A guide to using colour theory in the home for wellness

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

orange flower with teacups and orange coloured glass

(Image credit: Future PLC /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

candle with blue shade fabric and bowl

(Image credit: Future PLC /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

room with red open books shelve floor rug and red vase

(Image credit: Future PLC /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

green coloured living room with oval shaped mirror and potted plant

(Image credit: Future PLC /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

yellow bedroom with yellow coloured table lamp and yellow wall

(Image credit: Future PLC /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?