Do you like blue? Here's why. Color Psychology - Part 2 in Decorate with Color Series

Updated: May 17

Color really revs my engine.  With the physiological and emotional effects of color psychology explained in the previous post, let’s speed ahead!


Basic blue = calm and restful color psychology

Ah! This easy-on-the eye color, with its tranquil quality, eases right from the heavenly sky or lulls from serene water.


Color psychology: Decorating with pastel blue tone = pure peace

If you want to evoke the calmest feeling of all, choose a soft shade of blue, like a robin’s egg. All and all, the color of pale blue can bring down your blood pressure, slow respiration and decrease your heart rate. If you are striving for relaxation this is your color.


Color Psychology: Decorating with Cobalt blue or Aqua, increasing color = increasing the energy

Jazz up light blue color and add WOW to your home decor. Using aqua or cobalt blue, the vitality of the color will soar.


Consider enjoying this color in an area in your home that is a bit more active, such as a family room or kitchen.


Color Psychology:

Add gray to the blue decorating color = decrease the strength of color impact

This vibrancy and energy softens by graying down this more intense shade, rekindling the tranquil nature of blue in such colors as periwinkle or cerulean.


Photograph Interior bedroom blue by Kate Moynihan
Cool blues are balanced with warm wood tones

Add yellow to the blue-gray tones, such as teal, and a warmer color scheme emerges.


Blue and teal bedroom home of Lindsay Moynihan
Yellow-green teal gives blue a warmer feel

However, if you tone it down into the foggy qualities of gray it can become chilly, maybe even a bit icy if your windows reflect the same wintry feel from the outside.


The type of indoor lighting and/or accent lighting you use in your room can affect the colors cold tone. If the room color is too frosty, installing warmer hues of halogen bulbs will offset the coolness of gray. 

Color Psychology:

Amount of color chosen for decorating = its psychological effect.


I remember painting my first kitchen in the 1980’s a dramatic indigo gray mix.

Several reasons why this DID NOT work:

  • The room had north exposure windows so warm sunbeams never entered the area.

  • The cabinets and floor were deep. dark, chocolate, not the light milky kind.

  • The appliances were stainless, otherwise known as dark gray.

One coat of navy and the room became cave-like as I stood in the somber shadows.

Even my twenty-something, novice decorating skills told me it was too much.


The lesson here is to remember that the amount of color you apply is key to its effect.


Painting an entire room one color is completely different than when you only use a handful of accents.


As for my first kitchen? Instead of pulling out the blue-gray in the print of the curtains, I focused on the yellow and happily repainted the walls.


Photo courtesy of Dreamstime - yellow gray kitchen
This photo, compliments of Dreamstime, is similar to my efforts to balance the dark gray and yellow in my 1980's kitchen.

Color Psychology

In general BLUE is the color or water and sky - restful and calm.


Next in the color series; Decorating with Yellow - Part 3