The colour of a room can play tricks with your mind. Don’t believe us? Then try relaxing in a room with bright orange walls, or try getting any work done in a green room. For decades, psychologists have studied the mood-changing effects of various paint colours. Use their secrets to bring out the best in the rooms in your home.


Let’s go through the rainbow, starting at the top:

RED is the most intense colour, and it raises your (and your room’s) energy level. Red is known to stimulate excitement and conversation – which is why it’s used in so many restaurants. That’s the good news. The bad news is, red also raises blood pressure, which is why it’s great for lounges and sitting rooms, but not ideal for bedrooms.


Orange is another energetic colour, and its bright and breezy vibe makes it great for play areas (and gyms!). It’s too far up the mood spectrum to really work as a bedroom colour, though.


Yellow is a happy colour, full of sunshine, which is why it works so well in kitchens and dining rooms. But while yellow is cheerful, it has also been found to create feelings of frustration and anger – so keep it out of children’s bedrooms.

Green, meanwhile, has been found to be the most restful colour, combining yellow’s cheeriness with blue’s refreshing shades. Use it in kitchens and living rooms, where you want to calm the mood while enhancing the comfort.


Blue, according to the experts, lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate – which makes it calming, and is great for bedrooms and bathrooms. You’ll need to pay attention to the shade, though: light blues can come across as cold, while dark blues can be sombre.


Purple – like orange – is an extreme colour, which works well as a secondary colour, but might be too much for your walls. Lighter purples do the calming job of blue, while bringing the energy of red.


Neutrals include black, grey and white – and while you’re not going to paint a room completely black, white (with a shade of yellow, orange or brown) will give you all the calm of the neutral tone, combined with a touch of whatever you’re adding to it.

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