Interior design color psychology - AD

Color can certainly enhance the visual world, including our home’s interior. It shapes our understanding of the environment as it adds definition and distinction to all things. According to theory of colors, different hues can truly promote various feelings and emotions. And when it comes to interior design color psychology, this can make or break a space. Read on as we explore the perfect colors for every room of your house and the emotions they evoke!

The Color Emotion Guide

Colors and emotions in interior design - Kristina B
Positive psychological effects of color in interiors by Decorilla designer, Kristina B.

The psychological effects of color may surprise you. Whether you go all-out with a color scheme or add a pop, like a bold accent wall, you’re certainly sure to feel its impact. Furthermore, color theory and the psychology behind it shines a light on how the visual world influences people individually.

Pink color psychology - Studio Lifestyle

As a result, you can breathe new life into a dreary old room or transform your entire interior with color. First, pick the effect, feeling, or mood you want to evoke in each room. Then, move on to identifying the corresponding color palette using our quick guide on color psychology below.

Interior Design Color Psychology 101

Color psychology in interior design - Sonia C
Bold colors and exciting feelings in this foyer by Decorilla designer, Sonia C.

Color psychology in interior design is about the close connection between colors and emotion. That is, it relates to how tones affect the human brain. It’s one of the most powerful interior design tools – having more of an impact on a room’s mood than any other factor. For instance, something as small as changing the kitchen cabinet color can make a substantial difference. 

However, two people could react differently to the same shade. Studies have proven that the psychological effects of color on human behavior vary from person to person. So, carefully consider the atmosphere you want for every room in your home. Thereafter, chat with your live-in family to see if they’re on board. This way everyone is bound to love the spaces they inhabit.

Need some help apply color psychology to your interior design? Then, schedule your Free Interior Design Consultation to learn more today!

Colors and Feelings: Setting the Mood of Your Room

Lounge with positive psychological effects of color - Sonia C
Gray color psychology lounge by Decorilla designer, Sonia C.

By and large, warm tones like red, orange, and maroon make people feel passionate or energized. Cool tones like green, blue and purple, on the other hand, have a relaxing effect. And finally, neutral tones like gray and white usually leave people feeling serene.

The psychological effects of color are certainly plentiful and exciting. In fact, the right shade can certainly spruce up an interior – especially when matched with the right room!

The Vigor of White

White color psychology in interior design - Berkeley H
Soothing psychological effects of white colors in a lounge by Decorilla designer Berkeley H.

White is an often under-appreciated color but has immense power in interior design. t’s light and bright, acts as a universal neutralizer, and works wonders for adding highlights. If you want to make a small room seem far larger than it is, white is certainly the way to go.

White color psychology in interior design - Wanda P
White color psychology in a dining room by Decorilla designer, Wanda P.

Furthermore, other design elements that pair especially well with white include glass and wooden accents, as well as pops of black to create balance. Do you want to incorporate more white into a room while on a budget? Then consider adding some gorgeous white flowers in white pots.

Additionally, white is symbolic of cleanliness, the simple life, and helps to reduce tension. It’s certainly a versatile color that can be used to great effect in nearly every space in your home.

Psychological effects of color - Eda B
Interior design according to color psychology by Decorilla designer, Eda B.

Consider white for your:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Dining room
  • Living room

Emotions associated with white color psychology in interior design:

  • Peace
  • Tranquility
  • Harmony
  • Creativity
  • Elegance

Go Green & Bring the Outdoors Inside 

Green color psychology in a bedroom - Rachel H.
Calming colors and feelings in this bedroom by Decorilla designer, Rachel H.

Green is closely associated with the natural world. Similarly, it’s a positive color that stimulates thoughts of growth, restoration, and balance. For instance, if you live in a city with little to no greenery around you, adding green hues to your home will help bring the freshness of nature indoors.

According to color psychology, green interior design tends to have a relaxing effect, helping to lower blood pressure and hypertension. That’s why green, teal, or mint make the perfect wall color for spaces where you want to open up your mind.

Green kitchen color psychology - Kristina B
Green kitchen by Decorilla interior designer, Kristina B.

There are also many gorgeous shades available, ranging from a deep emerald to zesty lime. Of course, various shades will evoke different emotions. Yet, tranquility remains at their core. As a result, this makes green one of the most versatile colors. Light green promotes feelings of calm, while olive is closely associated with harmony and peace. Dark green, on the other hand, is often linked to indulgence, prosperity, and money.

