February 12, 2020

Colour Me Happy – Colour Psychology for Interior Design

So what exactly do I mean by ‘colour me happy’?

Colour can turn a house into a home, a place where we simply go back to at the end of the day to a supportive, comfortable haven that expresses and reflects who we truly are. However, most people are still too nervous to use it! We decorate not to please ourselves, but to follow trends or  increase the re-sale of our properties. In fact, many of us are living in spaces we don’t actually like the look of that much.

What is Colour Psychology?

A process which will enable you to achieve a real understanding of your own unique style and colour palette by teaching you how to clearly identify with one of the four distinct seasonal personalities.

Each seasonal personality – SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN & WINTER –  combines a defined colour palette with the ‘energy’ or ‘feeling’ of that season. Every colour sits in one of four seasons or colour groups, and colours from the same group will always harmonise with each other. When colours from one group are paired with colour from another, they will jar against one another and simply ‘look’ wrong.

Understanding this will help you to move forward and make confident decoration choices throughout your own homes.

So what are the advantages of using Colour Psychology for Interior Design?

To create colour schemes which make you happy! Above all, you shouldn’t be led by trends, you should choose colours that make you smile.

To make sure each room in your home gives you the right ‘feeling’ for the way you want to use it when you walk into it.

To make sure your home flows from room to room by anchoring it in one tonal colour family.

To ensure you make design choices you won’t tire of.

To stop you making expensive mistakes.

Colour Tones…

I just want to set something straight from the off… there is no such thing a colour that doesn’t suit you, and there is no such thing as a colour that won’t work in your home. The key to colour happiness in fashion and interiors is to find the ‘tone’ of colour that works for you and your space.

Have you ever heard someone say they just ‘can’t wear yellow’? It’s just not true!! There is a yellow for everyone, it is just a matter of finding the right tone for you and your colouring.

Have a picture of the colour yellow in your head – can you describe in words the shade you are picturing? It is fascinating how each of us can look at or think of the same colour and see it totally differently.

The right ‘feeling’

But colour is not just something we ‘see’, it results in an immediate emotional response as well. Different colours can excite or depress, calm or re-energise, make us feel happy or angry, warm or cool, hungry or tired. First you need to identify how you want to ‘feel’ in any given space, then you will be able to work with the colours you love to pin down the exact tones that give you those ‘feelings’. Wearing the wrong tone of colour can leave you looking drained, strained or tired. Wearing the right tone instantly gives you a natural ‘glow’. The same principal applies when we are addressing our surroundings.

Balancing act

Working with colour is always a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. When putting colour schemes together, the success is not down to the use of any individual colour, rather the tonal colour relationships that the colours have to each other.  And it is very important to get the balance right.

For instance, red can be warm, energising and exciting, but use too much and it can seem aggressive and confrontational, making it very difficult to relax and unwind. When we have used too much colour, and the feeling is all wrong, we typically panic and swing the other way by going all white or all grey to shut out the intensity.

Essentially trust your gut. If a colour scheme doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t! Just think how out of place autumn leaves would look in a summer garden.

To sum up…

When you use colours from your personal colour palette you will create a home that reflects you and not someone else.

When your home reflects you, you will be connected to it, and when you are connected to it, you will want to go home to it!

We can use colour like a magic wand, to boost how we feel wherever we are, whatever we are doing.

Trust your instincts and surround yourself with colours that make you feel good and fill you with joy.


Click here to find out how I can help you can get in touch with your seasonal colour palette…

Images and selected extracts from ‘The Little Book of Colour’ by Karen Haller.