Scientists have long known that colour affects mood and emotion. At the turn of the 20th century, the swiss
psychologist, Carl Jung, wrote: Colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious. Colour can evoke long
forgotton recollections and sensations. Never ignore your emotional response to it, since positive associations
can enhance your sense of well-being.
When choosing colours for your home, you could begin with a treasured possession or an object that pleases
you, and plan the colour scheme for a room around it. If you do not wish to redecorate, use soft furnishings
or wall art to add splashes of colour - an easy and inexpensive way to revitalize a room.
The Primary colours
This bold, warm colour is guaranteed to create an impact wherever you use it, since it stimulates body and
In China, the colour red spells luck and happiness, in India, marriage and universally, romance. Red light
excites the brain so red arouses passions.
The warmth, energy and life-enhancing properties of the sun are embodied in yellow. Use this colour to
stir happy emotions.
Every room benefits from a touch of yellow to bring out its flavour, in the same way that salt brings out
the flavour of food. Yellow drenches a room with light when the sun shines and makes a room glow on dull days.
Yellow will bring a ray of sunshine to the pokiest space, and looks good in artificial light too.
Perceived as the colour of the intellect, blue conjures up visions of sky and sea. It has an expensive quality
that calms and soothes.When the sky is blue, life seems better and your spirits rise - but why is that?
Perhaps the comfort you get with blue comes from its being associated with infinity and eternity.
The colour blue varies enormously - navy, indigo, violet-blue, cornflower….. Whatever shade you
choose, you can rely on it to be cool, calm and collected.
The Secondary colours
Cosy and inviting, orange can also overwhelm with its intensity. It is easier to use when softened into tones
such as apricot.
More gentle than yellow or red, orange works in harmony with both, and is always
welcoming and suggestive of intimacy. In Japan and China, orange is the colour of love and happiness.
Harmony, balance and regeneration reign with green; its qualities reflect nature’s own. Use it to give new
life to a room. Traditionally, green represents balance and harmony. It is the colour of the landscape,
reminiscent of fresh growth. Our sense of colour is learned from the landscape and colour associations that
occur in the natural world suggest combinations to use at home.
Although it is named after a shy wildflower, violet is hardly reticent. Relieve its oppressive tendency with
sunny orange or yellow. The expression, shrinking violet, underlines an association with privacy,
while deep purple signifies royalty and priestly power and is a ceremonial colour for formal rooms.
In your home, as in life, colour speaks all languages. It brings vitality to any space, be it a period property
or a modern home, and plays tricks with senses and mind to make a room feel warm or cool, or appear
larger or smaller than it really is.
There is an abundance of vivid colour in nature, which you can reflect at home but restful tones of cream,
grey and brown have a beauty that is timeless and easy to live with. Natural tones work well together and
there is a good choice of these shades to work with. Peaceful shades of buff, camel and biscuit offer simple
sophistication. If you want to add strong colour, choose those with a similar earthy quality such as terracotta
and jet black. Complement these colours with your choice of materials, such as earth-toned slate and stone,
wood, rush matting, raw silk and unbleached cotton.
Grey and black
Closely related to white, grey comes in many subtly different shades that create a relaxing atmosphere.
It is also possible to achieve liveliness and variety with muted greys and whites. Black, the dramatic opposite
of white -is its natural partner. Black and white is a classic combination much favoured by modernists
and also a nostalgic reminder of lace collars on velvet dresses and chequered marble floors.
Choosing colour for my wall art
There are no set rules when I start designing wall art and looking at colours. There may be a time when I
decide on a colour scheme, however once I start putting those colours together on canvas, it may not be
right for the picture I want to create. It is a little like a jigsaw puzzle, I have to look for the right colour
and once it is found and matches with the next colour, I will know immediately and it seems to fit beautifully.