In recent months, our homes have become so much more than kitchen tables to gather around and beds to sleep in at night. These days, our homes are where many of us “cocoon” away from the world – where we seek togetherness, security and comfort. They are also where many of us work, making establishing restful zones and productive zones a complicated endeavor.

From our home offices and dens to our master suites and great rooms, each space offers a different atmosphere and encourages different moods. Spending more time at home – whether alone or with family – has made us keenly aware of the psychological impacts of each space. Employing the tenets of color psychology in interiors is one way in which to ensure each space evokes the emotions you seek. As we hit our stride in the 2020s, a reprieve from stress and a turn towards enduring joy is what many of us hope for in our homes. Follow below for five colors that make every home happier and which rooms they are best suited for.

Applying Color Psychology in Interiors

When considering paint palettes for the home, keep in mind that emotional responses evoked by color are subjective. Dr. Sally Augustin explains this in her article “The Surprising Effect of Color on Your Mind and Mood” for Psychology Today.

Dr. Augustin explains that color psychology be employed to alter the moods of those within a space. Interestingly, it can also affect behavior and physical response. For instance, when people are in a “space where the walls are … warm colors, [they] actually feel that the temperature … is warmer.” This is opposed to the cooling effect provided by “similar spaces painted cool colors.”

Impacts of Colors from Nature

However, many tones do elicit similar reactions from people around the world. In her article “Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design” for Natalie Craig Design, Craig outlines these effects. The California-based designer explains that in decorating one’s home, one might make an initial choice between warm and cool tones and intensity of saturation.

Warm and cool tones can elicit comparable reactions in some cases, but often offer opposite effects. Craig writes that “warm colors…like red, yellow, and orange, evoke feelings of activity and passion.” However, they might also “evoke anger,” depending on the level of saturation. On the other hand, “cool colors…are associated with calm, harmony, and peace, but also lassitude, inaction, and sadness,” also depending on intensity. Recent scientific forays into color psychology have found that colors from nature are most effective at evoking positive emotions and responses. These include happiness, contentment, curiosity, creativity and productivity. As such, our choices for the best happy-making interiors colors are all inspired by nature.

#1 Royal Orchard by Behr

Royal Orchard takes its place as one of a dozen or so colors in Behr’s recent palette. The rich hunter green of Royal Orchard belongs to the “Quiet Haven” ensemble assembled by Behr. In a recent article for Southern Living, Marisa Spyker described the tone as one of many “mood-boosting hues” from Behr’s annual color palette. Spyker referred to Royal Orchard and other organic shades as those “that will resonate with homeowners.” Dr. Rachel Kaplan, PhD – quoted by Rebecca A. Clay in an article for the American Psychology Association emphasizes that “green is good for you.” Including green paint colors in home decor contributes to a “restorative environment,” reducing stress while compounding feelings of happiness and calm. Apply Royal Orchard to the walls of your home’s great room, your home office or your yoga room.

#2 Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore

A soft green-blue jewel tone by Benjamin Moore, Aegean Teal was recently chosen as as a top color.” According to the company’s “Color Trends 2021” page, Aegean Teal is meant to be “intriguing balanced and deeply soothing.” Painting the walls of your home in the tone should create “natural harmony.” “Everything About the Color Teal” from graphic design platform Canva notes teal “combines the calming properties of blue with the renewal qualities of green.” Aegean Teal is a “revitalizing and rejuvenating color that also represents open communication and clarity of thought.” This combination makes it perfect for social spaces and home offices.

#3 Garden Flower by Valspar

A gentle, soothing sage green, Garden Flower pops off the palette! The color’s intention is described by Valspar as “all about making you feel cozy and comfortable” at home. Garden Flower clearly takes inspiration from nature, reminding one of fresh spring foliage and aromatic herbs. Almost a neutral due to its pale gray undertone, Garden Flower is ideal for kitchens, breakfast nooks and laundry rooms. Near-neutrals are perfect for achieving a restful, grounded atmosphere.

#4 Burnt Almond by Dunn-Edwards

Natural earth tones like Burnt Almond are simultaneously invigorating and grounding, eliciting feelings of joy and comfort while also encouraging conversation and creativity. Burnt Almond has a toasty future. In her recent article for Very Well Mind, Kendra Cherry writes that natural oranges like Burnt Almond “call to mind feelings of excitement.” They also encourage an atmosphere of “enthusiasm and warmth.” According to Dunn-Edwards, the tones in their Solibre line are all inspired by “island life,” “influenced by raw materials, art and nature.” Consider Burnt Almond for social spaces in your home.

#5 Nocturne Blue by Behr

According to Kristin Weir in her article “Nurtured by Nature” for the American Psychological Association, blue is just as “good for well-being” as green. Weir writes that, actually, blue spaces “may even be slightly more restorative than green spaces.” Pantone notes that blue – particularly classic tones like their 2020 color of the year and Behr’s Nocturne Blue – is timeless and elegant. Blue shades offer a sense of “peace and tranquility” in the home. Deep and romantic, Nocturne Blue is ideal for studies, great rooms and dens with lots of natural or candle light.

Each of these nature-inspired shades – from Burnt Almond to Aegean Teal – is sure to improve the mood in any room of your home – whether a small laundry room or an expansive great room.

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