Green color psychology - Drew F
Soothing interior design thanks to color psychology – kitchen by Decorilla designer, Drew F.

Consider green for your:

  • Kitchen
  • Study
  • Business property

Emotions associated with green color psychology include:

  • Fertility
  • Growth
  • Ambition
  • Safety
  • Calmness

Bold, Daring, Passionate Red

Red in color psychology - Susan W
Lively red colors and feelings in an open kitchen and dining area by Decorilla designer, Susan W.

No other color can arouse quite such a spectrum of emotions as red. Plenty of positive qualities are attached to the color red, like willpower, ambition, and action. Yet spaces decorated in red also exude close bonds of friendship and love. Even just a splash of red undoubtedly adds excitement and a certain fieriness.

Red color psychology - Rikki Snyder

However, depending on the hue and room red is used in, it can have different effects. So, to offset negative emotions associated with red, such as anger, combine it with a soothing and neutral beige or white.

Red kitchen and color psychology guide - Sonia C
Red kitchen detail by Decorilla interior designer, Sonia C.

Consider red for your:

  • Creative spaces
  • Living room
  • Bedroom 
  • Kitchen

Emotions associated with red color psychology include:

  • Passion
  • Desire
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Leadership

Lively Yellow

Yellow studio according to color psychology - Kristina B
Interior design with color psychology by Decorilla designer, Kristina B.

Synonymous with sunshine, yellow is an unmistakably happy color. Its close ties with gold means that yellow also holds similar traits. These include prosperity, intelligence, and sophistication, for example.

Yellow in a kitchen works well according to color psychology - Sonia C
Interior design color psychology in a kitchen by Decorilla designer, Sonia C.

Bright yellows are certainly uplifting – but be sure to use them sparingly! Rooms decorated floor to ceiling in yellow can overstimulate emotions. It can also cause blood pressure levels to spike and, in turn, lead to deep agitation. However, yellow is still one of the best hues for brightening up gloomy corners of an interior.

Yellow color psychology and emotion guide - Jessica S.
Color emotion guide for a lounge by Decorilla designer, Jessica S.

Consider yellow for your:

  • Hallway
  • Bathroom
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen

Emotions associated with yellow color psychology include:

  • Joy
  • Productivity
  • Optimism
  • Care
  • Encouragement

Blue Makes Everything Better

Color emotion guide - Hoang N
Tranquil psychological effects of blue colors in a lounge by Decorilla designer, Hoang N.

Favorite color to many, blue is also a winner in interior design color psychology. Here, the psychological effects of color are far-reaching. Incorporating blue tones into an interior holds plenty of health benefits according to color psychology. For instance, it relaxes and calms the mind, slowing down your metabolism, heart rate, hypertension, and blood pressure. The color is good for mental health as well.

Color psychology in interior design - Farzaneh K
Positive psychological effects of blue colors in a family room by Decorilla designer, Farzaneh K.

From powder blue to navy, many shades work well throughout a home, especially alongside other colors. When using blue in a small or dark space, keep it from feeling cold by adding some warmer colors too.

Blue color psychology in interior design - amelia r
Luxury interior design through color psychology in a lounge by Decorilla designer, Amelia R.

Consider blue for your:

  • Dining room
  • Kitchen
  • Playroom
  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom

Emotions associated with blue color psychology in interior design include:

  • Tranquility
  • Wisdom
  • Elegance
  • Prosperity
  • Luxury

Enjoy the Best of Both with Orange

Orange color psychology - Drew F
Subtle earthy orange pops in a living room by Decorilla designer, Drew F.

Orange shares many emotive qualities with fellow warm colors, red and yellow. Most of its shades also have a positive effect on the human mind. Why? Orange symbolizes both nature and sunshine. It inspires and stimulates appetite, desire, creativity, and love. Many people also find that orange calms them.

Orange kitchen color psychology theory - Dezeen

And what’s not to love? The color evokes images of sipping on tropical drinks on the beach after all! Nevertheless, be sure to use complementary or neutral tints when toning down the more extreme qualities of orange, like overstimulation.

