Does colour change the way we feel and behave? What Radio 4 DIDN’T tell you

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

BBC Radio 4 Technicolour programme. This opens a new browser window.

Back in November I was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 as part of their week long Technicolour programme which was aired last week. Each day there were three colour experts speaking about their area of colour expertise from how our bodies create colour, colour language and perception, our reaction to colour, how colour is made and colour forecasting and trends.

I was one of the experts on Wednesday’s programme Does colour change the way we feel and behave?

From the many tweets, emails and texts I received it seems that several listeners were as surprised as I was to hear no mention of the discussion I had with the interviewer on how  colour in the home may affect on how you feel and behave. After all, that was what my segment was meant to be about to fit in with that day’s topic.  Unfortunately, the ‘meat’ of the issue was edited out.

So, due to popular demand I thought I would write a post to include the colour psychology bits you were expecting to hear but didn’t:

How do we react to colour?
Our reactions to colour are largely unconscious, yet it has the power to affect our quality of life and our well being. Colour is emotive, intuitive and personal. It’s the very thing that underpins any interior design scheme as every element within a scheme contains colour.

We can either conform to society’s perceived expectations of how our home should be or, create a home that reflects our own personal taste.

What is the effect on us of colour in our homes?
The vibrational energies of colours have an effect on our moods, behaviour, physical and mental well being. As human beings we look for and respond positively to harmony. This is why getting not just the colour but the tone of colour right is so important. Living in a space where the colours do not tonally harmonise with each other and with you, creates a discord, a jarring reaction within you, and will affect your well being over time.

What about personal taste?
So if you need soothing colours to feel calm or bright hues to feel energised, absolutely go for it because it is what you need, just pick the right tone of colour so it will positively support you instead of potentially jarring you and having a negative effect (which you may not even notice as it usually happens on a subconscious level).

The last word
We live in a colourful world. You only have to look at nature to see this. We have evolved to feel comfortable surrounded by many colours. When it comes to our home, it really is an extension of ourselves, so live in colours that support how you are feeling.

Enjoy exploring the world of colour for your home!

I’d love to hear how you feel about the colour in your home and why you chose them.


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