Most of us find choosing the best paint colour for our home a relatively easy task. We generally have a sense of the colours we already like, and the ones we think will make a personal statement.
Paint can transform our homes into something that resembles a photograph in a magazine. The right colours help can us relax or add a level of brightness to a room, depending on our individual tastes.
Choosing colours for the office, however, is completely different. We might have a penchant for a certain shade of lavender, for example, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would look good on the walls of our work-from-home office. Or does it?
How Colour Affects Productivity
A 2012 study focussing on the impact of hospital paint colours found that white created a clinical effect that made people feel intimidated and unwelcome. But what exactly does that mean?
Most of us grow up associating bright colours with energy, but do they represent the right kind of energy? For instance, researchers at the University of Rochester found that the colour red increases the speed and intensity of our emotions. It also makes everything feel urgent, which can cause us to worry about all kinds of things.
So, while it's safe for us to conclude that red is not the ideal colour for our home office, it can work in other environments. Retail outlets, for example, are always using red in their promotions. We see the clearance and sales signs and think, “I must have this now!”
Gem-coloured blues and greens are good for creating energy, but may not be helpful in an environment that involves intense collaboration and deliberation. Emerald green, in particular, tends to make us lose focus. But it’s not just the colour that impacts our mood and behaviour, the saturation (intensity) of the colour affects us too.
Effects of Different Colours on Our Mood
Back in the '80s, groundbreaking colour psychologist Angela Wright developed what became known as the Colour Affect System, which set out to prove a correlation between colours and human behaviour. To this day, Wright's system is used as a benchmark for colour psychology. Regarding the four primary colours, Ms Wright concluded that:
Blue is for the Mind
Blue works as a stimulant for our minds and leads to better productivity. Shades of blue are great for keeping us focused on repetitive tasks. The colour is common in accounting offices where it is used to increase productivity and help employees concentrate.
Red is for the Body
As we already mentioned, red stimulates energy levels and evokes a sense of urgency. This makes it ideal for physically demanding work such as jobs in the construction industry.
Yellow is for Emotion
Yellow animates our emotions, which can boost creativity. It can also evoke feelings of happiness and brighten our spirits.
Green is for Balance
Green may be the colour of money, but it's also about reassurance, calmness, and balance. Green is a great choice for an office in the financial industry.
Secondary colours are created when we mix two primary colours together. The impact of those colours seeps through into the secondary colours.
Orange, for example, combines the joy of yellow with the passion of red, and is thought to increase the oxygen supply to our brains.
Long associated with power and royalty, purple combines the energy of red with the productivity of blue. Light purple, like lavender, works well in spas and other feminine environments.
Now we have an idea of which colours work well in particular industries, it's time to consider the best general colour hues for a work-from-home office. Personal preference is, of course, a priority, so the following should be seen as merely as tangible suggestions.
1. Off White
True white may have a clinical appearance, but a softer off white, like a subtle shade of eggshell can create a warm but clean appearance. Plus, it's easy to decorate and design around.
By combining green and blue, teal has the ability to boost productivity in any home office. Go easy, though, as brightness and intensity are crucial for creating the desired effect.
Grey gives off a neutral mood. Different shades and hues of grey can have a varied impact on different people. What works for you could make your employees and clients feel a tad melancholy.
4. Light Blue
A soft light blue calms its surroundings and gives off a peaceful vibe. It's an excellent choice for a doctor’s office, or for a specialist who deals with nervous patients on a daily basis.
Blue-greys feel clean and in the corporate world, can give a boost to almost any backdrop. This colour combo is perfect for creating a professional atmosphere, without being too moody.
If you feel your office space needs to appear strong and powerful, brown is the colour for you. It can work very masculine but also has a warm, welcoming effect.
Yellow pastels are great to get your creativity flowing. Any shade of yellow is good, but a touch of soft gold works extremely well with white or brown accents.
Purple has many tones and is a good choice for a feminine space such as a salon. The versatility of the colour gives it the ability to create a louder, or a more subtle atmosphere, depending on preference.
Dark and rich greens are perfect for anyone working in the private financial or healthcare sectors. Keep in mind that darker shades can change the mood of a space. Lime green can be too intense in a room that regularly floods with sunlight.
Perhaps not the best choice for all four walls of the home office, but an orange accent on one wall could be the perfect remedy for the dreaded afternoon slump in productivity.
So now you have it, our thoughts on choosing your colour palette but we will leave you with one thought; Don't Forget to Accent