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Our environment is full of colours – what about our homes?

When we step out into nature, we rejoice at the splendour of spring, when the trees almost seem to explode into a cloud of blossoms. We are captivated by summer meadows and their seas of flowers, and we catch our breath at the start of autumn, when the woods seem to shimmer in an endless display of colours. And in the winter we are delighted to see the sugar-coating of snow on the roofs and tree tops and the white blanket that lies over the countryside, giving us a sense of calm. The worlds of colours transport us emotionally, make our hearts beat faster or soothe our eyes. The same should be true of our homes. But their walls – whose colours make up a large part of our living environment – are usually white.

Yellow instils feelings of warmth, joy and action. Photo: P+S International

Experimenting with colourful walls can have a very positive effect on our well-being. Colours create atmosphere, add accents and can make rooms appear larger or smaller, depending on the shade chosen. However, any home designed with colour depends on the individual elements – furniture, walls, flooring, ceiling and doors – being in harmony with each other in order to achieve the right effect.

Green promotes qualities such as helpfulness, perseverance, tolerance and contentment. Photo: Rasch

The effect of colours is influenced by nature: it is said that yellow instils feelings of warmth, joy and action, just like sunlight does. Blue by contrast creates an impression of tranquillity, coolness and expansiveness, which is due to its connection with smooth water surfaces and the sky. The color of nature par excellence is green. Like the sight of large meadows or forest areas, it has a calming effect and promotes creativity and harmony. A mix of green tones does not strain the eye, but strengthens it for other impressions. As a secondary colour created by blending black and white, grey stands for thresholds and neutrality. It demonstrates the effect of different shades especially well. While a heavy, dark grey is depressing, just as an overcast sky dampens our mood, a light grey symbolises a fresh start or a new departure, like a ray of sunshine on the horizon.

Red is a warm colour. It is well suited for decorating dark rooms that receive little direct sunlight. Photo: Julia Hausmann

Yellow, orange and red are considered warm colours. They are especially well suited for decorating dark rooms that have small dimensions or receive little direct sunlight. This applies to north-facing rooms and to homes where little direct daylight enters via the windows. The effect of these colours also makes the ambient temperature feel a little warmer. Warm colours are uplifting; they stimulate the circulation and increase the pulse. This makes them ideally suited to living and eating areas, where communication, conviviality and appetite all play their part.

Blue tones exude calm and a sense of relaxation, creating an impression of airiness.
Photo: Raphael Schaller

Cool colours by contrast are best suited to reducing energy. Blue tones exude calm and a sense of relaxation, creating an impression of airiness. They are best used in rooms where we want to relax, such as the bedroom. Light, clear tones, such as pale blue or a pale turquoise, make rooms appear larger, while dark tones make spaces seem smaller, but cosier. But whether you opt for bright walls or restrained colours, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your own home.