Decorating kids’ bedrooms is pretty straight forward, especially when it comes to colour… pink for girls, blue for boys, right? Well perhaps…but the psychology of colour and how it affects our moods, (whether you realise it or not!) is a science that is being taken increasingly seriously by big business. So why do we need to think about it when decorating for our children?
Ever wondered why restaurants are often painted in strong colours, especially red? Because red makes our heart beat faster and raises our blood pressure, just a little, in fact just enough to make us feel hungry, sneaky huh? Whereas if you are trying to lose a little weight, invest in some blue plates. An American University has invested in research which shows that we will eat less, from a blue plate!
Companies are using this science all the time, to influence how we feel about them and their products and more and more research is being done on how colours affect how we think and feel. Most of the time, we will not even notice these changes, they are subtle, but they are there and it would be a foolish parent who did not at least take note of this before decorating their kids room. So before you reach for the paint charts, read on…
Red, as we have already mentioned, raises the blood pressure, makes your heart beat faster and makes your feel energised. Your brain is programmed to look at red, it is used widely in nature to represent danger! Red cars get more tickets than any other colour, because they attract attention…so when it comes to decorating kids bedrooms, use with care. It is absolutely wrong for a nursery, but fine as an accent colour for older children, but keep away from the eye-line when your child is in bed.
Mix red with white however and pink has completely different properties. Some of the world’s most dangerous criminals are housed in pink cells, because it has been proven to calm and sooth, like no other colour. It rids the body of aggression and drains energy. So if it works for hardened criminals, it might just work for your teenage daughter?!
Yellow is an interesting one…it’s associations with the sun and laughter are justified, yellow actually increases the levels of serotonin (the feel good chemical) produced. It stimulates creativity and it’s ability to lift your spirits can not be denied. However, babies are known to cry more in a yellow nursery than any other colour, particularly if a deeper shade is used. So again, when it comes to decorating kids rooms, use with care and as an accent colour only.
Orange combines the feel good characteristics of yellow, with the attention seeking of red to make the most sociable colour you can get. It is a warm, happy colour that encourages ambition and creativity. If you have a shy child, introducing orange into their room can have a positive influence.
Blue is the colour of the sky and the sea. Your body will produce calming chemicals on seeing blue and it is great for focusing the mind. A great colour for kids studying for exams! Workers are proven to be more productive in a blue room and weight lifters can lift heavier weights in a blue gym, who knew?! Be careful on the shades of blue you use when decorating kids bedrooms, too much blue can be cold and unwelcoming. Aim for blues with a green undertone to keep things from feeling too chilly.
Green is the nurturing colour, again, very calming, it brings harmony and peace. It releases energy in a steady way and is a great alternative to pink, where pink is not an option! Green is good for a nervous child who likes reassurance and stability. Green is also said to bring money and fertility…you have been warned.
Adolescent girls are most likely to pick purple as their favourite colour. This is good, as it helps the brain to solve problems and work things out. Traditionally used to denote wealth and royalty, (due mainly to the scarcity and therefore cost of the pigment in mediaeval times), it promotes brain activity and encourages wisdom. Resist the temptation to use in excess though, it works best in smaller amounts…
Black and white are not strictly colours at all. Black is what you get in the absence of all colour and white is the combination of all the colours. Both used to denote evil and mourning in different cultures, they have the benefit of going with all the other colours and therefore provide the perfect backdrop for brighter shades.
So in summary, choosing colours to decorate kids’ rooms is often down to what they like. But knowing the effect it could have on their mood and behaviour is useful and could help you make life just that little bit easier.