Psychology of Colour: Blue and Red

In these next few blog posts I want to look into the psychology of colour and how different colours can cause certain emotions and moods and change the feel and look of a room or space.  Today’s post will look at blue and red:

BLUE: Blue is a colour that usually brings forth calm and serenity.  It has been shown to reduce pulse rates and is therefore a relaxing colour and makes people feel comfortable.  It is a colour which affects us mentally as opposed to physically.  A light blue can be used on walls to “expand” the space of the room as it brings to mind the open blue skies.  Most people love looking at a blue sky or across an expanse of blue water and therefore the effects of the colour blue are almost universal.  On the downside, blue can be perceived as cold and unemotional.  Blue is put to good use in rooms such as bedrooms and, in public spaces, areas such as waiting rooms.  Due to it’s association with water, blue is also a popular choice for bathrooms.

Effective use of soothing, calming blue:




RED:  Red is a colour that draws attention.  It has the longest wavelength so it is usually the colour that people see first.  It is a colour that portrays passion and excitement.  Physically, red raises our pulse rates and stimulates us.  Red increases appetite so is a very popular colour to use for dining rooms and, in public spaces, in restaurants.  The energy created by the colour red make it unsuitable for rooms that require clear thinking and relaxation.  Red is such a powerful colour that it must be used with care.  Red can be associated with anger and aggression.  Too much red can cause feelings of stress.  The intensity of the red used can have an effect psychologically.  Use bright and vibrant reds to bring excitement and energy to a room and muted, earthy shades of red to evoke a sense of warmth and love.

Effective use of stimulating red:




Keep in mind what feelings/moods are evoked by certain colours the next time you head down to choose paint for your home!  Think of the purpose of the particular room and how you want yourself and others to FEEL in that room.  Choosing the right colour will help you get that right!


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