness of yellow, so it's suitable for just about every room in the house. In the kitchen, for example, green can help cool things down while in the living room it can encourage warmth through comfort and togetherness.


Blue is a soothing, relaxing color that has been shown to improve focus and productivity as well as reduce blood pressure. Blue hues are very versatile, so they're perfect for everything from a bedroom to an office to a child's study area. Just keep in mind that when choosing blues, it's best to opt for lighter, softer shades since dark hues can evoke feelings of sadness. Certain shades of blue can also come off chilly, so it's best in a room with warm, natural light.


Dark purple tones evoke dramatic feelings of sophistication; light purple hues present a restful warmth reminiscent of the blues and reds combined to make it. When you use purple in your color scheme, you add depth and call to mind associations with luxury and creativity. Like orange, more intense purple hues are best as accent colors while softer, lighter purples are best if you're going to be using a lot of it.


Clean, cool, and contemporary, white represents youth while giving a room a refreshing feeling. When it comes to painting rooms, it may surprise you to find there are many shades of white. Warmer shades can help a room feel cozier while cooler shades can achieve a more formal feel.


Gray works well with most colors, especially as a classic, elegant accent color. While personality-wise those who like gray are said to be intelligent and disciplined, in your décor, warm gray paired with other warm colors, like yellow or orange, can create a lively and inviting living space.


Representing elegance, mystery, and power, black is an accent color that will add drama to any room. It helps give off an ambitious and sophisticated vibe while creating a chic overall look. Too much black, however, can be dark and depressing, so tread lightly when adding black to your space.

Color and Light

Whatever color you end up using in your project, keep in mind that the lighting in that room will affect how the color ultimately looks. And nothing brings out the vibrancy of each color quite like natural light. Skylights can help bring more natural daylight into your home than you may have thought possible and can even help your home's overall energy efficiency.

So, if you're planning to remodel or switch up your décor, consider adding in a skylight or two for a design that enhances your new color palette.

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