Do you ever visit your favorite café and feel a sense of warmth or calm take over your body? Or do you ever go to a PVR, and a sense of excitement runs through your nerves? Imagine walking into someone’s house, and suddenly you feel like you are in a different dimension. This is the impact of interior design.

As a space feels and appears to you all relies on how different interior design components come together. One such element is color, which plays a significant role in defining a space’s general mood. Hence, it holds immense power as it influences a person and a room. It is where color psychology takes effect.

The psychology of color is an influential device that relays how color can impact the mood, creativity, efficiency, and psychological functions of a person. Where a warm tone color can make you feel passionate or energetic, a cool tone has a more calming effect. To understand this concept more clearly, we will be taking you on a journey of how an interior designerincorporates color psychology in your interior design.

Understanding Color Psychology

The psychology of color is one of the most discussed topics. It expresses the relationship between a person’s emotions and colors and the related undertones. Some of these meanings are the same for every individual, given how the brain gets affected.

The theory also translates as how different colors influence an individual’s disposition. Besides this, they also affect how well a person performs, the creative level they can reach, and the functioning of their brain. Thus, it plays a huge role in interior design.

The color of a space and its furnishings, décor, lighting, and more can tremendously impact the mind and spirit of the person spending the most time in that space. When entering a room, an individual should feel relaxed when home or energetic to perform well in their workplace.

Hence, an interior designer considers transforming your living space based on the inhabitant’s personality, likes-dislikes, wants, and more quintessential in interior design.

Further, when surrounded by nature, sky, or a water body, it creates a sense of peace and evokes tranquil emotions. It is because colors like green and blue are calming hues. These colors can arouse the same relaxed effect when applying them to your enclosed spaces.

Other times when vibrant hues, like orange, yellow, or red, surround a person, they can help induce a lively and enthusiastic mood. While colors like gray or white can make a person feel more restful and calmer.

However, the meaning behind specific colors can change based on an individual’s culture, childhood memories, and more. Different colors can create multiple emotions. Warm colors may deliver happiness or anger, while cool tones may relate to sadness or apathy.

That is how the psychology of colors affects how a person behaves or perceives things. Sometimes the relation between various psychological changes and colors has been drawn. These changes include eyestrain, blood pressure, as well as metabolism.

Regarding interior design, cooler or lighter hues can help create a perception of openness and make a space look bigger, while darker tones can make a room smaller. The color arrangement of space heavily influences its length, width, height, etc.

Now let us look closely at different colors and their influence on interior design.

Using Warm Colors in Interior Design

When thinking of warm tones, you usually think about red, yellow, and orange. These may even include off-whites present on the color wheel’s warmer side. These colors have the property of warmth as they remind our brains about passion, heat, and fire.

Red is a bright color and embodies emotions at their full strength. Regardless of the shade, they incorporate love and companionship into an environment and help build enthusiasm and energy. Similarly, orange is also a vibrant hue and resembles the natural sun.

All orange shades add positive emotions, with certain tones conveying prosperity and wealth. Red and orange alike encourage desire, sexuality, passion, and love. As you may know, yellow corresponds to the sun’s light. It helps evoke happiness and spreads light. It also mingles with wealth and prosperity.

Since these warm colors arouse feelings of encouragement and enthusiasm, they work well in social settings. They help promote social behavior and encourage conversation. Hence, an interior designerwill use them office buildings, loving rooms, bedrooms, kitchen areas, hallways, dining rooms, etc.

Incorporating Cool Colors into Interior Design

Cooler tones create a calming effect on an individual’s thought process. These tones lie between the color circle’s blue and green range. They are seen as soothing and help incorporate a peacefulness. Thus, reminiscent of the greenery, sky, or water. These include colors like purple, blue, or green.

We primarily associate green with nature and relate it to peace, freshness, harmony, and trustworthiness. Sometimes, it may associate with comfort and helps an individual relax and reduces blood pressure or hypertension. The color blue also has similar effects. Blue is one of the colors with the most positive impact.

On the other hand, purple relates to nobility and gracefulness. It encourages creativity and calmness. You may sometimes associate it with mystery, depth, and drama. All these colors induce a sense of relief and tranquility.

Green and blue are versatile and work well with various parts of your home. However, they are ideal for private rooms, such as bedrooms, nurseries, offices, etc. Smaller rooms can use positive energy and appear bigger with these colors. You can add purple shades to kitchens, art studios, closets, or dressing rooms.

The Power of Neutrals in Interior Design

Some people may consider neutral tones unimaginative or boring. However, an interior designerunderstands their versatility and ability to add softness to a place. The neutral scheme comprises white, grey, beige, ivory, cream, natural wood, brown, etc. Even in neutrals, you can come across a diverse variety.

Having a neutral environment helps evoke a sense of harmony, safety, and balance. White is known as the common neutralizer. When it concerns interior design, white holds a lot of power. It also evokes peaceful and soothing emotions. It is effective for people who have claustrophobia or anxiety.

White has a calming effect and helps an individual’s blood pressure and pulse. Gray is another color that you can associate with positivity. Although, it is debatable as it evokes different emotions in different people. For sophistication and gracefulness, this color can make into your color scheme.

Gray also works as a neutralizer and symbolizes control and practicality. This neutral pair best with vibrant colors like pink, yellow, or white to avoid a dull or depressive mood. A neutral scheme gives rest to the viewers’ eyes and allows them to focus on other details.

