Room colors and moods

lavender bedroom


Before making a decision on color scheme of the room, think of its intention. Do you want people to become relaxed here, or become concentrated, or become active and have fun? Knowledge of color psychology in interior design will help you to choose the right color among hundreds of shades.

You probably know that colors are divided in three groups: warm (reds, oranges, yellows), cold (purples, blues and greens), neutral (beiges and muted grays). Warm colors tend to advance visually, so they help to create a closer, cozier feeling atmosphere.  If you have large room and want it to look more intimate, warm colors are the best choice. Cold colors tend to recede visually, so use them if you want to enhance a small space.

interior design color psychology



What does red color mean? Everybody knows that red is a symbol for passion, heat and energy. It adds a lot of character to any interior decorating decision – no matter if it’s classic or contemporary. As red is too bold it’s rarely used in its pure form. The most popular shades of red are pink (is used for girls’ rooms), burgundy and melon red (are perfect for living rooms).





Orange is associated with activity and vitality in color psychology. It tends to warm a room, but looks more friendly and welcoming than red. Muted shades of orange are not so overwhelming. You probably often see these shades at many homes – terracotta flooring, apricot fabrics, etc. Pure orange is more suitable for contemporary style, but isn’t a good idea for a traditional one.



room colors and moods yellow


Color psychology in interior design considers yellow to be warm and welcoming, associated with sunshine and cheerfulness. It’s even more attention-getting than red and orange and can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s the best color for poorly lit hallways and foyers. Shades of yellow are excellent for kids rooms, making them look bright and cheerful. And, of course, yellow is great as an accent color in contemporary interior style. The most popular shades for interior design are lemon sorbet, sunshine yellow and pale yellow.

Purple is associated with tranquility, royalty and sophisticaton. Shades of purple can be cool or warm depending on containing more blue undertones or more red ones. Some tones of violet can be quite intense, but young children may like purple, so it’s great for kids rooms. Lavender and pastel lavender work good in the kitchen as these shades give uplifting and fresh feeling to a room.




Blue gives calm and cool mood to a room, that’s why it’s ideal color for bedrooms and bathrooms. Being appetite suppressant, it’s not a good choice for kitchen or dining room. The most popular shades of blue are sky blue, aqua and turquoise. Blue can be easily combined with other colors, especially white, green and yellow.




Green also gives relaxing mood to a room, it’s the color of nature, balance and harmony. Light greens are used for bedrooms and living rooms, midtones are good for dining rooms and kitchens (as many foods are green). Green can look very contemporary in it’s acidic forms or can bring traditional look to a room, therefore greens are widely used in different interior styles.

Interior design color psychology considers white to be another calming and peaceful color that is suitable for bedrooms and bathrooms. However, a room with white walls can look as sterile as a ward in a hospital. So if white is a main color of your color scheme, add some bright (blue, red etc.) accents to the interior, e.g., decorate wall trim or sidings, choose furniture with bright details. White can be replaced with another calm and clean color – beige or gray.

Brown can seem to be too somber and dull to use it in decoration. However the right furniture can make brown room looks masculine and bold, so brown is widely used for boys’ rooms. Such shades as chocolate, beige and orangish-beige are the most popular and used in different interior styles.

room colors and moods


Black can make room look stylish and sophisticated, however it’s associated with negativity – so use it carefully. Living room is probably the only place to experiment with black. Gray, which is a shade of black, creates a formal and balanced mood and is great for bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms.

Tonal value also matters when talking about creating atmosphere of a room. Lighter color tones give the illusion of more space. Darker, deeper tones appear closer to us, create sense of cozy, more intimate space.


Consider interior design color psychology when choosing color scheme for your room. When looking through interior photos, searching for wallpaper and furniture, don’t forget that the color creates atmosphere and can influence the mood.
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