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Colours have the ability to invoke in us a variety of moods. Although not everybody will have the same feelings seeing a certain colour (think about age and positive/negative memories related to a specific colour), the psychological effects are shared by the majority (my interpretation: at least the majority of the european countries).

Yellow
This is a bright cheerful colour closely related to the sun. Especially on dull grey days it will cheer you up, makes you more mentally alert and enthousiastic. Too much and too bright yellow make induce restlessness and freak you out.

Orange
Orange is quite a stimulating colour, related to action and vitality, but when used excessively it may induce restlessness like yellow.

Red
Very stimulating, and excites the brain. Also related with alertness, vitality and excitement and in a negative way with agression and violence. A darker red invokes feelings of richness (the "red pluche", royalty and the church) and reverence. The brighter version has "amorous connotations".

Purple
When used in full or near-full chroma, purple is another colour inducing the impression of richness and reverence. The other side of the medal is instability and uneasiness, as some countries relate this colour to death. But if you use it as a pastel tint, it is said that purple can trigger soft, romantic feelings; soothing and sedative.

Blue
The psychological effect strongly depends on how the colour is used: dark blue is connected to richness, royalty and the church, invoking feelings of calmness and sedation. However, if used indiscriminately, it can produce strong feelings of melancholia and uneasiness and can be quite depressing.

Green
Pure green and greyed out green: coolness, tranquility and sedation. If mixed with a bit of yellow, it probably will induce biliousness (whatever that means, it wasn't in my dictionary, but but it sounds like bile and meant negatively).

At the end of the day, all colours do have positive as well as negative effects on your mood and the effect strongly depends on how you use the colours (contrast/harmony), the combination (scheme), the purity of the colour, the purpose of the room, the type of people who're going to use the area, etc. And interior designers can add this information to their wooly speeches :)


Back to colour theory.

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