How paint colour affects your mood

STATE OF CALM: More than 41 per cent of participants voted this soft grey-green colour the most relaxing, followed by Taubmans Faded Lilac and Padre Blue.
STATE OF CALM: More than 41 per cent of participants voted this soft grey-green colour the most relaxing, followed by Taubmans Faded Lilac and Padre Blue.

In a world first, the preliminary results of the Taubmans Colour Emotion Study using VR technology has discovered the top colours that cause a range of emotions within several real-life environments. In partnership with leading Australian Virtual Reality company, Liminal VR, a team of psychologists and neuroscientists conducted the Taubmans Colour Emotion study, the largest of its kind to date.

“We all instinctively know that the colours in our homes affect our moods,” says Tim Welsh from Taubmans. “Now Taubmans has research that scientifically proves painting your walls in different colours can bring out a whole a range of emotions.”

The newest VR headsets were worn by 745 participants to create three-dimensional immersive experiences. Between the groups, 40 colours were displayed on both the walls and ceiling, with the living room being furnished to give context.

MOOD INDICATOR: Candidates were required to rate each colour by indicating how they felt selecting one of eight options, ranging from excited to tense.

MOOD INDICATOR: Candidates were required to rate each colour by indicating how they felt selecting one of eight options, ranging from excited to tense.

What colours help you relax in your living room? With extensive experience in colour and interior design, colour consultant, Grace Garrett reveals. “As the place where we spend time with our families, clients often want to living rooms to have relaxed or calm atmospheres. It’s no surprise that softer pastel tones are universally seen to foster these emotions, especially given our coastally skewed population.”

SUNNY DISPOSITION: To get the best out of bright yellow tones, use sparingly and consider smaller spaces, painted shapes or feature walls, as well as looking beyond the living room.

SUNNY DISPOSITION: To get the best out of bright yellow tones, use sparingly and consider smaller spaces, painted shapes or feature walls, as well as looking beyond the living room.

What shades give you energy? Yellows, oranges and the occasional pinks were proved to be the most likely to make us feel excited and cheerful. Sunny yellow shades came high in the results for the most cheerful, and when it comes to the most exciting colours, participants were found to sway further towards more daring tones or a rich orange. To get the best out of these tones, Garrett advises to “use these colours sparingly, and consider smaller spaces, painted shapes or feature walls, as well as looking beyond the living room.”

SUITS THE MOOD: Darker hues can create a striking impact, without having to be surrounded by it for long periods of time.

SUITS THE MOOD: Darker hues can create a striking impact, without having to be surrounded by it for long periods of time.

How do dark walls affect your mood? Taubmans have also seen a trend towards darker colours, a bold choice that when done effectively can surprise and delight. Taubmans 2018 Colour of the Year, Black Flame, was voted in the top 10 colours liked overall of the 40 paint colours tested. Garrett recommends using darker colours in areas you want to feature or create a moody, cocooning space. “Using darker colours can make a room appear smaller, so make sure this is taken into consideration,” she says.

“Alternatively, use these darker trending colours on doors or against a feature wall. An entrance, powder room or bathroom are also ideal spaces for implementing a dark feature colour. These are spaces you don’t spend a lot of time in, but can create a striking impact without having to be surrounded by it for long periods of time.”