The Psychology of Color in Interior Design

I love using color as a communication tool in my interior design projects. In order to do that effectively, it’s important to understand how colors behave and how they can influence our mood. Colors evoke emotional responses in everyone. The psychology of color is used around us every day and is an important tool for transmitting information. A red stop sign prompts you to stop and look around; a brightly colored playground evokes feelings of joy and youthfulness. 

The colors you choose for your walls and furniture have a big impact on your mood and emotions too. Color psychology suggests that some colors may increase anxiety, while others can boost your energy level. Your home should be your sanctuary, so it’s important to understand the emotional impact a color will have in your home.

Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing a color palette.

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“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”

-Wassily Kandinksy


Red is the color of passion and drama. It attracts the most attention and is often associated with strong emotions such as love and anger. Red is used universally to communicate danger or power. While it is vibrant and exciting, it also inspires feelings of lust with a strong link to sexuality. 

Color psychologists have proven that red can increase blood pressure and stimulates the adrenal glands. In color therapy, red is often used to help dispel negative thoughts and release anger. 

Red | Emotions






Orange is the color of optimism and is socially inviting. This color is for the extrovert, exuding energy and motivation. The combination of yellow and red makes orange, conveying warmth and excitement and typically appeals to younger people. Orange is often used as a natural antidepressant in color therapy and can relieve feelings of self-pity. It is also thought to help strengthen the immune system and aid in digestion. 

Orange | Emotions







Yellow is full of energy and happiness. It conveys youthful optimism and freshness. The color of sunshine, it is uplifting and illuminating and often associated with success and confidence. Yellow stimulates the left side of the brain, which aids in clear thinking and quick decision making. 

In color therapy, yellow is used to create uplifting feelings. It stimulates the brain and can make you more alert and energetic. Yellow also builds self confidence, yet some may find that it can also trigger feelings of fear and anxiety. 

Yellow | Emotions







Found in all of nature, green is the color of growth and health, expressing renewal and life. Green has a strong association as a refreshing and peaceful color. It evokes feelings of abundance while providing a restful and secure feeling. 

Green is thought to be good for your heart and also helps you breathe slower and deeper. It creates feelings of comfort and relaxation as we are reminded of nature. However, olive greens have been known to convey thoughts of decay and death and may be detrimental to psychological and emotional health. 

Green | Emotions







The hue of the sea and sky, blue communicates a tranquil emotion that induces peace and serenity. This calming color instills confidence and inspires feelings of loyalty, integrity and responsibility. A cooler blue is conservative, responsible, and can instill feelings of security.

Blues are often used to reduce stress, increase relaxation and has been proven to lower blood pressure. Blue inspires mental control and clarity. Though it is calming, too much blue can increase feelings of depression. 

Blue | Emotions





Inner security


Violet is often associated with spirituality and royalty. The energy of red combined with the calm of blue, it is a color that inspires intrinsic qualities and reflection. It is the color of the introvert. It is often used to encourage creativity and communicate luxury. 

Violet has an antiseptic effect. In color therapy, it is used to treat mental and nervous disorders, as it can help to balance the mind and transform obsessions and fears. It also has a cleansing effect in regards to emotional disturbances. 

Violet | Emotions






Need help creating a color palette for your home? Schedule a design consultation today!