Carl Jung said that colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious and long before Jung, before Newton’s light experiment in 1655 where he discovered that white through a prism refracts light into an array of colours, people have been enthralled by the power, suggestion and brilliant interplay of colour.
The Greeks, the Egyptians and nomadic tribes of Africa understood the importance of colour for temples, authority and healing. So it comes as no surprise that modern man, with our thirst for research and development, places great significance on the psychology of colour and maximises its effect to create space, light, shadow; to revel emotion or display character, reveal lifestyle choice or deflect an impression.
Blank walls are like blank canvas for the colour palette, but before you get handy with a brush, consider what colours reveal about a room, a person and a state of mind.
Red – not everybody’s favourite wall colour but it musters up more personal associations than other colours, the obvious being passion and aggression. But aside from text-book observations, red stimulates and draws attention as it has the longest wave length, so appears nearer when it is far away – in the home this may reduce space.
- Red is the colour of the body’s base chakra – muladhara – red is grounding, rooted and secure
Orange – a sensual, warm and vibrant blend of red and yellow, orange is fun, funky and fresh – fine if you are. but if your home has intellectual undertones, orange may seem frivolous. Its energy can be off-putting and it clashes easily, but use it wisely to inject a good dollop of joie de vivre.
- Orange is the colour of the body’s sacral chakra – svadhisthana – and aligns with sexuality and creativity
Yellow – fresh and summary or golden, yellow is happy and good for the mind. It’s generally inoffensive unless the house resembles a canary cage and splashes of amber yellow hint of fortune and sunny days ahead.
- Yellow is the colour of the solar plexus chakra – manipura – which houses the self, the core, the I
Green – nature’s calm colour is also the colour of envy depending on hues and tones. Green is said to aid concentration so works well in a home office. As it occupies more space in the colour spectrum, it’s instantly visible and it’s abundance in the natural world makes it a soothing interior background. Goes without saying to avoid the hospital green of the unwell in the home tho.
- Green is the colour of the body’s heart chakra – anahata – and is loving and generous
Blue – sky, sea, trust, virginal – whichever hue of blue you choose, it’s the colour of communication. Light and fluffy or indigo, blue appeals to both sexes but the darker tones infer an inward, spiritual understanding, a metaphysical wisdom perhaps while the lighter tones are external looking and less philosophical.
- Blue is the colour of the body’s throat chakra – vishuddha – and is expressive
Purple – controversial in the home. Regal or pompous? Getting the right tone of purple is key in the home, lilac or deep but never wishy-washy. Good for feature walls, scatter cushions etc but can be broody if applied with a heavy hand. Purple is a combination of blue and red so be clear about which shade of the spectrum you want then make your statement
- Purple is the colour of the third eye chakra – ajna – and represents inner knowing and deep wisdom
- White is the colour of the crown chakra – sahasrara – and relates to our connection with the spirit of life beyond our bodies