January blues? Use colour therapy to brighten your mood

This year has got off to a familiar start with people staying at home as much as possible. In fact, the percentage of workers around the world who are permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021. Add in home schooling and limited social interaction, and how we decorate our four walls has never been more important.

Boost your brain and change behavior
It has long been known that external factors can alter our mood. From what we eat, the scents we smell to the textures we feel and the sounds we hear, our senses directly control neurons and serotonin levels in the brain.

What we see is up there with the most sensual of stimuli that can impact our wellbeing, and the relationship between colour and our mood is especially relevant now. Far from an interior fad, the connection is of such fascination that it falls into the ‘cognitive psychology’ category and continues to be researched by academics for its benefits.

The good news is you can easily self diagnose and carry out your own therapy armed with nothing more than a tin of paint and a colour chart – you don’t need to be Freud or have a psychology degree to get started.

The right colour for the right room
There are lots of online guides to choosing the right colours for your home. A good place to start is to identify what each room is used for most and find a colour that promotes the right feeling or atmosphere for that task. If your dining room is now where your children sit down to learn, a balance of stimulating yet relaxing colours may work. Planning on de-stressing with a long soak in the bath? There are calming shades that suit bathrooms best.

As a basic rule of thumb:-

  • Blue: a relaxing colour that can clear the mind and even lower blood pressure
  • Yellow: citrusy shades can lift spirits, enliven and increase energy levels
  • White: this neutral imparts a sense of cleanliness, clarity and space
  • Green: used to reduce anxiety and is one of the most restful colours for your eyes
  • Red: avoid in rooms that need to be calm as it’s a colour that can agitate and irritate
  • Orange: bright shades will encourage energy, exercise and enthusiasm
  • Pink: it’s proven the longer people are exposed to pink, the calmer they feel
  • Purple: rich shades can spark creativity, while the lightest lilacs are very soothing

Celebrate with two Pantone ‘Colours of the Year’
The importance of colour in the home in 2021 is of such importance that Pantone – the kings of colour – have nominated not one but two ‘Colours of the Year’. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are described as “a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting”. One is a solid, optimistic and dependable shade of grey, while Illuminating is a zingy citrus yellow designed to warm, brighten and enliven.

Before you go colour crazy, bear in mind any immediate and future property plans, as well as your residential status. If you’re a tenant living in a rented property and your landlord says no to redecorating (always ask first), you can add colour with temporary textiles, accessories and artwork.

If you’re a homeowner hoping to move this year, you may also want to think about the temporary colour option or be mindful that any bold colour choices may need to be reversed before you come to market. If in doubt, ask us for decorating advice with moving in mind.