The Power of Colour

Have you ever thought about why you feel different emotions depending on the room or space you’re in? Chances are that you’re being influenced by the colour around you but that often isn’t a conscious thing. The art of using colour in interior design, harnessing the power of colour psychology, is one tool that we use to create the perfect space for each and every client.

Part of our consultation process is to find out from our clients how they use a space, what they will do in it and how they want to feel. There are certainly some common themes, for example in an office or working space, concentration and focus are needed but, in a bedroom or snug you want to relax and wind down. We take this all into account when we compose the colour palette.

As interior designers, we will search for the perfect colours to fit the purpose of the room and build a design around that.

Warm colours, associated with fire, sunlight, and nature elements, evoke a range of emotions and feelings associated with energy, passion, and comfort. Within the range of warm colours orange lends itself to energy, enthusiasm and creativity, and can create the perfect cosy space to recharge.   

Cool colours will bring about emotions and feelings associated with calmness, serenity, and tranquillity and are associated with water and sky elements. Blue is linked to calmness, peace and serenity and is perfect for anywhere you want to feel restful and refreshed.

Monochrome themes are particularly effective; a monochromatic palette focuses on using one colour, and a range of hues of that colour. To achieve depth and interest, textures and patterns in the colour as well as using lightness and darkness are introduced. The addition of accents of brushed brass and black will bring impact and definition to a monochromatic scheme, or if your lifestyle allows, keeping everything light and tonal is the ultimate in ‘quiet luxury’.

The Bedroom

The place where you end your day, a room for total relaxation. To create that mood, blue is the colour to choose here. The calmness and serenity which blue brings about are the perfect emotions when you’re settling down to sleep. There is a huge range of different blues, and you can evoke nuances of emotions by using pale hues, bolder blues and the whole range in between. Here are some of our favourite blues to use in your bedroom; they work together beautifully to both look and feel good.

Bedside cabinets don’t need to be bland! The Bobbin Bedside Table from John Lewis is a brilliant example of an interesting piece which can complement the blue hues within a room.  Artwork is another great way to introduce colour into a room, and we love this set of William Morris Vintage Floral wall art from Debenhams. And, of course, we couldn’t ignore bed linen. This is undoubtedly the easiest way to bring colour to a bedroom, and the Hampton Frill Duvet Set from Dunelm is in a gorgeous shade with a pretty finish.

The Living Room

You could argue that a living room is also a place you want to relax. To a degree this is true, but it is a more flexible space with a different purpose. In a living room warm colours work wonderfully because their warmth conjures cosiness and a general sense of being welcomed. Warm colours include rusty oranges, mustard yellows, and soft pinks that will induce feelings of love, enthusiasm, optimism, happiness and affection. Here are some of our favourite things from this palette.

In a sumptuous velvet fabric, the Brompton Sculptural Armchair from daals fully embodies that welcoming and cosy feeling that you want in your living room. Add a lamp for a warm lighting effect and ambience; we love the Baba Recycled Glass Lamp from nkuku. Soft furnishings should never be forgotten when it comes to colour. They are versatile and come in such a huge variety you will be able to match any design theme. We love the Areca Cushions from Oka for a touch of warm orange.

Tips and Hints

  • The size of a room and the amount of natural light it receives can impact the way colours appear. In smaller spaces, lighter hues can create an illusion of openness, while in larger rooms, bolder colours may add warmth and cosiness.
  • Pay attention to the direction of the room—north-facing rooms might benefit from warmer tones to counteract cool lighting, while south-facing rooms can embrace cooler tones.
  • Ensure your chosen colour scheme complements the existing furnishings and décor elements, creating a cohesive and harmonious overall design.

Remember that you can see more of our work, interior design tips and ideas when you follow us on Facebook.

Colour and Interior Design

There has been extensive research on colours and the effects that they can have on you. All colours will have an effect on you, mentally or physically, and when it comes to interior design we match the room’s purpose with the most the most appropriate colours to achieve this.

Colour psychologist Angela Wright developed the Colour Affect Systems, and she has reported that all colours have their positive and negative points, and we harness what’s necessary. With 11 colours defined, plus the addition of different hues of each colour, the colour choice can be overwhelming.

When it comes to interior design, we can help you with your colour choice. We will look at what you want from the space, what will its function be and how you want to feel when you’re in the room? These will be different answers depending on the room, for example you are likely to want to feel relaxed in your bedroom but focussed in your work area.

To give you an idea of how colours can affect you, here are a few points from the Colour Affect System:

Blue is a colour linked to your mind. It can be soothing or relaxing, making it the perfect choice for a bedroom, but stronger tones of blue will enhance your thoughts and concentration meaning that it can also work well in an office or work area. As it is so versatile it also makes for a great choice in a living area. We chose a blue sofa and chair for this living room, echoing the blue tones in the accessories and artwork. Blue and white make for a peaceful and tranquil room, ideal for relaxing after a busy day:

Pink can affect us physically being a tint of red, but it soothes where red stimulates. Psychologically it is a powerful colour and it is nurturing and physically soothing. Pairing vibrant, clashing colours together is full of impact and energy, perfect for a teenager’s bedroom. We used a vibrant Moroccan chair with bright, striped wallpaper to get this effect.

Green is the colour of balance promoting harmony, refreshment and peace. This is again another versatile colour, and choosing the right tone it can be used to affect in bedrooms and living rooms. We love this splash of green in the floral pattern of these breakfast stools:

White can sometimes be forgotten when it comes to colour, but it plays just as an important part as every other colour. White is clean, pure and simple, resonating efficiency. Too much white can be off-putting, but used in the right spaces with accent colours brought in it can work in any space, any room. When you use white in different textures and shades it won’t overwhelm a room, and works nicely in a hallway like this:

Remember to follow us on Facebook for more interior design inspiration.