How do colours affect your home?

by Deb Frenkel

Interior designers are right: the colours you choose for your home have a profound effect on your mood, your mind and even your metabolism.

When it comes to renovating, you'll know there are many choices to be made. But of all the decisions at stake, colour is one of the trickiest. It has a profound impact on not only the look of your home, but also the ambience, the temperature, even how welcoming your home is.

So here's a quick guide to colours and how they can influence your home - and your life.

White: The perennial classic

White always looks fresh and feels timeless, but take care. Rooms decorated with the wrong shade of white can feel cold and alienating, so make sure you've picked your palette with the quality of light in mind. Cooler light, in a south-facing room or a dark corner, requires a warmer shade of white - and vice versa.

Black: Sleek and chic

The ultimate shade of sophistication, black adds drama to any colour scheme. Just make sure you use it sparingly. As the colour of mourning and sadness, black can feel emotionally overwhelming in large doses so restrict it to feature walls or furnishings, and moderate the effect with more organic, earthy tones of brown and grey.

Brown: A grounding presence

Neutral and natural, brown is the colour of earth and literally ‘grounds' a space. Large rooms feel more intimate in a brown palette, with a sense of comfort and belonging that can be warmed or cooled with accent colours. Using brown tones in textured or organic finishes - timber, leather, and natural fibres - adds a rustic and human feel that instantly puts visitors at ease.

Green: Energising luxury

Green means nature, which makes it a clever way to bring the outdoors inside. Deeper tones like emerald create a sense of mature luxury, while zestier lime shades - think the yellower hues of new spring leaves - can feel more energising as feature walls, tiles or fabric.

Red: Getting stimulated

Have you ever noticed fast food outlets are often red? There's good reason - red is a stimulating shade, enhancing appetite, heart rate and even libido. This makes it a popular choice for kitchens, dining areas and bedrooms - but a little goes a long way. Too much red can make a room feel threatening.

Blue: Keeping it calm

Cool, calm blue tones enhance productivity, which is one reason why home offices are often styled in the colour. Bedrooms and bathrooms can also benefit from the tranquility and order that blue evokes, as the colour of the ocean and the sky. In a kitchen or dining area, blue is said to decrease appetite - good if you're watching your weight, perhaps less so if you're hosting dinner parties.

A home with different colours and a description of the effects the colours have.