Utopia    Ideas 26 Apr 2017

Exclusive expert advice, from Dulux’s Marianna Shillingford, about the psychology and placement of colour

In the kitchen and bathroom, what are the first things we need to think about prior to choosing our colour palette?

Marianna: “When you choose colours for the busiest parts of your home, there are two important things to consider: the quality of the light and what kind of person you are.  Colour is simply visible wavelengths of light and so the light in which you see colours will affect it dramatically.  Rooms that are used mainly in the evening benefit from layered lighting with a mix of table, floor, wall and overhead lights that can be controlled to create the right mood.  One overhead pendant with a low energy bulb will kill even the most beautiful colours and subtle neutrals will all but disappear.  You can use stronger colours in rooms used mainly in the evening but make sure the lighting is warm LED or low energy halogen to get the best results.”


Are there any colours which will work best for particular rooms in the house?

“If the room you are decorating is used predominantly used during the day, the direction it faces will have an impact on your colour choice.  North facing rooms benefit from warmer shades like yellow, gold, orange and pinks.  South facing rooms benefit from cooler shades with hints of grey, blue, green and violet.”


 After looking at the practical considerations and placement, is there anything else we need to think about in regard to how the chosen colour will make us feel?

“The next thing to consider is much more personal.   If you are a morning person you will love fresh energetic uplifting colours that help to kick start the day like Marine Splash, Luscious Lime and Teal Touch but if you are an evening person you might prefer a gentler start to the day with soothing mellow colours like Overtly Olive, Coastal Grey and Egyptian Cotton.


For a kitchen it helps to know what you are using the space for and how you want to feel in there.  If you live a hectic stressful life and cooking is a bit of a chore, choose tranquil colours that calm the atmosphere down like Stonewashed Blue, Willow Tree, Soft Truffle or Melon Sorbet.  If you love cooking and entertaining, bolder mouth-watering colours like Moroccan Flame, Pepper Red and Honey Mustard will lift the space and your positive energy levels.”


Pastel bathrooms are a prominent trend right now, what do you think about using pastel colours?

“Pastel shades of all colours are gentle on the eye and unchallenging to live with.  Light pastel blues remind us of the summer sky and crystal clear water.  It’s a familiar soothing colour that helps the walls of a room to visually melt away so it’s perfect for any smaller space like a bathroom in which we want to relax and unwind.”


In the kitchen, rock ‘n’ roll inspired dark colours and moody hues are becoming popular, but dark colours are often given a negative review in terms of their psychological effect — will the rock ‘n’ roll trend affect our mood in any way?

“When we enter a darkened room or a space full of rich colours, our body is triggered to relax and begin the countdown to bedtime.  Dark colours are sexy, grown up and extremely soothing so they are perfect for spaces in which we want to completely chill out.  The key to making dark colours glamorous rather than oppressive is good layered and controllable lighting – and not to use them in rooms you are using predominantly during the day.”

Dulux | dulux.co.uk