An Expert Guide On Room Colour & How It Affects Your Mood

Did you know that the colour of a room can impact the way you feel? While some can boost our energy and leave us invigorated, others can soothe and relax us. Sharing tips from her new book, Happy Inside, interiors expert Michelle Ogundehin gives us a breakdown of how different interior colours can affect our moods, to help you create the look and feel you desire in each room. 

Take it away Michelle…

More than anything else, the colours that you choose for your home set its mood music. Colour directly impacts your energy levels, and its associated psychology is a subject that has already filled many a tome. In very simple terms, colour is emotion. Certain colours make you feel happy, on edge, calm, quiet, excited or flat and every nuance in between. They affect different people in different ways, but very broadly speaking we can think of colour in terms of warm versus cool; light versus dark; bright versus dirty.

A balanced palette combines aspects of all three of these divisions and the best way to start is by imagining the feeling you wish to create in each room. Just keep jotting down the words or feelings as they strike you – relaxed, energetic, warm, soft – and gradually these will lead you towards certain sections of the colour spectrum. To help, I’ve listed some of the moods that you might wish to conjure and paired them with colours that I associate with each. Use it as a starting point, but feel free to combine categories too.


This connotes laid-back spaces, ones that form a backdrop to life. They do not shout, but whisper. Surfaces are smooth, superbly finished and likely to be glossy; bare wood is not part of this vocabulary. Likely to be predominantly white with accents of pale blue or grey but with an undertone of red to offset coldness.

Glass ceiling light with white marble table and pink velvet dining chair



Suggestive of an environment that soothes and relaxes. As such, associated colours spring from the softer sides of the green and blue families. However, touches of grey and powder pink will prevent the look from becoming too languid, and a dash of turquoise or even chartreuse also works. Consider navy as your undertone.

Green upholstered sofa with black cushion and wooden coffee table



Warm, enveloping and all about comfort, this conjures up the natural tones of elemental materials, in particular wood, balanced by touches of the more delicate shades of nature, sky blues and leafy greens, underpinned by terracotta, burnt umber, leather brown and pale yellow.


Good for spaces that require concentration and focus. Think crimson, purple and the rich shades of plum, cherry and other berries. Keep it contemporary with smudges of dark grey and contrasting complementary colours to balance it out. But use blue or grey as an undertone if you want to give it weight.

Grey upholstered 3 seater sofa with blue velvet cushion


Think cosy rather than strident brights, like pale pink, amber and umber, as the fast track to warm without becoming muggy. The use of a wealth of shades from the red end of the spectrum, blushing roses to ruby reds, differentiate it from the earthier look.


Imagine Crayola colours: bright unadulterated primary shades, unapologetic and straightforward. From Mediterranean sky blue to Mr Happy yellow, these are not for the faint-hearted, but neither are they only for children’s rooms.

Orange metal garden table with folding chair


So, which is your colour mojo?


Happy Inside: How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness by Michelle Ogundehin, is a lifestyle manual x essential handbook for every wellness warrior in search of a considered home. It is your one-stop step-by-step guide to becoming your best self by creating a space in which to feel truly at home.

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