Independent Design Magazine

Color Psychology in Interior Design: “The Power of...

Color Psychology in Interior Design: “The Power of Color”

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Red, Black, or what about Blue? What do these words mean to you?
There is no doubt that colors have meanings to each of us. They surround us everywhere and we form connections between colors and our personal experiences. Color Psychology is about the power of colors to evoke certain feelings within us, and how we can use them to create a certain mood we’re aiming for, or encourage an activity that we want to happen in the space.
Despite the fact that the meaning of each color could vary from one person to another –because of past experiences or cultural background-, we’re going to discuss the most common attributes of colors and how we can incorporate them into our interior spaces.

The Pre-color Phase

Before you start selecting the color palette for your space, you must study it well. What activity will happen in the space? Who are the users? and what’s their age and preferences? Also, it is important to know the size of the space and the kind of lighting you’ll use.

By the time you have this knowledge, you will have formed a set of patterns, moods, and feelings you want to produce. Now you’re ready to go searching for your best options in the fantastic realm of colors!


We can divide colors into three main categories: Warm, Cool, and Neutral. Colors in each of these share similar qualities that we’re going to discuss.

With that said let’s start with Warm colors!

Warm Colors   

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They tend to be energetic, strong, and express excitement. They are very vibrant and might get overwhelming if used excessively. But they are excellent accent colors and fit spaces that focus on social activity and interaction.


It is used to express intense feelings such as Love and Passion, but at the same time, some people associate it with Anger or Danger. It catches our eyes easily and can be a very strong accent color for focal points in your space.

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Red also increases appetite –which is why you see it all over the famous fast-food chains-. The saturated dark shades of Red like crimson give a luxurious and sophisticated vibe, with passion and drama. While the lighter shades give a cozy warm ambiance. So, you might consider using it in bedrooms and dining rooms, or as an accent color in other spaces as well.

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Photo Courtesy: Yaroslav Melnyk


A very cheerful color that expresses joy and youth like a bright shining sun. It is full of optimism, energy, and gives a welcoming feeling. But you have to make sure that you pick the suitable shade because it can be irritating if used excessively with high saturation.

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The golden shades of it give a great sense of luxury when used as an accent with neutral colors such as white, brown, black, or gray.

Colors psychology Linesmag

Because of its joyful and energetic qualities, it can be used in spaces such as kitchens or living rooms, either as an accent or as the main color.


Colors psychology Linesmag

Orange is very upbeat, outgoing, and warm like a fire or a sunset. Despite that, it is a polarizing color. So, people either love it or hate it, but it has gained more popularity in the past few years. It encourages conversation and interaction and its dark shades can pair well with neutral colors. You can also find its shades in natural materials such as wood, which will add warmth and coziness to your spaces.

Cool Colors

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On the opposite side, we have cool colors, which usually evoke a sense of calmness, relaxation, and serenity. They are perfect for deep thinking and for turning your space into a safe haven.


A universally popular color across cultures. It is associated with inspiring and calm nature such as a clear sky or a wide-open ocean. Thus it produces a feeling of calmness, focus, creativity, and relaxation.

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Deeply saturated blues with dark shades, such as Navy or Royal blue, give a strong vibe of masculinity and luxury. While light tones are usually used for boys’ bedrooms. It is also associated with trust and loyalty.

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Because of all this, it might be a perfect match for office space, bathroom, or relaxing bedroom. But on the other hand be careful that too much of it might be depressing for some people, and might feel chilly if there is not enough natural lighting coming into the space.


One of the most abundant colors in nature, expressing balance, harmony, growth, and freshness.

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It is also said that it relaxes the eyes muscles. Thus it is the easiest color to look at. It is so versatile and is perfect if you want to have a monochromatic interior, and it also pairs well with white giving a positive sense of renewal and life.

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The dark shades such as emerald green also express luxury and elegance. Because of its various uses and positive meanings, it can almost be used in any room of your house.


Historically it is associated with royalty as the official regal color for kings and queens, and it still gives a royal vibe.

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Because it is a mix of red and blue it has characteristics from both. It enhances creativity and is energetic at the same time.

Colors psychology Linesmag

Moreover, it emits a sense of mystery, magic, and spirituality. It can be used as a strong accent color in different spaces.


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Neutrals are colors that are neither cool nor warm. They are flexible and would work as a perfect base for your other accents, or as accents in themselves. They also work well with each other giving a sense of harmony.


It signifies purity, innocence, and clarity. It gets more light in the space and makes it appear bigger. It’s also a blank pallet on which you can add different accents to express yourself, and without them, white might be very cold.

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It got very popular in recent years with the Scandinavian style. But It highlights any defects in the space so be careful when going all white.

Colors psychology Linesmag


Mystery, elegance, and luxury are all traits associated with black. It is sophisticated and dramatic. It creates a very strong focal point as an accent on lighter colors because of contrast. You can use it to bring out important pieces in your space.

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Photo Courtesy: blackindesign

But while some people like black, too much of it might be depressing and heavy for others, so keep that in mind.

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It is the color of flexibility that has a wide range of effects. Such as security, intelligence, wisdom, and classiness. It gives a sense of formality and elegance without being very conservative.

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The soft tones are delicate, while the strong ones are confident. It pairs well with almost any color, but going all gray might not be the best idea, it gets dull. But it does a great job at highlighting accents so make use of that.

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Although they have a warm hue, they are considered by many to be neutral. They are very Natural colors that bring comfort, relaxation, and stability.
They give a nice rustic feeling and are a great way to introduce color to a neutral space in a subtle way.

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With them, you have the chance to incorporate natural materials such as wood, stone, leather, and natural fabrics which give a cozy, homey, and warm vibe.

Colors psychology Linesmag

The Vast World of “Color”!

We have just scratched the shell! The world of “Color” is a vast one, with so many possibilities and combinations to try. It invites you to the thrill of experimenting with emotions and moods. It turns your interiors into spaces that reflect the character of their owner and affects the way we live our lives. That’s simply the power of color psychology.

If you’re interested in interior design, check out more of our Design articles, Here on Linesmag!

David grew up loving all kinds of narrative arts, it made him realize that everything revolves around, and ends up being a story. During studying architecture, he discovered that it is directed by a concept, a message or an idea interpreted in a physical form, and is directly influencing the lives of its users. And David is always eager to make these architectural stories, stories worth telling.