When we think about our homes, and the spaces within them, we tend to categories them into generic terms, lounge, kitchen, bedroom. However, in doing this we neglect the true potential of our spaces, and we underestimate the roles they play. While lounges, or bedrooms may contain many of the same elements across the globe, every single space is a unique stage for the individual lives of its inhabitants. A bedroom for some may be a retreat, while for others it may be a place to exercise, practice yoga or study. While your neighbors kitchen may be a place of entertaining and coffee with friends, for you it may be your calm place to bake and practice mindfulness. Just as these rooms act as micro-environments for our daily practices, they deserve the recognition as such, to not only reflect the people who dwell within them but to facilitate further the lives those inhabitants hope to attain.
The perfect place to start? The walls. Take a moment to contemplate your favorite room, what do you do there? How do you feel there? What would you like to start doing there? Ideally, who would you like to be there? Then take another moment and ask yourself if those rooms are working their hardest, do they encourage those aspirational activities? Do they promote the life you want to live? Unless your are an interior designer, they probably could be doing more. So, the walls. After assessing what you want your room to be promoting, the ideal place to start is with setting the tone of the room, and the biggest effect on the tone of a room is surely the colour. Below, are seven ‘moods’ and the colours to achieve them with.
A productive Space.
This could be anywhere, but somewhere you have identified as a place that you need to be encouraged to work, learn, or study. However, productivity can easily take the form of multiple moods. Specifically, calm productivity or active productivity. Two very different needs, and two very different colours. If you are looking for a calm space to work, cool blues will promote the peace of mind required. If you are looking for an energised state of being, a warm orange will encourage activity.
A Creative Space.
To understand what colours will promote creativity, an understanding of our natural state is essential. Creativity can be induced by two specific colours, depending on whether we are naturally calm or naturally excitable. Deep purple has been shown to encourage creativity for those looking to be inspired and retreat within their own minds. For those of you looking for a more neutral atmosphere to balance out an energetic disposition, off-white offers a unique balance. While not energising, nor calming, it provides a happy medium, and a clean slate for thought to thrive on.
A Meditative Space.
A meditative space requires purity, either in the form of white, or as dark as you dare to go. However, we specifically appreciate the effects of a dark green. Offering not only the nest like quality's of other dark colours, green has been shown to reduce anxiety indoors, and what better for an escape within the home? Cocoon yourself, and the contrast from other, lighter colours within your house will offer a mental dissociation from the jobs and worries that may exist within other rooms.
A Social Space.
When finally, we are allowed to open our doors again to neighbors and friends, and invite them inside, a space that encourages this human need will be a beautiful thing. Of course, social occasions vary greatly, from intimate dinners to large gatherings, and all may need different prompts. However, a general rule is yellow. It may sound garish but soft tones paired with flowers or foliage will manifest as an uplifting and energising space. A space that will encourage positivity and the informality crucial to positive social interactions.
A Reflective Space.
Being reflective may be a close cousin of meditation and perhaps even of productivity, however it deserves attention of its own, as to be reflective and self aware, is such an important part of the human experience. To encourage your reflective side, paint with warm blues and lavenders and remove furnishings that may clash with those colours, to provide a fresh space.
A Energizing Space.
There are a thousand activities, hobbies, social interactions that may require energy and enthusiasm, and so an energising atmosphere is an all-rounder. Whether its the space you work, the space you cook, the space in which you exercise, the general rule of bright colours will encourage an energised mindset.
A Hibernating Space.
This could take the form of a retreat like a bedroom, a hidden away snug, or the escapism of a cinema room. Whatever it may be, its a place of cuddling up and snuggling down, defiantly more required in colder climates. Again its a general rule, and the rule is dark colours. The nature of dark colours is they bring the walls and ceilings in, and shrink a space. They also allow the warmer tones to shine and they achieve cosiness like nothing else. Deep mauve will offer a sexy, luxurious atmosphere, blacks and dark navy's will reaffirm the masculinity in bachelor pads or ‘man caves’, and as pre-stated, dark moody greens will reduce anxiety.
Think carefully about what you require of your rooms, and apply the genuine effectiveness of colour psychology to bring out the best in yourself, and create a home that fits around your needs and wants. Of course, many rooms work as multi-functional spaces for inhabitants, and for that simply work with light. Many colours look different and so perform differently depending on the light bouncing off them. Cool blues during the day may be warm, and then moody come evening dimness, and a cold colour can easily be warmed up when paired with lamps and warmer furnishings. However you choose to apply the rules of colour psychology, an awareness of the power our spaces wield within our lives can be dramatic and ever evolving.
All Images sourced from Prints Collective, or the fabulous, Farrow & Ball.