How Colour Affects Us

November 13, 2017


Have you ever thought about why some colours make you feel great and others seem to do the exact opposite?

We make subliminal choices about what colours we want to wear every single day and it is usually based on our mood. Do we want to hide and not be noticed today or are we ready to shine and be seen?! We can use colour to protect or project our emotional state.

But did you realise just how much a colour can affect your mood too? I bet you have walked into a room and felt a sense of calm and well-being? Or the opposite and felt agitated and a little bit on edge? Colour is a powerful force and we react to it on a conscious and subconscious level.


Kate Lovejoy Design


I have always been a big colour fan- whether in clothing or interiors. In the early years, I didn’t understand why I wanted to use particular colours and I certainly didn’t get it right all the time but I always knew that colour had a direct effect on how I felt. In the intervening years, I’ve become fascinated by the psychology behind colour -that is to say ‘the study of hues as a determinant of human behaviour’ (which all sounds a bit serious!)

One exciting element of it is the use of the seasons as a structure to work within. The premise being that each season; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter has its own personality traits and these qualities are based on colour tones as well as textures and styles. You will feel their characteristics either at odds or in harmony with your own.

With a bit of analysis, you can test which season you are drawn to and start to work out how colours can work around you.


Check these boards out. Do you have one that you are drawn to?









To give you an idea of how these look in reality, I have chosen four images that fit neatly into each seasonal personality.


Spring - Design by colour + shape




Summer - Design by Interior Therapy


Autumn - Design by Making Spaces


Winter - Design by Patricia Hoyna

Early on in designing a space, I will ask my client how they want to feel when they are in the room and the response will often help direct the design scheme. I show them these boards and somewhere between their response, the actual room in question (ie what style the house is and what furniture may be staying) and what the function of the room will be, we begin to put a colour scheme together.

Have you ever struggled to choose a paint colour for your living room, filling a wall with a range of test patches, making a decision and then when it’s all done, feeling a bit underwhelmed? Or even worse, overwhelmed by what you chose? This may be because the seasonal palette is wrong for you.

On a bright sunny day particularly in autumn, you can’t help but notice the incredible colours that nature has to offer. We are so lucky to experience the four seasons in this country and maybe they could help you to work out what colours you like to surround yourself with. But if you need a bit of help with that then maybe one of us at the Interior Design Collective could help!?


Many thanks to Kate Lovejoy for an insight into the psychology of colour. Are there colours you are always drawn to, make you feel better or like to surround yourself by? We'd love to hear your thoughts on today's IDC post.

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