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How the colours in your home affect your mood

How the colours in your home affect your mood

The right paint colours will enhance your home, your lifestyle and your mood.

Choosing paint colours for your home is a complex process that, for most people, requires careful consideration, expert consultation and plenty of patch testing in order to find the perfect hue. Even finding the perfect shade of white isn't easy.

But why is it so hard to commit to a colour and what is it that makes us like one colour more than the next? While it mostly comes down to individual taste and finding colours that suit the style of your home, a lot of it comes down to how certain colours make you feel.

Much has been said about the emotional impact that colours can have on us, with a quick Google of the terms 'colour' and 'emotion' returning over 7 million results, however, most studies to date have involved small samples of people being presented with generic coloured cards or colours displayed on a computer screen in a lab or office.

Now, in a world first, Australian paint company Taubmans has teamed up with Australian Virtual Reality company, Liminal VR, and a team of psychologists and neuroscientists, to conduct the Taubmans Colour Emotion study, the largest of its kind to date, in consultation with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Southern Hemisphere's leading brain research facility.

A sample of 745 participants used the latest VR headsets to create three-dimensional immersive experiences to best capture emotional responses to a range of Taubmans colours in living rooms, waiting rooms and blank space environments, informing use of colour in both residential and commercial applications.

"We all instinctively know that the colours in our homes affect our moods. Now, Taubmans has research that scientifically proves that painting your walls in different colours can bring out a whole a range of emotions," Taubmans Tim Welsh explains.

"The right colours will make you feel relaxed and calm, or cheerful and excited, yet pick the wrong colour scheme, and your walls risk making you feel bored, sad, tense and, worst of all, irritated. We plan to use the Taubmans Colour Emotion Study to help our customers pick the right Taubmans colours to enhance Australian homes, lifestyles and moods."

Here, interior designer and colour consultant Grace Garret runs us through the findings, revealing the most relaxing and energising colours and where to use them in your home.


"As the place where we spend time with our families, clients often want to living rooms to have relaxed or calm atmospheres. It's no surprise that softer pastel tones are universally seen to foster these emotions, especially given our coastally skewed population," says Grace.

Within the Taubmans Colour Emotion Study, over 41% of participants voted Taubmans Seagull, a soft grey-green colour, the most relaxing, closely followed by Taubmans Faded Lilac and Taubmans Padre Blue.

Meanwhile, 38% of participants chose the gentle eggshell tone, Taubmans Morning Fog as the most calming shade, with Taubmans Dawn Break and Taubmans Candy Cream tracking in second and third place respectively.

Emotion Colour Taubmans


Taubmans Bedroom

"Yellows, oranges and the occasional pinks were proved to be the most likely to make us feel excited and cheerful," says Grace.

Sunny yellow shades came high in the results for the most cheerful, with Taubmans Japanese Koi, Taubmans Rocket Launch and Taubmans Florida hitting the top three spots.

When it comes to the most exciting colours, participants were found to sway further towards more daring tones like Taubmans In The Pink or a rich orange such as Taubmans Orange Embers.

Although beware, as these same shades can be polarizing and risk making some people feel tense and irritated. "To ensure you get the best out of these tones, use these colours sparingly, and consider smaller spaces, painted shapes or feature walls as well as looking beyond the living room," Grace advises.


Taubmans have also seen a trend towards darker colours, and they are definitely a bold choice, as they can make certain people feel a little sad. Having said that, get your dark colour right and you will surprise and delight! For example, Taubmans 2018 Colour of the Year, Black Flame, was voted in the top 10 colours liked overall of the 40 Taubmans paint colours tested!

Taubmans Black Flame

Grace recommends using darker colours like Black Flame in areas that you want to feature or create a moody, cocooning space. "Using darker colours can make a room appear smaller, so make sure this is taken into consideration. Alternatively use these darker trending colours on doors or again a feature wall and painted shapes," says Grace.

"An entrance, a powder room or bathroom are also ideal spaces for implementing a dark feature colour. These are spaces you don't spend a lot of time in but can create a striking impact without having to be surrounded by it for long periods of time."

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