MEANING ASSOCIATED WITH COLOURS

Ever since man understood fiery red meant danger and those purple berries were poisonous, colour has been associated with moods and feelings.

Religious artists used colour as a form of shorthand – people looking at a stained glass window or a heraldic coat of arms would have instantly known blue equalled contemplative faith or green meant hope. Even saints were associated with different colours.

The colours used to decorate rooms in a house can affect the occupants’ moods. Find out why:

Red

Associated with: danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure, optimism

Pitfalls: it can be overpowering and lead to headaches. Either vary the shade, paint one wall red, or use it for accessories only. use deep red in children’s designs.
Red room
Red rooms

Pink

Associated with: love
Best for: bedrooms as it can be peaceful and restful. A hot fuchsia can introduce passion
Pitfalls: can be appear to be very girlie and sickly sweet. To counteract this, introduce hints of dark charcoal or black
Pink room
Pink rooms

Orange

Associated with: stability, reassurance, warmth, and is thought to aid digestion
Best for: living and dining rooms
Pitfalls: might keep the occupant awake when used in a bedroom. It can make a room look smaller because it’s an advancing colour, so make sure the room gets plenty of light
Orange room
Orange rooms

Green

Associated with: nature and energy, calming and restful, balance (halfway between red and blue) security, stability
Best for: bedrooms, living rooms
Pitfalls: too much green is thought to make people too complacent or too laid back. Inject some red or orange to counteract these feelings
Green room
Green rooms

Blue

Associated with: calming and soothing; promotes intellectual thought; believed to keep hunger at bay; loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative, prevents nightmares
Best for: bedrooms, bathrooms, studies
Pitfalls: can look cold and unwelcoming. Make sure it doesn’t look too chilly by choosing a blue with a warm undertone
Blue room
Blue rooms

Yellow

Associated with: sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellect
Best for: kitchens, dining rooms or north-facing rooms
Pitfalls: not very restful for a bedroom. Yellow is thought to enhance feelings of emotional distress
Yellow room
Yellow rooms

Lilac

Associated with: spiritual matters – suggests the misty area between the sky and heaven, feminine
Best for: bedrooms and bathrooms to create a stress-free sanctuary
Pitfalls: can be insipid. Liven it up with black or silver, or both
Lilac room
Lilac rooms

Purple

Associated with: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex
Best for: bedrooms
Pitfalls: can be overpowering
Purple room
Purple rooms

Brown

Associated with: security, stability and very practical
Best for: living rooms
Pitfalls: introduce a livelier colour for mental stimulation such as green or blue
Brown room
Brown rooms

Black

Associated with: death, eccentricity, drama. It’s a non-colour that absorbs colour and reflects nothing back
Best for: using in moderation
Pitfalls: depressing – think of all those angst-ridden teenage bedrooms. Use it to temper the sweetness of other sugary colours such as pink, but don’t use it as a base colour

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