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A guide to choosing the best room colour


Certain paint colours can have a huge impact on the way you feel in your home. And while some shades can have you feeling happy and inspired, others may be secretly dragging you down. Here’s a simple guide to choosing the best room colour for your house. 

This space evokes a sense of calm immediately. © Bagnoli Architects / Ari Hatzis

While many of us are working at home due to Coronavirus now is the perfect time to take a look around at the colours in your home and consider the effect it might be having on your moods. You might be surprised at the changes a few small tweaks can bring.

Room colour gives your home personality; it’s one of the single most effective ways to make your house feel like a home.

Elisabeth VanDyk, Dulux colour consultant, says paint colour throughout your home’s interiors – whether splashed across your walls or dotted throughout your homewares and decor – can create interest in certain areas and help encourage a flow from room to room.

The home office

If you’re feeling stressed working from home it’s time to notice how the space makes you feel. © Unsplash

The home office is where you might be finding yourself spending most days, in these COVID-19-themed times.

Consider what colours are there, whether the furniture arrangement is making the most of the space and whether you can see some greenery.

If you’re constantly feeling stressed and overwhelmed when spending time in that space, maybe consider swapping a few things around?

Views of greenery have been found to make workers more productive and happier, so the first thing to do is to change around the desk so it includes a view of the window. Or consider adding some indoor greenery.

Your local nursery is a great place to start looking for some little pots of green.

The living room

Neutrals create a stunning backdrop for everyday life. © Ross Campbell

A living room is where a large portion of your time at home will be spent. It’s a place with countless functions, from relaxing with a good book and enjoying a movie night, to making memories with family and catching up with friends.

It’s the backdrop for life’s little moments, and so it should have a room colour palette to reflect these ups and downs and consistent changes.

In the lounge room, you’re invited to get creative with the use of colour in your homewares and decor, usually made up of art, trinkets, display items and soft furnishings, which makes neutral paint colours ideal for your walls.

Let elements of green shine through to establish a connection to nature. © Ross Campbell

If you’re looking for something a little less predictable, Elisabeth makes a strong case for sage greens.

“Green tones within the home help to connect us to nature,” she says. “Everyone knows about the benefits to your wellbeing that nature has, and you can extend this sense of rejuvenation by bringing green inside your home.”

From a muted green sofa to decorating with real indoor plants, pops of green are encouraged throughout this space and your entire home, too.

Head to your local hardware store to ask for some sample pots and swatches.

The master bedroom

Too calm to care. © Bagnoli Architects / Ari Hatzis

Choosing the right paint colour palette for your bedroom will give you the best possible chance at a good night’s sleep, says Elisabeth.

Her picks? “Soft blues, muted pinks, grey-toned neutrals, calming greens, lavender, and soft yellow” as they’re all proven to bring about a sense of calm.  

“I like using a different room colour scheme in the master bedroom that’s not seen in the rest of your house.

“It signals your brain that coming into the bedroom means it’s time to sleep, not work.”

Read more: 6 simple steps to creating the perfect master bedroom

The kitchen

Yellow makes for a bright and happy kitchen. © Tatjana Plitt

Often thought of as the heart of the home, the kitchen should feel like a place for happiness and sharing, whether you’re sharing the last slice of cake, or the story of your day while propped up on the kitchen bench.

To help encourage this feeling, Elisabeth suggests yellow as the ideal shade for this space.

“Yellow brings about optimism and hope, so letting it into your kitchen creates happiness in the right balance.”

This doesn’t mean painting all four walls a brilliant shade of banana, but rather considering incorporating bright pops in your appliances or even through countertop blooms.

Read more: How to pick the best kitchen for your lifestyle

The study

Orange tones are said to enhance creativity. Hello, big-ticket idea! © Bree Leech / Mike Baker

Looking to decorate your study for optimum motivation and creativity? Try bright tones like orange and yellows.  

Elisabeth says: “A study or home office in these  paint colours, besides creating a happy and uplifting feeling, will simulate the left side of your brain.

“This will result in clearer, more analytical, and more fast-paced thinking, and will potentially help you to identify issues quicker and improve decision-making.”

The home gym

There’s not always the need for a red room, but those with the space for a home gym may wish to consider embracing the energetic hue in this space.

“Certain room colours like red and orange can raise your blood pressure and make you feel as if you need to rip into action and get things done.  

“And while this is great for a home gym, be warned, it’s not ideal in a place where you actually want to relax, like a living room or bedroom.”

Kids’ bedrooms

Bright colours are welcomed in kids’ bedrooms. © Heatherly Design

There aren’t many rules when it comes to decorating your children’s bedrooms with colour, but there are a few key shades to consider.

Looking to create calm? Try pink! “Pink is used more and more in schools and even prisons and hospitals for its calming effect,” Elisabeth says.

“Using pink in your home, whether in decor or accessories, will have a similar effect.”

Other shades to consider include orange for motivation, blues for a calming effect, and yellow to spark the imagination.

See, it’s not hard to pick the right room colour. Think about the purpose of the room and what is it intended for and you’ll find yourself narrowing down the list of paint colours to be applied on the wall.

This article was originally published as How colour in the home affects your mood by written by Katie Skelly

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