Sensory Design: Understanding the Impact of Colours on Mood
Our journey into the profound science of colours and their intricate ability to influence our moods within the spaces we call home begins with a simple yet profound question: Have you ever considered how the colours in your home shape your happiness?
Colours, beyond their visual appeal, act as silent orchestrators of emotions that have the potential to evoke specific feelings. From the calming coastal blues that wrap you in tranquillity to the invigorating greens of nature that infuse spaces with energy, your home’s colour palette is a powerful tool that can enhance your emotional well-being. For me, greens and warm neutrals make up my sensory haven at home.
Colour choices are more than a journey through aesthetics; it’s about crafting environments that resonate with joy, calm, and purpose. The intricacies of intentional colour choices can transform your living spaces into sanctuaries of emotional well-being, helping you to feel safe, calm and happy, which is how you should feel in your own home.
So, where do we start with the expansive colour wheel, and how do we choose colours that enhance our well-being? Your home is more than a collection of walls and furniture—it’s a canvas where design meets emotion. Choosing colours that suit your well-being involves thoughtful consideration of your personal preferences, emotional responses, and the specific atmosphere you want to create in each space of your home. Here are some steps to guide you:
1. Reflect on Emotions: Consider the emotions you want to evoke in each room. For a bedroom, you aim for calmness and relaxation, while a home office could benefit from energising and focused hues.
2. Personal Preferences: Take stock of your personal preferences. What colours make you feel happy, calm, or inspired? Your innate preferences can guide you in selecting colours that align with your well-being.
3. Consider Room Function: Think about the function of each room. Living rooms may benefit from warm and inviting tones, while bathrooms or meditation spaces might thrive with soothing and tranquil colours.
4. Natural Light: Pay attention to the natural light in each room. Some colours may appear different under various lighting conditions. Test paint samples and observe how they look in different lighting scenarios.
5. Colour Psychology: Explore colour psychology to understand the general emotional associations with different colours. For example, blues and greens are often associated with calmness, while yellows and oranges evoke energy and warmth.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colours and combinations until you find the perfect palette. Before committing to a full paint job or major decor changes, test small samples of your chosen colours in the actual space. Live with the samples for a few days to observe how they make you feel in different lighting and times of the day.
Take a look at our colour guide below to get you started.
The serene embrace of blues extends beyond visual aesthetics; it instils tranquillity and promotes a profound sense of calmness. Ideal for bedrooms and relaxation spaces, these hues create environments conducive to restful sleep and peaceful reflection. Scientifically proven to lower heart rates and induce calm, blue becomes the perfect choice for spaces dedicated to unwinding.
Greens breathe life into spaces, infusing them with a natural and invigorating energy. Greens connect us with the soothing essence of nature, perfect for rejuvenation, such as in living rooms and home offices. Associated with renewal and vitality, green has the ability to create environments that inspire creativity.
Radiant yellows evoke warmth and joy, suited for spaces where energy and positivity are encouraged, like kitchens and dining areas. Happiness and optimism are linked to yellow, making it ideal for creating lasting memories in social spaces.
Soft pinks offer a gentle and soothing presence, well-placed in bedrooms or meditation spaces. They contribute to a calming atmosphere, fostering feelings of comfort and relaxation. Also known for compassion and tranquillity, pink is an excellent choice for spaces dedicated to self-care.
Reds bring passion and warmth to a room, ideal for social areas like dining rooms or entertainment spaces. Red, associated with energy and stimulation, is a powerful choice for vibrant atmospheres.
Purples carry an air of sophistication and relaxation, perfect for bedrooms or reading nooks. Adding a touch of luxury while promoting a serene atmosphere. Aligned with creativity and luxury, purple is perfect for spaces meant for relaxation and contemplation.
Sunny Yellows and Energetic Oranges:
Bright yellows and oranges infuse spaces with vitality and enthusiasm, ideal for playrooms or areas encouraging creativity. Yellow and orange, associated with warmth and creativity, are excellent choices for energetic atmospheres.
Neutral tones, like soft greys and warm beiges, provide a versatile backdrop suitable for any room. Creating a timeless and elegant ambience, neutrals allow other elements to take centre stage. Neutrals, known for their versatility, are a timeless choice for spaces meant to exude calm and sophistication.
Read more on sensory design, take a look at our feature on 5 Tips on How To Create A Sensory-Friendly Kitchen
Images credits: Image 1: Jo Henderson, image 4&5 Jemma Watts.