The Healing Power of Colour

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Enhancing how we feel through the use colour in home design

More than we know, colours affect our mood, energy level, and to some extent the way we react to external stimulus. Although our colour preferences may seem conscious, our attraction to certain colours and patterns are, for the most part, an unconscious affair. Many of our preferences have been evolutionarily programmed into our reptilian brain, or are informed by strong memories and cultural influences.

By understanding the effect of colour on our psyches and wellbeing we may use colour to support healing in a multitude of ways. Colour has been attributed to boosting energy and appetite, enhancing mood, focus, and increasing feelings of belonging and connectedness.

When decorating our homes, considering the effects of colour on us is essential; deliberate use of colour is one aspect of Wellbeing design, which employs several modalities to design homes that heal and support our health and wellness.

Here are top five tips for choosing colours for the home:

1. Monochromatic colours (use of a single colour)

If you are a fan of monochromatic schemes, use them only in singular-functional rooms. Monochromatic colour schemes work well in the bathroom, dedicated dining room, the foyer, formal living room, and sometimes in the bedroom, but not in the family room, playroom, or any multi-functional space. For example, if your children's bedroom is where they do their homework as well if you choose one colour scheme suitable for sleep and relaxation, then this will not support the focus function. Similarly, if you chose a colour that elicits focus and alertness, this will cause sleep and relaxing issues.

2. White spaces

Although they might look elegant and sophisticated, after a while, and for most people, they become uninspiring and dull. A symbol of purity, simplicity and elegance, if used predominately in a space, white will evoke a feeling of being unsupported and isolated. If white is used as a background colour, it sets the stage for a clean, bright and fresh feeling, allowing other colours to provoke other emotions and create a balanced space.

3- Wall colours

Walls typically represent the largest visual component of a room. Before choosing a paint colour, consider that it will be, in most cases, the mood setter of the space. Although neutrals make a good and safe choice, don't be afraid of using non-neutral colours or bold colours; in the right percentage and with the right combinations, bold colours look stunning and can elicit certain positive emotions.

4- Colour and light

Colour is significantly affected by light as light itself has colour and mixing the two will generate another colour. Whether you're choosing a paint colour, fabric, or flooring, before making the final decision, bring good size samples into the space you are decorating and observe the sample throughout various times of day and night, with varying degrees of natural and artificial light.

5- Climate considerations.

In a climate like ours where we have long cold dark winters, nature loses most of its vivid colours for more than half the year.  Bringing lively and vibrant colours indoors, into our homes, can lift our spirits and compensate for the colour exposure lost in winters’ monochromatic blanket.

 

The affect of colour on our wellbeing can’t be ignored. Whether creating the right environment for relaxation, focus, creativity, or supporting someone with anxiety, ADHD or Autism,Wellbeing Design can play an important role in elevating the state of wellbeing through colour.

So before you choose your next wall colour, couch or rug, consider how you want to feel in a given space and which colours will yield that atmosphere. By considering both your personal aesthetic and the healing properties of colours, you can create a true life-giving space.

nora bouz
Wellbeing Design Consultant