“Colour impacts our energy,” explains colour therapist Jane Wood. “When I work with clients, colour is one of the most stimulating elements I work with as it is able to shift our emotions, thoughts and even our physical body. Colour is a frequency that our bodies interpret and it can therefore impact our mood, our choices and our thoughts. Without us even realising, colour speaks to the most ancient and unconscious parts of ourselves.”
Colours with a calming effect
Green is one of the best colours for creating a calm environment in your home as it comes recommended by all three experts.
As Jane Wood explains, “Green subconsciously relaxes us as it is the colour of nature, easing our minds and destressing us with the earthy energy it brings.” She considers it a great colour to bring into all areas of the home as it also creates a sense of self compassion, which helps us drop our guards, allowing us to be our most true self.
Sylvia James, an interior designer from Home How, agrees: “Green can be calming because it reminds us of nature. Different shades of green are relaxing and the colour is associated with balance, harmony, freshness, growth and rejuvenation.”
Sylvia also suggests blue as it evokes feelings of security and peace. “It represents strength, loyalty and integrity. Blue is often used to decorate bedrooms because our brains release chemicals called pheromones while asleep that is only released when we feel safe and secure.”
Lee Chambers, psychologist and wellbeing consultant, supports this saying “light blue is a perfect colour for creating a calming and serene environment. Symbolic of a clear sky, it can soothe us psychologically and silence a noisy mind.”
Lee goes on to recommend lilac as it “brings a sense of slow stimulation, which makes us feel at ease with ourselves. Warm neutrals such as tan further bring a feeling of welcoming and support that make the battles of the world feel that bit further away.”
Jane Wood also recommends pink for its calming effects. “Pink is a deeply relaxing colour that promotes a sense of fulfilment and happiness – perfect for a bedroom where you want to feel comfortable.”
Colours to avoid if you’re looking to reduce stress in your life
According to Jane Wood, yellow activates the fire energy in us and can therefore have a negative impact if you’re prone to feeling stressed or are tired.
Sylvia James and Lee Chambers both concur. “Yellow can cause anxiety because it produces mental strain while trying to process information,” says Sylvia and adds that it can create feelings of fear, caution and distrust. Meanwhile, Lee says bright yellows can generate a feeling of unsettlement and discomfort. “While synonymous with the cheerful sun, it can fatigue the eyes and feel pressuring and can sometimes feel a little threatening,” he says.
Sylvia James further encourages you to stay away from black as it can easily cause depression because it signifies grief and melancholy. “It also creates feelings of isolation or loneliness,” she says.
Both Sylvia James and Lee Chambers also suggest steering clear of red. According to Lee, “vibrant and rich reds are colours that conveys energy, intensity and being social, but it also increases our heart rate and makes us speed up. When we are feeling on edge, this can make us feel frustrated, irritable and uneasy.” Sylvia says: “Red can be very dramatic and make a powerful statement, but it is considered to be the most aggressive colour.”
Colours to increase productivity and creativity
Jane Wood suggests opting for orange in spaces where you want to feel at your most creative – perhaps and office or a studio. “Orange is a really creative, fun colour,” she says. “Bring orange into a room where you want to feel freedom, joy and a childlike playfulness.”
She also recommends yellow for when you want to get a to-do list completed and feel productive as “yellow is a colour of empowerment – introduce yellow to a room where you want to feel brave and need a confidence boost.” However, she reminds us that yellow is the one to avoid if you’re feeling stressed!
Still, Lee Chambers seem to agree with yellow and orange being good options for creative pursuits: “Yellow can get those innovative cogs turning, while orange can generate feelings of enthusiasm and endurance.”
A light blue will help you focus, as it is the colour of clarify, according to Jane Wood. Lee Chambers, on the other hand, suggest a deeper hue of blue: “Science has done some of the legwork when looking at colours that stimulate productivity, and it turns out the colours like royal blue and turquoise can increase productivity when it comes to tasks that require focus and concentration.”