Orange bedroom according to color psychology - Home Designing

Consider orange for your:

  • Bedroom
  • Indoor and outdoor dining areas
  • Home gym or exercise area

Emotions associated with orange color psychology include:

  • Warmth
  • Optimism
  • Encouragement
  • Healing
  • Pleasure

Black: The Timeless Classic

Black color psychology Ibrahim H
Exterior design with black walls and accents by Decorilla designer, Ibrahim H.

Black isn’t only for accents. Use it as the primary color in a room and see the space transformed into one of mystery, drama, and power. Moreover, its neutrality certainly makes black a guaranteed sleek and sophisticated interior design choice. This is especially true when paired with modern and industrial architecture.

Black color psychology guide - Courtney B
Black color psychology in a loft by Decorilla designer, Courtney B.

However, to balance the atmosphere, don’t opt for an all-black space. Instead, pair it with a light and softer color for a less overwhelming, far more pleasing ambiance.

Psychological effects of color in interior design - Drew F
Lounge with black color psychology by Decorilla designer, Drew F.

Consider black for your:

  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Living room

Emotions associated with black color psychology include:

  • Functionality
  • Protectiveness
  • Elegance
  • Efficiency
  • Beauty

Embrace Regality with Purple

Purple color emotion guide - Kasonndra L
Sophisticated psychological effects of colors in this office lounge by Decorilla designer, KaSonndra L.

Aside from purple’s regal color meaning in psychology, it is also extraordinarily versatile. Depending on the tone, it can be either a masculine or a feminine color. However, no matter what the shade, purple certainly brings a real sense of presence to a space.

Purple color meaning in psychology - House Beautiful

What’s more, in color psychology, purple is known to inspire creativity. So, be sure to incorporate the color into spaces intended for a creative outlet.

Purple color psychology - Amelia R
Basement with purple color psychology by Decorilla designer, Amelia R.

Consider purple for your:

  • Foyer
  • Dressing room or walk-in closet
  • In-house art studio
  • Kitchen
  • Living room

Emotions associated with purple color psychology include:

  • Elegance
  • Luxury
  • Depth
  • Relaxation
  • Drama

Gray: The Controversial Choice

Interior design color psychology gray bedroom - Tera S.
Gray as a neutral color emotion guide by Decorilla designer, Tera S.

Although gray is elegant and stylish in the psychology of colors, it is controversial. The reason is that gray is more prone to affect individuals differently. Where some may find it calming, others find it depressing. And this all comes down to its undertone – warm or cool. Nonetheless, when paired with the correct complementary tones, it can be easily balanced and pleasant for everyone. 

Gray living room balanced colors for relaxed feelings - Michelle B
Mid-century modern interior design with color psychology by Decorilla designer, Michelle B.

Create a warm and welcoming space by adding gray furniture to a light and sunny room. Alternatively, use a neutral gray as a subtle wall color or through textiles in vibrant colors schemes.

Neutral nursery according to color psychology - Wanda P.
Nursery with greys that are neutral according to color psychology by Decorilla designer, Wanda P.

Consider gray for your:

  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • Bathroom

Emotions associated with gray color psychology include:

  • Strength
  • Sophistication
  • Determination
  • Functionality
  • Simplicity

Pink – Not Just for Girls

Interior design color psychology - Drew F.
Balanced pink interior by Decorilla designer, Drew F.

Paired with a good design, any shade of pink can truly create a loving and compassionate atmosphere. It’s also possible to successfully incorporate pink into a masculine space. Besides, pink doesn’t mean girly. You can certainly make a statement through sophisticated designs, simple patterns, secondary colors, and classy, fuss-free furniture.

Pink in color psychology - Tera S
Pink colors and serene feelings by Decorilla designer, Tera S.

Additionally, keep in mind that vibrant shades and natural tones, like red and white, complement pink. It also helps prevent the color from seeming too sugary sweet.

Interior design color psychology - Lab Studio

Consider pink for your:

  • Bathroom
  • Living room
  • Teenage daughter’s bedroom

Emotions associated with pink color psychology include:

  • Nurturing
  • Sensitivity
  • Warmth
  • Comfort
  • Cleanliness

Need some help perfecting your interior design color psychology?

Sometimes choosing the right hues and color palettes for your home can be tricky. So schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation to learn more about working with an interior design expert today!

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