Colour Psychology: Paint your home the perfect colour

Colour is a powerful design tool that can be used to set desired moods and to create a positive atmosphere for your home. Choosing the right colours when painting your home can also influence the perception of its size and space.

“What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior”, reports Leslie Harrington, color consultant in Old Greenwich, Conn.

Using colour psychology in the home will ensure each room is painted specifically for its purpose. Outlined below are some top tips on using active, passive and neutral colours to benefit each room of the house.

Active colours

Active colours such as red, orange and yellow are warm tones that can brighten large spaces, while simultaneously making them seem more welcoming and intimate.


Colour consultants suggest taking a trip down memory lane and using colours from your past. Recreating a kitchen colour scheme that is similar to the one you grew up in can help to build the perfect atmosphere for your home.
Red has been associated with influencing appetite and stimulating conversation. Although it is ideal for the kitchen or dining room, red is also associated with high blood pressure and irritability in other rooms of the house.

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Workout rooms

Orange colours are known to promote movement. However, orange and red tones also create feelings of heat. For this reason, blue-greens and yellow-greens are more suitable for creating a happy and cooling atmosphere that will extend workouts.

Passive colours

Colours such as blue, green and purple invoke a calming atmosphere in the home. Choosing the right passive colours can also create visual illusions, making small spaces seem larger as the colours visually extend the room.


Blues, greens and lavenders create an air of relaxation in bedrooms. Use this technique to bring a sense of calmness and escapism to the room.

Tip: Painting a darker the hue of these colours produces a more prominent effect.


The colour blue is ideal for work spaces as it inspires productivity. However, green is becoming one of the most popular trends in home design as it is thought to promote concentration.


Whites and warm colours are well-suited for bathrooms, not only because they are easy to clean, but they also evoke feelings of cleanliness and purity.

Neutral colours

Browns, greys, beiges, blacks and whites are great primary wall colours that can lay the foundations for a natural colour scheme.

Living rooms

Some may approach painting their living room similarly to their kitchen, by using warm red, orange and yellow tones. Alternatively, you could use more earthy tones.

Neutral tones act as a good basis for layering colours. Once you’ve chosen your primary wall colour, you can begin creating your colour scheme. Opt for more neutral colours on large spaces like walls and floors. Use calmer colours for furniture, and active colours to accessorize.

Using white paint on ceilings will also increase the perception of height in the room.

What next? Start planning your feature wall to add a splash of colour and design.

See our feature wall guide to find out how you can create a big impact with minimal time, money and risk.