Neutral colors work well for bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, etc. Grey works best for your furniture and textiles than on walls. To incorporate a minimalistic effect, take neutrals with accent colors or a different neutral hue with a different intensity. You may use muted greens, blues, or light pinks for accent colors.

Accent Colors and Their Psychological Significance

While progressing through your home decoration and interior design, one thing your interior designer cannot leave out is accent colors. As we know, color influences the feel of space. When we talk about accent colors within a room, they refer to the supplementary colors that supplement or contrast with the primary hues.

Incorporating an accent tone into the color scheme can give monochromatic spaces a more dramatic feel and energize a setting. However, the accent color is far more than one color and three white walls. You may incorporate accent colors through furnishings or décor.

As a result, you can create a balanced theme to create visual interest. Accent colors are ideal for building harmony and adding dimension. These colors work beautifully to add personality and introduce a gleeful mood. These colors can be bold, like red, or vivid, like orange. However, they don’t subdue the prime color.

To incorporate accent colors into a space, you must ensure 10% is the secondary color, 30% is the accent color, and 60% is the dominant color. You can use accent colors in many creative ways. You can use them to highlight your paneling or create a zone within a space.

To be more subtle, you can paint dado rails, skirting boards, or picture rails. Instead of adding bold accent colors, you can pick neutrals to incorporate a refreshing feel. Accent colors also help create functional yet fun spaces like kitchens or offices. These colors are fun and open you up to several options.

Considering Personal Preferences and Cultural Influences

Stating that the wavelength of specific emotions and connotations derived by individuals concerning varying colors is similar may seem somewhat okay. However, the human psyche is complex to understand, and we should not discard the human experience of life.

These experiences mix with different colors to depict how disparate individuals may feel about the same hue. Moreover, culture, the basis of our lifestyle and thoughts, plays a vital role in a single color’s perception.

Different cultures, like American, Asian, European, or Middle East, maintain different colors to display their value. For certain cultures, religion is a major controlling factor. Sometimes, some colors may not be acceptable to specific cultures or families.

In addition, an individual’s childhood memory may influence color preference. Bad experiences with color can shape a personal perspective of that color. Hence, an interior designerensures to incorporate a scheme that matches a person’s taste and cultural influences.

A personal style can help differentiate a space from others. These styles can have influences from the Victorian era to the modern. These styles can help create a color scheme for living rooms or dining areas.

Creating Harmonious Color Schemes

Whether it is interior painting, design, photography, or any other artistic endeavor of self-expression, the color scheme you choose will determine the result. These colors will help create a certain mood, set the energy, and decide how well the viewer will take it in.

The key to conquering harmony is choosing related colors. They can be adjacent colors on the color wheel or an amalgamation of limited colors. Primarily, you can rely on the color wheel to define color schemes and find the most harmonious colors.

The color wheel will dictate which colors blend well or are contrasting with each other. It contains twelve colors. They further categorize into primary, secondary, and tertiary. Next, you can start with complementary color combinations. These colors reside opposite to one another in a color wheel.

Also known as direct harmony, these include red complementary to green, orange to blue, and purple/violet to yellow. You must use these colors thoughtfully so that the color scheme does not create conflicts. The trick to forming a good balance is to pick a primary color and use it with a commentary color following a 7:3 ratio.

The subsequent technique uses analogous color combinations. It includes your primary colors along with an adjacent considering color wheel. Also called related colors, your interior designer may use analogous harmony to create a more comfortable and soothing effect. These colors are also present in nature, inducing a familiar sense of serenity.

Another one of the essential things that many do not notice is how important light is and how it influences color perception. When a light source emits light, the different wavelengths get reflected or absorbed by the objects. These wavelength reflections create what is commonly known as color perception.

Given that different light sources emit varying wavelengths, the way we perceive a color change drastically. Hence, when there is abundant light, color can seem more saturated or vivid. However, the same can change to dull in poor lighting.

To achieve a real color, natural light works the best. Artificial light sources like incandescent, LED, and halogen impact the color differently.

Case Studies and Real-Life Examples

By now, you understand that colors can influence an inhabitant’s psychology. Various colors can make you calm, excited, sad, or angry. Hence, choosing the right colors for your space is vital. Let us look at a few examples to understand how colors influence a room.

When you look at the red color, its medium shade for the kitchen or dining can help elevate your hunger. You can see it most in restaurants. Some examples are HGTV and Johnson Berman. Or like Stein Design or Dawn Elise Interiors for bedrooms to evoke passion and feelings of love. Or you can use it in the living room through décor to increase energy levels.

You will see most movie theaters with darker red color interiors to deliver exclusivity. Orange is energetic and can be seen in social areas or gyms by Spears Horn Architects, Amy Mizner, or Prestige Renovations.

Additionally, different colors influence the overall functionality of a space. Cool colors can make people feel calmer and help increase their efficiency and focus. The Ayming office balances blue accents well with neutral colors to increase productivity.

Green is another color that promotes productivity, it helps reduce anxiety and create a calm feeling.


Color psychology is an influential tool concerning interior design, as different colors impact how a space’s atmosphere feels differently. Hence, when selecting a color, learning what kind of mood you want your setting to convey is essential? 

Different colors create different emotions. Warm colors are vibrant and evoke passionate, joyful, and cordial emotions, while cool colors stimulate a calming, peaceful, and elegant feel. The neutral colors also help create a serene and harmonious environment.

These colors also have psychological impacts. When creating a space, consider style, desires, and personality. Exploring different colors and color schemes before finally settling on what you want is the best.