Colour psychology is a legit thing. Studies have shown colours can affect your mood (not necessarily for the better, y'all), they affect performance and can even influence what you want to buy. *Insert Edvard Munch screamy face emoji here*. So it's all kinds of important to consider the impact of these shades on your mind. And I've been making nice with interiors oracles at OKA and Neptune to look at how colours impact your home.
Cool shades like green are considered restful for a reason. Colour travels in waves, and different colours travel at different wavelengths. The photoreceptor cells in our eyes work with the brain to communicate what colours we’re looking at. Green is in the middle of the colour spectrum and according to legit science, because of the way eyes process light, green is one of the easiest to focus on.
Pair that calming effect with its leafy, botanical connotations and green is a colour that suggests new life and renewal. For me, velvet is a natural partner to green. Luxey and serene, a velvet green armchair is the ultimate. And rather than just a figurative nod to nature, add leaves with a faux fiddle leaf fig to create a restorative, relaxy room.
Black doesn't have to be dark and depressing. It's powerful and sophisticated. Like in a wardrobe, black is classic and effortlessly cool. in Feng Shui, black is used to harmonise and neutralise a home.
And black can help create cosier spaces, like in the bathroom below painted in Ink. According to the Neptune, who designed the room "So often, the default with bathrooms is to lean towards a bright, clean and crisp palette. But, there’s something incredibly cossetting and calming about making them much deeper, darker spaces – the very definition of enveloping".
And you don't have to go full goth. Add black accents for a statement and to contrast with lighter tones, like these finials.
Lighter shades have positive associations such as cleanliness and simplicity. They also give the illusion of space. But neutrals aren't just a bajillion nuanced versions of slightly different whites. Rather than thinking of them as single shades, use them as a family of colours you can layer to create interest and warmth.
Neptune describes layering neutrals as ‘like being permanently cloaked in a cloud of aromatherapy’. Sign. Me. Up. And she also points out it’s a great way of making a budget room look super luxurious. Neptune have created an inviting bedroom sitch (below) mixing a natural throw and scatter cushions in pale greys with barely there pinks and peaches for a fun nod.
Peacock. Teal. Petrol. Inchyra. Whichever shade you wanna pick, blues give depth and warmth. According to Art Therapy, blue is a calming colour, said to decrease high rates of respiration and lower blood pressure. So why wouldn't you want to inject some of that into your home? It's basically a free workout (please don't replace exercise with interior design).
Blue is bold without being shouty. And best of all, it's easy to inject into an existing colour palette without completely overwhelming it. You can pick from a huge breadth of blue-y tones like these OKA lamps, wall art and soft furnishings, making it easy to swap out when you fancy a change.
Blush is essentially a nudey, dusty pink, which is typically associated with softness and happiness. A blush shade doesn't have the same childish or girly connotations of a bold pink, but is still warm and inviting. The colour has been shown to reduce feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect. Studies have even shown that exposure to large amounts of the shade can have a calming effect on the nerves.
Neptune have styled an otherwise quite neutral blush palette with a rose-coloured throw (left) and OKA's 'Cuisse De Nymphe emue' wall colour (right) is named after a type of rose to create a relaxing environment.