Choosing which colours to use in our interior design schemes appears to be quite a simple task at first glance. Many people simply select a master bedroom colour that they like and use that as the main design influence in a room. However, the issue of colour is far more complicated than it first appears.

Colours have an important effect on how we feel and they incite a specific emotional response, so it is extremely important to understand the effect of colour before attempting to apply it at home.

Colour Psychology

rainbow

There is a whole discipline dedicated to the study of colour and how it affects our mood, emotions, behaviour and our perceptions. Colour psychology, as it is called, allows us to learn the language of colour and understand how to use it to get the most from it.

Every colour has positive and negative effects so they must be used and combined carefully. It is essential to decide what kind of atmosphere you are hoping to create in a given room and then choose your colours accordingly to achieve this.

Colour psychology is particularly important when it comes to the bedroom. If we assume that the average person sleeps for 8 hours a day, this equates to 229,961 hours in their lifetime or one third of their life. That’s a lot of time to spend in one place. And given that the main purpose of the bedroom is to provide us with a restful sanctuary where we can restore and rejuvenate after a long hard day, colour choice has a huge impact on whether this can be achieved.

Certain colours and their psychological effects are well suited to use in the bedroom. Karen Haller is a leading international authority in the field of applied colour psychology. She specialises in business brand colour, interiors, healthcare and wellbeing. She is the perfect person to offer advice on what colours are best suited to use in the bedroom.

Into the Blue

She says:

“To soothe a tired mind, a good colour to incorporate into your bedroom scheme is a soft, light blue. Blue is the colour of the mind, and soft blue has a low saturation which is mentally soothing. You’ll want to avoid dark blues, as they are highly saturated and stimulate thinking and concentration.”

intotheblue

This blue bedroom features in the AW17 Trend ‘Deco Charm’ from Dunelm



Pretty in Pink

So, blue is the colour to choose if you’re looking to soothe a tired mind, but what if you’re hoping to inject some romance into your slumber parlour?

“Those wanting a sensual and romantic ambiance should opt for soft (low-saturation) pinks or apricots,”

she says.

“Red, on the other hand, brings out the sexy, passionate side.”

But Karen points out that it is important to get the balance right and not to overdo it.

“My advice here is to not think you have to paint all four walls in one colour. Too much of any colour can make you feel adverse effects, or feel over stimulated.”

blush

A beautiful blush bedroom from Urbanara



Mellow Yellow

We now know what colours we should use, but are there any specific colours we should avoid using in the bedroom? Karen suggests that yellow is not a good colour to use, which is surprising given its rise and shine connotations.

“Avoid yellow as this is the colour that stimulates the nervous system so it’s likely to make you feel grumpy and irritable in the morning,”

she says.

“That’s why historically hotels and guest houses avoid this colour – they don’t want irritable guests.”



White out

white out

Karen also recommends that we steer clear of brilliant white.

“This is a cold, hard man-made colour,” she says. “It’s the only colour that doesn’t come from nature. What this means for this particular colour, is that we find it very hard to relate to it. We can find it very tiring and draining to be around, which has a negative impact on our physical, mental and emotional energy, and wellbeing.”

So, if you’re planning a bedroom makeover in the New Year, make sure you do your research first. The colour you were planning to use may not be quite as suitable for a bedroom as you first thought.

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