A guide to using colour theory in the home for wellness

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  • Thinking of redecorating your home with a splash of colour? Read this first...

    If you are thinking of giving your home a colour overhaul, take heed of The Rug Seller’s advice on colour theory before you make any paint choices. The company has been exploring the science behind our emotional connection to colour and how we use it in our homes.

    The research shows exactly how much colour affects our mood and well-being. It also reveals the interesting differences in how colours are interpreted around the world.

    It also revealed we’re very much influenced by the name of a colour. ‘Brown’, for example, is considerably less appealing than ‘Mocha’. The study exposed how colour swatches with fancy names were perceived more favourably than generic names. Consider the names of Farrow & Ball’s varying shades of brown – which include ‘Mouse’s Back’, ‘Mole’s Breath’ and ‘Smoked Trout’ – and we can see their point.

    Related: How injecting colour into your home can affect your mood

    Shades of Orange

    colour theory

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    In the West orange has connotations of harvest and warmth, the Mid Eastern reading is more sombre, with associations of loss and mourning. Emotionally though, orange is, according to this report, ‘friendly’, ‘confident’ and ‘cheerful’.

    Blue tones

    colour theory

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Colour and emotion are inextricably linked. Everyone from Elton John to Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash have sung about the ‘blues’. But as an interior choice, blue is considered a soothing choice. Emotionally, it signifies trust and strength.

    Vibrant reds

    colour theory

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘Seeing red’ is a popular expression. While the go-to colour for Valentines day, red is also associated with anger, passion, danger and warning. The Rug Seller’s report suggests that it calls to mind boldness, excitement and youthfulness too.

    Green hues

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Green – the colour of envy, but also fertility, growth, luck, life. Fairly universally, green signifies hope. In homes, embracing green is a way of bringing the outside in, mirroring nature. Emotionally, green makes us feel peaceful (according to the study).

    The colour Yellow

    colour theory

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Yellow is another colour that has quite different connotations around the world. In the West it evokes happiness, sunshine, joy, but also caution. In the Far East it symbolises not only masculinity but also sacredness and royalty. Mid Eastern associations are, unexpectedly, mourning, but also happiness and prosperity. In the home, yellow is a particularly brave colour when used in large quantities. But it sure is cheering.

    You can see The Rug Seller’s full report here.

    Feeling low energy? See our article on how colour can affect productivity

    What colour will you choose for your home?

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