Have you ever thought about how a room will make you feel before choosing its colour scheme? At I Want Wallpaper, we know how important the colour of your rooms can be for your wellbeing. Wall colours are said to influence your mood and even evoke different feelings - positive and negative. To put this to the test, we surveyed hundreds of people to find out how they associate certain colour schemes with different emotions. Here are the results.
Our survey threw up a mixed bag of results. The first of which, was the idea that blue, pink and white all inspired feelings of restfulness. A blue room made 29% of our participants feel calm, while pink and white rooms incited a sense of peace in 26% and 37% of people, respectively. On the other end of the scale, we weren't surprised to find that cool blue, pretty pink and pure white didn't get the fires of lust burning, with passion, power and energy being their least commonly-associated emotions.
But why do these diverse colours evoke - and not evoke - such similar feelings? Well, it could have a lot to do with just being human. Blue is globally associated with trust, safety and relaxation - particularly in Mexico, the Middle East and Western societies where it's often used in bank logos. Across the world, pink is the colour of femininity and is even the shade of marriage - the ultimate sign of trust - in many Asian cultures. Lastly, little needs to be said about the universally-recognised white flag of truce and peace. Noticeably a pattern emerges in how certain public and private rooms are decorated. Blue is the colour of intelligence and is commonly used when productivity is paramount, such as in offices, colleges and schools. Apart from being the go-to colour for around 50% of nurseries and kids' bedrooms, pink wall-coverings are even used in some prison holding cells to help create calmness. As for white, this signifies sterility and purity, making it an ideal choice for dental and medical practices rooms where cleanliness is appreciated.
Our image of the orange room evoked a strong sense of creativity in 29% of people, with the feeling of calmness being the last sentiment people got from the colour.
Orange is a fantastic energiser. Looking at and surrounding ourselves with orange is believed to increase our excitement and enthusiasm levels, which is why it's a top shade to boost mind and body during workouts in gyms and fitness studios. Many interior designers suggest you decorate your home gym and music or art room in anything from peach to tangerine in order to stimulate energy and help you get creative.
From a different perspective, experts in colour psychology believe orange is actually the colour of affordability in the world of business. Firms and brands that want to promote value-for-money - like B&Q, Fanta, Amazon, Sainsbury's, and the former mobile network Orange (now part of EE) - use orange to signal low prices and encourage sales. Combine this idea with the colour's connection to excitement and enthusiasm, and you have a great tactic for encouraging the mindset to buy.
Our images of a green and yellow rooms also stirred up quite similar emotions with our survey takers. A chunky 39% of people said the green room made them feel energised, while a chunkier 41% opted for 'uplifting' when asked to describe the yellow room. In the least popular corner, a tiny 3% said they got a sense of passion from the green chamber, with roughly the same amount stating that they felt powerful from looking at yellow.
These are unsurprising results as green is a yellow-blue hybrid and they are both the staple colours of nature (i.e. the Sun and Earth). What's more interesting about them is how they are powerful proponents of mental health. Experts in psychology of colour and colour therapy firmly believe that colour nourishes our senses, boosts our moods and improves our emotions for a better, happier frame of mind. Surrounding yourself with yellow can give you feelings of empowerment, confidence and positivity that might help alleviate depression. Yellow is also connected with the intellectual part of your brain, which means that looking at it can stimulate clear-thinking and decision-making for a better cognitive approach to tasks.
When considering room shades, green is a popular bedroom colour due to its balancing effect on our emotions. Green rooms and decors are excellent for people suffering from stress and anxiety. If you prefer yellow, use it in your kitchen as it stimulates happiness and optimism. When considering room shades, green is a popular bedroom colour due to its balancing effect on our emotions. Green rooms and decors are excellent for people suffering from stress and anxiety. If you prefer yellow, use it in your kitchen as it stimulates happiness and optimism.
Whether it's red walls or just red candles and tablecloths, lots of eateries use red as an appetite inducer. But what's the connection? Well, colour psychology experts think that seeing red increases the blood flow in our bodies. This heads through our digestive system and boosts our metabolism, thereby making us feel hungry. Many food packages and brand logos, implement this theory by featuring healthy servings of red in their designs and packaging e.g KFC, Haribo, Walkers, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Maltesers, Ritz crackers, and Heinz soup cans. Red is innately intense, so it makes sense that we'd lust after food as easily as we'd lust after each other.
Red is also the winning colour of sports. In 2004, two anthropologists from the University of Durham published research that showed that the number of winners who wore red in Olympic combat sports was so great that it couldn't be purely chance. To back this up, other researchers have also found that sportspeople wearing red clothing score 10% more in any competition, which could explain the footballing success of Arsenal, Manchester United, and England in 1966.
Our final interior design colour, black managed to attract the most agreement among our survey takers - 49% - and is most popular for evoking a sense of power in a person. No prizes for guessing that 'uplifting' were its least popular attribute.
Black is the backdrop of drama, which is why our cinemas and theatres use it to adorn their walls and get the audience geared up for the show. Outside the world of entertainment, black is one of those colours that conjure up very powerful feelings in religion and culture, specifically fashion.
Black signals discipline therefore telling the world that the person wearing it is independent and strong-willed. Or, so many colour psychology experts believe. Its strong association with formalwear gives onlookers a sense of trust, and the person wearing it an air of respectability, that can be a useful tactic at important events. Particular items of black clothing also carry with them very powerful connotations - from sultry black lingerie and cool black shades, to sophisticated black ties and classy little black dresses - that just wouldn't be the same in any other colour.
What about how we feel with other choices like cars? According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 20% of drivers choose a black car over any other. Perhaps black's association with power makes it a popular choice when we're on the roads, just to make us feel that touch more confident.