There’s a lot to be said on the psychology of colour. Colour can evoke different human responses and emotions as well as each shade having its own origin and cultural and historical relevance.
During February I took part in a daily photo challenge on Instagram that has grown quickly in popularity among interior enthusiasts. On the first day of each month the organisers release a new set of daily photo challenges for the month ahead, with the #myhousethismonth hashtag clocking up 116,000 posts (at the time of writing this blog).
This month I’m dipping in and out of the challenge, taking part only on days when I’m particularly inspired by the theme. Today’s (12 March) is ‘favourite colour’ and it’s prompted me to write this blog post as I actually have three and just can’t choose between them. Ask Molly and she’ll say only two, grey and pink. And that’s very much the case but I’m including green on here because of my love of plants and bright leafy prints.
Garnered from various sources across the web, here’s what I discovered about each of my favourite shades, as well as how I’ve incorporated them in my own home.
Associations: sweet, playful, cute, romantic, charming, feminine, tender and caring
Name origin: first recorded as describing the “pale rose color” in 1733 after the flowering plant called pinks
Interesting fact: pastel pink was traditionally a colour baby boys would wear, with girls in baby blue – the colours switched roles between 1940-50 as a result of several advertising campaigns
I’m a fan of pastel hues, blush, bright fuschia and coral. Basically I love all kinds of pink. Aside from a pink feature wall in Molly’s room, pink crops up everywhere in accessories, art and furnishings. And our new front door is due to be painted in Nancy’s Blushes – a cheery pink somewhere between blush and bubblegum. Can’t wait!
Associations: cool, neutral, balanced but also emotionless, moody and typically associated with meanings of dull, dirty, and dingy, as well as formal, conservative, and sophisticated
Name origin: first recorded use of grey as a color name in the English language was in AD 700
Interesting fact: Thanks to the books and movies starring Christian Grey, its commonly thought there are around 50 shades, however the human eye can actually distinguish up to 500
There’s a different interior style in each room in my house, I can’t make up my mind and I like to experiment. This could result in a disjointed feeling house that’s a bit all over place. The reason it doesn’t is down to one thing – grey. Present in every room in one guise or another, it ties everything together and gives the house a calm contemporary feel.
Associations: growth, harmony, freshness, fertility and healing power
Name origin: Meaning grow in PIE, it was *ghre.
Interesting fact: Preindustrial paints and dyes were so unstable that mixing a consistent green hue was tricky. As early as the 16th century, gambling tables were covered in green fabric (and often still are today) — a nod to the colour unpredictable nature and association with a certain amount of luck.
Green is a colour that’s grown on me, literally. I’ve long been a fan of teal but I’m talking about green green. There’s not much in my house this colour, except for the obvious – my forever expanding collection of houseplants.
Below I’ve curated a gallery of a few of my favourite pink, green and grey images. For sources and to see more, check out my colour inspiration Pinterest board.
For further insight and inspiration, check out these amazing colour gurus:
- Martha Roberts, author of The Colour File blog and writer of a regular colour column in Psychologies magazine.
- Jenny Kakoudakis, interior designer and author of Seasons in Colour.
- Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux and founder of the Colour in Design Award.
Happy colouring x