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How to use colour psychology to decorate your home

26 Oct 2017

Decorating your home can be great fun. It’s creative and gives you a chance to really express your personality and put your personal stamp on your home. 

Did you know that the way you decorate can also have a direct effect on your mood? It all comes down to the colours you choose. This is called the psychology of colour, and refers to the way different colours affect how you feel. 

This is according to Brian Van from Tent Hire Cape Town, who says the little details really matter. This is certainly true when it comes to decorating your home. Details such as the colours you pick and the accents you use make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your home. 


Blue is soft and relaxing, and is even said to bring down blood pressure. The ultimate calming colour, blue works well in bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms. 

It can, however, feel a little too cold so try warmer or brighter shades such as periwinkle or cerulean to counteract it, or add some warm neutral or yellow highlights and accents.

Very dark blues can feel a little depressing when used as a main colour, so save the darker shades for accents. 


Red is a high-energy colour that is stimulating and vibrant. It works well in communal gathering areas such as the lounge or den, provoking conversation and adding vitality to the atmosphere.

Red can also act as an appetite-booster, making it a great choice for the kitchen.

Balance red with neutral accents to temper the effect if you don’t want it to overpower the space. 

Be careful with crimson though as darker reds are associated with aggression and even high blood pressure. 


Brown is warm, neutral, comfortable and stabilising. It’s well-suited to places where you want to slow down and relax such as a den, reading nook or bedroom. 

Choose brown materials such as wood and leather for a natural, luxurious look. 

One downside to choosing brown is that it’s not very enlivening, and can even have a depressive effect. Blend it with cream to lighten it, or orange, yellow or red accents to brighten it. 


Pink isn’t just for children’s rooms. It has a calming, soothing effect which is ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms.

It is also the perfect colour for meditation and reading nooks.

Opt for soft baby pinks for the ultimate calming look, or blend in dusky rose and deep fuchsia for a warmer, more elegant finish. 


Orange is vibrant, enthusiastic and bold. It’s enlivening and brightening, and some cultures believe it can help boost lung health. Whether they’re right or not, orange is still a wonderful choice for a workout room. 

Orange is a little too energetic for most living spaces, but a few subtle accents blended with less enthusiastic colours will give a room an instant lift. 


Green is a wonderful multi-purpose shade. It’s soothing to the eye and calming to the mind, without being depressive. Use it in the bedroom to promote relaxation, or in the kitchen to provide a calm, settled feeling. It works well in lounges too. 

Try green in your home office to boost concentration.

Too much green can look a little jungle-like. It works beautifully as the main colour, but do break it up with some neutral tones. 


Purple is bold, regal and luxurious. Some people also associate it with spirituality or creativity.

Darker shades of purple feel serious, royal and rich, but work best when blended with blues, greens or creams which lift the colour a little bit. 

Lighter shades of purple such as lilac are comforting and restful. Those that are a little warmer than blue are ideal for a children’s room.


Yellow is the ultimate sunny colour, it’s happy, vibrant and cheerful. It’s a little too enlivening for most bedrooms, but works beautifully in kitchens, dens, lounges and dining rooms. 

Yellow makes small spaces feel bigger and brighter, and is a lovely choice for a porch or hallway, making the entrance of your home feel welcoming and bright. 


Black isn’t suitable for use as a main colour, as it makes a space feel tight and claustrophobic. However, blending black accents with another colour adds a touch of drama and class.

A black ceiling works well for a teenager’s room or den. Add a motif of stars to create something eye-catching but don’t be too heavy with it.


White is lovely and fresh for a bathroom or kitchen as it gives off a feeling of space and cleanliness. However, it can also work well in the bedroom or even the lounge. The trick to using white outside the bathroom is to blend it with other colours. 

White is endlessly versatile. Pair it with red, black or purple for a dramatic statement finish, or mix it with soft blues, pinks or greens for a gentle, comforting finish. Or why not pair it with orange or yellow for a sunny, optimistic vibe? 
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