Psychological effects of room colors.

February 23, 2018


We have a couple home projects underway, and one of them is a multi-purpose room in our daylight basement.  Since we are going to be using the space for an office area, school desk area, and even a makeshift guest room when we need it, I started thinking about what I want the room to feel like for everyone who will use it. You have probably heard that paint colors can effect our psychology and emotions in different ways! For instance, colors can contribute to lifting our spirits, helping us feel calm, and even lower our blood pressure! My mother in law of Pillar Design works on dental office designs, and has told me how important it is for her to choose colors that can help patients relax. (Because raise your hand if you anxiety levels rise when walking into a dental office.) I find it fascinating, so I thought it would be fun to share a brief run down of the color spectrum and the psychological effects these paint colors can have.


Blues + Greens – Good for rooms where you spend a lot of time. Serene, peaceful, and lowers respiration and blood pressure. There is actually scientific login behind this – because the eye focuses the color green directly on the retina, it is said to be less strainful on your eye muscles.
Rooms: Living, dining, office, or bedrooms.

(via Apartment Therapy)

Yellows – Associated with happiness and joy. Stimulates mental activity and muscle energy. If too rich it can feel over stimulating. (It’s proven that babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms!)
Rooms: Screened in porch, bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.


Reds – This color can increase energy levels, but also increase blood pressure and heart rate. It can be a little over stimulating for bedrooms, but if it is used in a room you are in after dark with low light it can be an elegant tone!
Rooms: Library or side rooms.

(room by Emily Henderson.)


Pinks – Inspires creativity, imagination, and balance. The bold shades of pink could be a bit overwhelming for some in a room setting, but it does tend to encourage more positive emotions.
Rooms: Bedroom or work space.



Lavender/purples – Promotes creativity, and gets your brain synapses firing. In the cool color family, it can give way to a more serene, peaceful, and tension releasing setting.
Rooms: Bedroom, common living or creative areas.

(via Wit and Delight)


– Promotes feelings of cleanliness, order, safety, and light. When applied to spaces, it visually enlarges.
Rooms: Works for any room in the home or office space.


Greys – Neutral, practical, and timeless, but it can also offer a lack of creativity and energy.
Rooms: Common areas or bedrooms.


The psychology of color is something that has been studied for many years now, and you probably have been a subject of it more often than you think! (You might notice food companies advertise in warm colors because they tend to make us hungry.) I studied color theory in college, which probably influenced more of my home design choices than I realize!

Which of these color rooms draws you in? What’s your spirit color so to speak? 😉


Leave a Comment

  • This was such an interesting read, and I loved the beautiful images that came along with the post. My favourite is the neutral, grey walls – the last photo!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • This is so interesting to learn how all these different colors effect us! It also made me realize that I kind of love those pops of sage green in those first two rooms, but I never would have thought to pick it on my own!

  • Jenna Condon

    I love this post!! I found all of these findings to be sooo true. Especially about grey, it’s natural and feels relaxed, but lacks creativity for sure!! I love white, green, and blue! Those are def. my colors lol.

  • This is so fascinating! We bought our house this summer, and the seller had painted the entire interior a tan/beige color to make it neutral and “go with anything,” and I’ve been wanting to add some color splashes (without going through the work of painting, because I’m just not into that kind of DIY work like many other people are!). I’ll keep this in mind as I try to figure out ways to make a more energizing, colorful, comforting home.

  • I swear by color psychology! And after reading your post, I am pleased that the colors in my home align with the recommended rooms for the colors you had mentioned. I just recently painted the last room in my home that serves as my home office and a guest bedroom. It is now my favorite room! It’s a muted brownish-purple called Ranchland by Sherwin Williams. It helps me with creativity, but somehow it also has a calming effect. It is my favorite room of the whole house!

  • i am new to this blog and am currently painting multiple rooms in my house. i found this post very interesting, especially because i was attracted to, and repelled by, multiple rooms. the yellow room completely repelled me. the pink room repelled me, but i think it was the gold side table. the green laundry room was my favorite, red second favorite, and lavender bedroom third favorite. the red surprised me!

  • […] first pulled this room together, and I should have known I would regret any grey. (See this post on color psychology.) I switched out the curtain panels when these echo print curtains on sale, and picked up a […]

  • […] first pulled this room together, and I should have known I would regret any grey. (See this post on color psychology.) I switched out the curtain panels when these echo print curtains on sale, and picked up a […]

  • We live in a formal and historic home with a wealth of rich woodwork. Recently I painted the living room walls a deep and rich green. It is calming, shows off the woodwork and created a much more rich and inviting atmosphere than the former color.

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