Color Psychology: How Paint Colors Affect Mood


As you move about your home, go out to eat, shop at your favorite stores, and browse the web, there’s something you’re probably unaware of.   Unbeknownst to most people, colors — and color psychology — have a huge impact on our moods, energy level and behavior

Although we may not pay much attention to this, marketers do. It’s a field known as color psychology. And it’s why you’ll find less-relaxed colors (red and yellow) that move people along quickly in and out of fast food restaurants and cool, calming colors like blue used in certain social media sites that want people to log in and stay for a while. Black signals sophistication and a high-end product, while green makes us feel that a product or company is eco-friendly.

Interior designers use color psychology, too — and so can you when you choose the color schemes for your home. Whether is is a a calming paint colors or a vibrant color here’s how to use the color in your home to affect your mood and behavior in a positive way.

Using Color Psychology to Plan Living Spaces and Color Schemes

We all have colors that we prefer over others, and while this does play into planning out the colors for the living spaces of your home, there should be another branch on the color decision tree. Before even considering colors, think about what every space in your home is used for and the feelings you’d like to invoke in people when they’re in that space.

For a living room, the desired emotions are likely warmth, positivity, good energy, and relaxation. The same holds true for a kitchen. While fast-food restaurants use colors that make people uneasy (because they don’t want them to linger and would rather they move along and free up a table for the next customer), you’ll want to do the exact opposite in your kitchen. It should be a space where people feel comfortable lounging and chatting over a cup of coffee or where your kids can concentrate as they do their homework or finish up a science project.

Colors for bedrooms and bathrooms are also important. It’s essential to pay special attention to color psychology in the bedroom since we spend so many hours in bed recharging our brains and bodies. Colors in the bedroom should invoke a sense of quiet, calm, and tranquility.

Bathroom colors should be similarly calming, but they should also signal rejuvenation and refreshment. Colors that are reminiscent of nature are excellent choices for any bathroom.

Reserve colors that cause excitement or agitation for a basement playroom or game room. While many kids want eclectic colors for their bedrooms, certain ones truly aren’t conducive to them getting a good night’s rest.

Matching Colors to Their Emotional Response

Now that you’ve thought about the goals you’d like to achieve in using color psychology for your paint choices, here’s a general guide to the types of colors that evoke common emotional responses. Remember to test colors out using SureSwatch to make sure they’re right for your space!


White is a neutral tone that evokes feelings of peace, innocence, and freshness. It’s particularly helpful for making smaller spaces appear bigger.


Incredibly soothing, this cool and calming color makes us feel serene. It’s also a great hue to promote productivity. Pair it with white to brighten it up and prevent it from becoming overwhelming.  The right shade of blue can be rather calming.


Jewel tones like purple or emerald green give a space a regal, dignified air because they’ve been historically associated with royalty.


Yellow is a warm and cheerful color that can be used to brighten up a room but use it sparingly, as it can be quite stimulating.


Speaking of stimulating colors, red tops the list of colors that can overexcite. Use it very carefully.

Now that you’ve had a basic primer (no paint pun intended) on color psychology, you have a better idea of how color and mood are connected. Choose your paint colors accordingly and your home will always put you in the ideal mood!

Learn more about color psychology by visiting our blog!

Find SureSwatch at Home Depot and Ace Hardware.

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