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Colour is emotion

Did you know that WildKind is Colour Psychology Accredited?

 

After two years of training with Karen Haller, one of the world's best colour psychologists, I was thrilled to become an accredited Colour Psychology Specialist last September.

 

Colour has always been super important to me. I just didn’t know why, until I met Karen.


And what was the most powerful thing I learned from her?

 

‘Colour is emotion’

 

Sounds bonkers, but it’s scientifically true. Wavelengths of light (colour) are sent from our retina in the eye, to the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that processes emotion.


It’s a complex topic but in a nutshell, my training means I understand the science behind why colour makes us behave in certain ways, and how to use this knowledge to create the perfect schemes for my clients.

 

Feature Walls: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

 

I’m not a fan of a feature wall in almost all cases. So, to break it down for you...


Here are 4 questions to ask yourself before picking up a paintbrush…

 

1.     Have you got commitment issues? Why can’t you just paint the whole room? Time and time again I see a feature wall and the rest of the bedroom is a completely different colour. What’s the point? Ask yourself why you’re doing this! You might tell me it's because it’s too dark to paint on all walls. Well how about taking the saturation of the colour down a few notches? Imagine a paint tin of your favourite deep blue colour, add a load of white to it, mix it up – and voila! You’ve created a much softer tint. Something that is more likely to work on all walls. I’m not suggesting that you do this yourself, but visualising a colour that’s been softened with white should give you a good idea.


2.     Are you creating a disjointed look? If you’re going big and bold on the headboard wall and leaving the rest of the space pale, the focal point is in one area and the rest of the room will probably feel lacking and uninspiring. A successful scheme will draw the eye around the whole room, with one or two main focal points plus several smaller points of interest. One wall alone isn’t cohesive (designer speak for "easy on the eye!"). Dark feature walls, paired with white or really pale colour on all other walls, is often a sign people don’t know what they’re doing with design. Harsh but true!


3.  Is it a question of cost? Maybe you’re a landlord and you want to spend as little as possible on decoration, so you paint a feature wall to bring in some colour, then paint the other walls white because it’s cheap. I get it! But by doing this, your property looks like every other rental on the market, and it's a false economy. If you choose a more appropriate colour for ALL the walls, and get a decent quality paint that’s wipeable, it’s really not going to make a huge difference to your budget, but the space will feel so much more beautifully designed than all those other properties on sparerooms.com.


4.     Are you being a sheep? You’re painting that feature wall because you think the photos will be Instagrammable. You’ve seen other people doing it, so it must be good, right? Wrong! If you do what everyone else is doing, it’ll date. If you choose a colour that works in the space and enables positive mood, feelings and behaviours – it will never date. It’s just right. It’ll make tenants feel good and so they’ll never want to leave!


My motto? The right colour is right for life!


 

So, when are feature walls a good idea?


Firstly, I don’t hate them, I just hate them done in a certain way, as described above!


There are a few ways that feature walls can really work! So if you tick one or more of these boxes, then go for your life...


  • Say ‘No!’ to high contrast. As a rule of thumb, the depth of colour on the feature wall should be similar to the depth of colour on all other walls. So please - none of that Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue on the headboard wall, with all other walls painted stark white!

  • Highlighting architectural features. This might mean an archway, a window or anything that you’d like to draw attention to. Playing with features in this way works brilliantly and I’m all for it!

  • Using texture. A feature doesn’t just mean paint and wallpaper. Wood is an amazing way to bring colour, interest and warmth to a room, without it feeling overpowering. We’re humans. We evolved in nature. So wood tones are perfect in almost any setting. However, too much can feel claustrophobic, so use sparingly! 

  • Defining zones: Feature colour is a great way to create spaces within a space. If you have a kitchen/dining/family room, think about how you can use a variety of complimentary colours to mark the change from one space to another. Works like a charm!

  • Feature ceilings. Think of your ceiling as a 5th wall. It can look amazing painted in any colour other than white. You could paint it in its own, stand alone colour, or if you have an art panel on one wall, the ceiling and all other walls could be painted in one colour. This helps with cohesion of the space (that word again!).


Want to see an example?



I designed a teenagers bedroom for a showhome once that had an amazing wall mural on the headboard wall, in pinks, whites and black. The ceiling and all other walls were painted in a soft black (yes, really!) and it looked amazing. My client was worried by the idea, but once she saw it, she fell in love.


As always, please get in touch if you need help making colour REALLY work for your property!


And you can read more about colour psychology on Karen's website: https://karenhaller.com/


Louise x

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