The Psychology of Colour: How to Change the Mood of a Room

In the 1660’s Isaac Newton proved that light was responsible for colour and artists began taking advantage of his conceptual arrangement of colours around a circle. This artist’s tool, further developed and now known as the Colour Wheel, is designed so that virtually any colours you pick from it will look good together, particularly opposing colours (for example; blue and orange, green and violet) However, the mood you set, whether you’re painting a canvas or a wall, will shift entirely depending on which colour you pick.

The scientific theory behind colour and how it affects us dates much further back than the 1600s. C 3000BC, Egyptians studied the effect of colour on mood and used these findings for holistic benefits. While in present day, we aren’t necessarily trying to cure ailments, the psychological connections we make to colour still reflects those ancient findings and have a dramatic effect on the mood of a room.


Egyptian Blue Frit was arguably the first synthetic pigment created, which is fitting being that blue is the colour that represented creation and rebirth in Ancient Egypt. This colour was used to sooth pain.

Blue hues are certainly soothing and serene, they represent both intelligence and trust; great for bathroom or living room.

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This emotional colour represented eternal life, referencing the colour of the sun and gold and was said to purify the body. Yellow exudes confidence, optimism and self-esteem; it encourages extroversion, friendliness and creativity. A Yellow room is a happy room.


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Like it’s yellow counterpart, orange encourages an enthusiastic mood. We associate feelings of comfort and abundance with it, along with the obvious one – fun! While it may be too stimulating for some, it being energy to a room and adds a feeling of creativity.


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Arguably the most intense colour, Red is the colour of power and indicated life and victory, anger and fire. It was used to increase circulation and stimulate both body and mind. Possibly most similar to present day, this dominant colour promotes strong feelings of both love and anger and is best used in moderation for a positively powerful outcome.


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Purple derives some of its values from its red side; it is also a powerful colour and brings out passion. While it’s first application in history dates 2500 years back to prehistoric cave art in France, it is currently accepted as the colour of luxury and Royalty. When used as an accent it can bring warmth and depth to the room.


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The colour of nature, evokes the feeling of nature and outdoors. In Ancient Egypt this stress-alleviating colour represented new life, growth and fertility. It’s a colour you really can’t go wrong with in any room.


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Black symbolized both death and night. This powerful colour can overwhelm and should be used in moderation. Once used correctly it brings a subtle elegance and sophistication, highlighting the rest of the room, like the way stars stand out in the night’s sky.

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Purity and all things sacred, white represented these values and was used in religious objects. White (when kept clean) evokes cleanliness and sophistication and can make a space seem much larger than it is.

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What mood does your space put you in? Leave us a comment below to let us know.

Michelle de Caires

Michelle de Caires is a freelance Creative Marketing Consultant and Copywriter from Barbados. When not writing, she runs her own practice helping businesses plan and execute their marketing. Her experience includes 3 academic degrees, 12 certificates, 19 awards and 8+ years in marketing and advertising. Her loves include family, coffee, to-do lists and Crossfit. Find out more at or say hi via

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