Fortius Waterscape - Model Flat:  Living room by Renovatio Interio

Room colour psychology: What is its role in interior design?

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally

Request quote

Invalid number. Please check the country code, prefix and phone number
By clicking 'Send' I confirm I have read the Privacy Policy & agree that my foregoing information will be processed to answer my request.
Note: You can revoke your consent by emailing with effect for the future.
Loading admin actions …

Most homeowners choose the room colours to reflect their personality. However, it’s a well-known fact that colours influence moods and have the power to promote positivity or negativity. Therefore, when selecting colours for the home, careful consideration should be given to room colour psychology as it will help to decide the right colour for a specific room as the required energy within the space varies from one room to another.

While the psychological effects of colour depend on a range of factors such as gender, age, ethnicity and the weather, some colours have the same influence irrespective of all the factors. We present a guide to colour psychology to help in picking the right shades or tones in any home.

What is room colour psychology?

UMA GOPINATH RESIDENCE:  Living room by Muraliarchitects



Usually, to lift one’s spirits, one might dig into a tub of ice cream or eat a bar of chocolate, but there is a better and healthier way to get the same result. The importance of colour in interior design goes beyond just making a room look spectacular. While the exact link between colour and mood is still a mystery, it’s scientifically proven that colour influences mood. Therefore, due importance should be given to choosing the right colour for every room in the house.

How can room colour psychology be used to influence the mood of a room?

Apartment on Sarjapur Road:  Bedroom by ACE INTERIORS

Apartment on Sarjapur Road


Ideally, the room should have a mix of warm and cool colours to balance the energies within the area. When doing this, it’s essential to be aware of the difference between the two types of colour energies. Looking at a colour wheel can help to make it easier to understand how colours affect mood. Usually, the colours with tones of green and blue on the right side of the wheel are the cool colours, whereas the tints of yellow and red on the left represent the warm shades.

Warm colours

These colours can bring radiance and cosiness to a room. Due to this inherent characteristic, they should be used with caution in a small room as they can make it appear smaller than it is. On the other hand, they are ideal for larger rooms as they bring a touch of intimacy to the ambiance.

Fortius Waterscape - Model Flat:  Living room by Renovatio Interio
Renovatio Interio

Fortius Waterscape—Model Flat

Renovatio Interio

Cool colours

All the colours on this side of the colour wheel have a soothing effect. Since they have a cooling property, they are ideal for bright rooms as they can balance the energy. One should resist using these tones in a room that lacks natural light as it will make it cold and uncomfortable.

Besides these, there are neutral colours such as white, black and grey. Depending on the tints of cool or warm colours in the shade, these colours can be combined with other colours to balance the mood in a room.

How to choose a shade based on room colour psychology

Bear in mind that every colour on the colour wheel has a psychological value. While consulting an expert is the best way to determine the value of a shade, it’s easy to get an idea of the colours that make you happy and energetic by browsing through a magazine or a website. Similarly, some colours induce a feeling of peacefulness, while others might bring anger or sadness. It’s essential to be aware of the psychological effects of the primary and secondary colours to create balanced spaces.

Consult an interior designer for advice on creating the ideal energies using colour.

The role of red in room colour psychology

Mantri Webcity, Duplex 3 BHK - Mr. Vishal:  Living room by DECOR DREAMS

Mantri Webcity, Duplex 3 BHK—Mr. Vishal


Undoubtedly, red has the power to raise the energy level in a room. It can increase the heart rate, speed up breathing and raise blood pressure. It’s an ideal choice in an area where one wants to feel energetic or excited, making it one of the positive colours for bedrooms. In the entrance hallway, it helps to create a striking first impression. In social spaces such as living or dining rooms, it can infuse the area with warmth and cosiness to stimulate conversation. In bedrooms, most people refrain from using it since it is too dark and bright. However, since the bedroom is used mainly at night, under the warm glow of artificial lamps, the colour looks warm and elegant.

The effect of yellow according to room colour psychology

Since it is associated with the colour of the sun, yellow represents happiness. It stimulates the nerves and purifies the body. This makes it an excellent choice for areas where the mood needs to be uplifted, especially bathrooms and kitchens. While it is often recommended among the paint colours for depression as it promotes cheerfulness within the area, it’s vital to be aware that it is not ideal as the main colour. The reason for this is that it can bring too much energy and result in anger, frustration or agitation.

Find inspiration on how to incorporate yellow in the room.

Blue in room colour psychology

Blue has the opposite psychological effect of red as it lowers blood pressure, slows down the flow of breath and reduces the heart rate. The calming effect of blue makes it the perfect choice for bathrooms and bedrooms. The risk of using blue in a room is that it can make it too cold. Therefore, it’s advisable to balance it with a few warm tones in the furnishings or accents.

Since relaxation is a significant criterion of living room colour psychology, warmer tones such as turquoise can be employed as the wall paint or other elements of the décor. It’s best to stay away from darker shades such as Navy blue as they evoke feelings of sadness in the house.

Green in room colour psychology

Bedroom Design-- Raj residency:  Bedroom by Preetham  Interior Designer
Preetham  Interior Designer

Bedroom Design-- Raj residency

Preetham Interior Designer

Since it is a secondary colour that is composed of tints of blue and yellow, it has relaxing and cheerful properties. Overall, it’s recommended for creating a restful space. It’s ideal for family rooms and living rooms. As it is believed to promote fertility, it can also be used in a bedroom.

The room colour psychology of purple

daughter room1:  Bedroom by quite design
quite design

daughter room1

quite design

The various tones of purple range from the deepest brinjal or royal purple to light shades such as lilac and lavender. While the darker tones represent high energy, lighter tones induce restfulness. The dark shades can be used to create a dramatic focal element in a living room or hallway, whereas the lighter shades are ideal for bedrooms.

Get ideas on how to use purple in the interior decor.

Orange in room colour psychology

Living Room - Origami Spaces(  Living room by Origami Space Design
Origami Space Design

Living Room—Origami Spaces(

Origami Space Design

Orange is another energetic colour that increases enthusiasm and excitement. As a result, it’s best avoided in bedrooms and living rooms. It has the power to improve breathing and increase energy levels, making it ideal for an exercise room or home gym.

Being aware of the effects of various colours is just one aspect of room colour psychology. Creating the right balance in the room with a mix of wall paint, furnishings and fabrics is not easy, especially for those who aren’t professionally trained in interior design. For creating a room that has the perfect amount of energy according to its intended use, it’s best to consult a professional architect or interior designer. From recommending the main colour that is best suited to the room to suggesting the accent or neutral colours that can help to balance the energies within the area, a professional can help to put together rooms with the right psychological impact, whether it’s energetic or relaxing.

Which is your favourite shade on the colour chart? Leave a comment.
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

Need help with your home project? We'll help you find the right professional

Discover home inspiration!