Using Color Psychology to Choose Interior Paint Colors

When it comes to the colors we choose for the walls in our home, most of us choose shades we like, and why not? Every color selected is one we plan to live with for an indefinite period of time.

Color is often used to create a cozy, spacious feel in our surroundings. It can have more of an impact on our feelings than we realize. Known as “color psychology,” this phenomena can help you choose welcoming, comfortable colors in every room of your home.

The Overall Effect of Color

Studies have shown that color has the ability to affect emotions, mood and feelings of well-being. Though most of us are unaware of how colors influence us, we have an instinctive reaction to the spectrum.

Certain colors can energize us, while others can calm us down. Before you begin to choose paint colors for your home’s interior, consider how you will use each room and the feeling you want people to have when they are in the room. The information below can help guide you.


Did you ever wonder why red is often a predominant color in restaurants? There is a reason for that. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure and rate of respiration. It also affects the appetite in a powerful way, and commercial interior designers use that knowledge in their concepts.

To prevent overindulging in your kitchen, look for a warm color like yellow, which conveys emotional strength.


The sanctuary where you retire to relax and sleep calls for calming colors. Research has found that greens and blues help to calm the soul and center emotions. The darker the color, the greater the effect.

Greens reflect harmony, balance and peace, while blues bring serenity, coolness and calm. Combinations of these colors can provide a lovely space to unwind at the end of the day.

Living Areas

Because the great room, family room, living room or den is where you entertain and spend most of your down time, these rooms should evoke feelings of welcoming warmth and comfort. Look to earth tones—orange, red and yellow—to spark connection and conversation between family and friends. Reds impart warmth, energy and courage. Yellows foster optimism, friendliness and social communication. Oranges convey warmth, fun and physical comfort.

Dining Room

Bold colors work well in a dining room to excite and energize dinner guests, leading to lively and stimulating conversation. Color psychology tells us oranges and reds are the way to go. The added bonus of warmth and comfort, particularly with orange tones, can make this room welcoming and conversation-friendly.


Because of its clean look and feel, we lean toward whites and lighter paint colors in the bathroom, which make sense for those whose bathrooms are used for traditional purposes. When your bathroom is more than just an extension of the bedroom, like those with a sauna or Jacuzzi, homeowners can consider calming, relaxing blues and greens, alone or in combination.

Home Office

This is the place where you want to be energetic and productive, with the ability to get work done quickly. After all, you want some time to spend with family and friends.

Think of the gray walls in many businesses, where increased productivity is desired. The psychological neutrality of gray not only boosts energy and productivity, it complements a variety of colors you might use in your décor. Shades of green can positively affect focus and concentration.

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