How to Use Colour Psychology in Kitchen Design

Did you know that changing one feature in your kitchen, living space or bedroom could completely change the way you respond to it? We’re not talking about new furniture or lighting, but colour – a part of interior design that many ignore.

From bright colours that introduce energy and life into your kitchen to light, low-contrast colour schemes that make your room feel spacious and calming, different colours can have a huge psychological effect on your home.

In this guide, we’ll look at the effect colour psychology has on one of the most vital spaces in your home: the kitchen. Read on to learn how you can change how your kitchen makes you feel just by altering the colour of the walls, counter and ceiling.

The basics of colour psychology for interior design

What’s your favourite colour? Whether you love red, blue, pink or green, could you see yourself decorating your home in your favourite colour? Not all colours suit an environment that you live in, even if they’re your personal favourite. Every colour has a personality, with certain colours being closely linked to certain feelings and emotions. Red is associated with passion and danger, while green has an ability to balance, calm and soothe people. The unique characteristics of each colour have been studied by psychologists and designers, with many scientists drawing links between their occurrence in nature and the emotions they trigger in us humans:   03 Image via Sarah Ackerman/CC 2.0


    • Green is associated with serenity, calmness and complacency. A frequent sight in nature, it’s a popular colour choice for bedrooms and living rooms.


    • Yellow is associated with sunshine and energy. It’s an eye-catching colour that’s hard to look away from, making it a favourite of advertisers.


    • Orange is associated with warmth and stability. Since it’s such an intense colour, it’s best used outside the bedroom to prevent insomnia.


    • Brown is associated with security and prestige. From leather sofas to wood flooring, it’s a staple of both modern and classic living rooms.

Which colours are most suitable for a kitchen?

Your living room is for relaxing and enjoying yourself. Your bedroom is for sleeping soundly. What is your kitchen for? From three-course meals to tiny snacks, kitchens are all about creativity and action.

Good kitchen colour schemes aren’t too striking or overpowering, but they use the right colours sparingly to put you in the right mood to cook up a storm, whether it’s a light breakfast or a complicated dinner.

Which colours inspire creativity? Bright colours like yellow stimulate the intellect and put you in a creative mood. Yellow can also energise you and give you a jolt of energy thanks to its bright, eye-catching appearance.


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After you get out of bed in the morning, where’s your first destination? For most of us, it’s the kitchen. Since yellow mimics the appearance of sunlight, it’s a wonderful colour for waking yourself up in the early morning.

Several other colours are also suitable for a kitchen. Light shades of orange and blue can look wonderful when combined with a white ceiling and kitchen furniture. Even light green, lilac and brown can blend in perfectly with most modern kitchens.


01Image via Sarah Ackerman/CC 2.0

Using colour to make your kitchen feel bigger

Why do black rooms feel smaller than white rooms? Colour doesn’t just affect our moods; it also has a serious effect on ability to perceive depth and scale. A darkly coloured room often feels smaller than a light one, even though it’s the same size.

Decorators use dark colours sparingly in small rooms, especially the ultimate dark colour: black. Black, dark grey and brown all absorb colour and light, making them unsuitable for small spaces like kitchens, which benefit from light reflection.

The key to expanding your kitchen through colour is simple: keep things light and bright to reflect as much light as possible. The lighter your kitchen’s colour scheme, the larger it will look to the human eye.

Whether you choose yellow or blue, green or orange, stick with a light tone that’s easy to absorb passively. Bright and striking colours don’t belong in the kitchen – they’re too powerful, and they’ll often make the space feel smaller than it really is.

As well as choosing a light colour, stick with a low-contrast colour scheme for your kitchen. The more contrast there is between the colour of your walls and the colour of your ceiling, the shorter and smaller your kitchen will feel.


Simple colour psychology tips for a better kitchen

  • Did you know that red increases appetite? If you want to build appetite when guests visit you for dinner, decorate your kitchen with a red paint scheme or deep red kitchen furniture.


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  • Cool colours like blue and green make your home feel cooler than it is. If you live in a warm area and want to cool yourself psychologically in summer (and reduce your air conditioning bill in the process) choose blue or green paint.
  • While cool colours warm your home, colours like red, orange and yellow make your home feel warmer than it really is. Choose a bright, powerful colour for a home that feels warmer this winter.
  • Does your kitchen contain lots of mirrors? If you love clothes in a particular colour, use it to paint your kitchen feature wall. If you spot your reflection in the mirror, you’ll definitely look your best.
  • Brown, whether it’s used on a feature wall or in your kitchen countertop, is a great colour for achieving a natural look. If your kitchen feels too modern and metallic, add a touch of brown for a more natural and relaxing look.


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For a wonderful selection of coloured tiles, why not check out our kitchen selection when it’s time to reinvigorate your home!