Building & Renovating

Expert Advice: Color Psychology in Interior Design

Choose a shade that can uplift your spirit and set the mood at home


You might be wondering why you wake up so early in the morning when you sleep in a room with walls painted in sunshine yellow. Ever wondered why you feel so relaxed in bathrooms dressed in gray with blue accents? Colors in your interior affect your mood so it's important to know what each shade means.

Neutral colors aside (white, black, brown, and gray), we've got everything you need to know from color psychology as to where these colors should be used:

Main photos from: Centsational Girl and Eijerkamp.


Blue in general has a calming effect, it soothes and relaxes. Choose muted shades of blue like Duck Egg or Skylight. People are more drawn toward lighter blue hues for their bedrooms and bathrooms because of the relaxed and laid-back feeling that you get from the color.

Photo from In My Room.

On the other hand, more saturated blue tones like Azure or Cyan Blue promote creativity so they are best used in office and study areas.

Photo from Modern Hepburn.


A bold color, red is the color of passion. It is used to strike drama in interiors but because of its vibrancy, it's only applied in small doses. Use Cherry Tomato or Fiery Red as accents.

Warmer shades of red can also create a welcoming interior and stimulate the appetite. Colors like Bossa Nova or Red Dahlia are mostly used in living and dining areas.

Photo from Ultimate Home Ideas.


Yellow is a cheerful and very energetic color. Because of its sunny disposition, yellows in shades of Lemon Zest and Vibrant Yellow are best used for kitchens and breakfast nooks. In contrast with this, powder yellows have a more comforting character.

Photo from The Budget Decorator.

Colors like Yellow Iris and Vanilla Custard can be used in bedrooms. Be cautious in using too much yellow in children’s rooms or playrooms because it can cause anxiety.

Photo from Centsational Girl.


Green, being the color of nature has similar effects like the color blue. Since it is serene and refreshing, it is best used for entryways to tie together the exterior and interior. Some people prefer this color over blue for bedrooms and study areas as well.

You can also use green in your bathroom for a spa-like feel. Sea Green and Deep Mint work well as accents or choose Moonlight Jade and Glacier if you want softer shades of green.

Photo from Postris.


Orange makes any space feel warm. It promotes interaction and friendliness. Like red, it is suitable for dining areas. Pick colors like Orange Pepper and Persimon Orange, and pair them with neutral colors.

Photo from The Style Saloniste.


Violet is lush and sophisticated—giving a luxurious feel to any room. Purple Magic and Pansy can be used in formal areas such as the living room and a master bedroom.

Lighter variations like Shrinking Violet and Orchid Bouquet have a softer appeal and can be used in kids' and teenagers' bedrooms.

Photo from Achica Living Home.


Pink is a very fresh and feminine color commonly used in girl’s bedrooms, mostly associated with children. Similar to lighter shades of violet, colors like Fairy Tale and Blushing Bride are perfect to create a sweet interior.

Photo from Eijerkamp.

*Color references are from Pantone. For paint swatches and to check color options, visit the nearest hardware store or home depot.

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]



Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at] with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

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