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The Impact of Paint Colours in Home Decor: Why You Won't Find These Shades in My House

The role of paint colours in home decor is often underestimated. We tend to focus on furniture, flooring, and accessories while overlooking the fact that the colours we choose for our walls can significantly influence the overall ambience of our living spaces. However, paint colours are far from being a trivial aspect of home decor. In fact, they can make or break the aesthetics of our homes.

green living space with rattan furniture

Just think about it: the colour of your living room can set the mood for your entire house. It can make your space feel cosy or spacious, energetic or peaceful. It can even influence your emotions and thoughts. That's why I believe understanding the impact of paint colours on home decor is essential for anyone interested in interior design.

In this blog post, I will explore the psychology of paint colours, discuss how they influence home decor, and share which colours you won't find in my house. I'll also provide tips for choosing the right paint colours for your home. So, let's dive right in.

painting the wall salmon pink

The Psychology of Paint Colours

Colours can have a profound impact on our mood and behaviour. Psychologists have spent years studying how different hues affect human emotions and have found some fascinating correlations. For instance, red is often associated with excitement and passion, while blue tends to evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation.

In the realm of home decor, the psychology of paint colours plays a crucial role. When selecting a colour for a room, it's not just about picking a shade that matches your furniture. It's also about choosing a colour that will create the desired emotional response.

seating area with teal blue accents

For example, if you want to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom, you might opt for a calming shade of blue. On the other hand, if you want your kitchen to feel vibrant and energetic, a bold red could be the perfect choice.

red vintage fridge and lady in red

However, it's important to note that the psychological impact of colours can vary from person to person. Cultural background, personal experiences, and individual preferences can all influence how we perceive and react to different colours.

How Paint Colours Influence Home Decor

Paint colours can dramatically influence home decor in several ways. First and foremost, they can create a specific mood or atmosphere in a room. As I mentioned earlier, certain colours can make a room feel calm and relaxing, while others can make it feel vibrant and energetic.

Secondly, paint colours can impact how spacious a room appears. Light colours, for example, can make a small room feel larger and brighter. Dark colours, on the other hand, can make a large room feel cosier and more intimate.

In addition, paint colours can highlight or downplay architectural features. For example, painting an accent wall with a bold colour can draw attention to a fireplace or a beautiful piece of artwork. Conversely, using a neutral colour can help to disguise less appealing features.

Finally, paint colours can serve as a unifying element in your home decor. By using a consistent colour palette throughout your home, you can create a cohesive and harmonious look.

bedroom in muted beige and blue colours

Reasons Why Some Paint Colours are Avoided in Home Decor

Despite the wide range of paint colours available, some shades are rarely used in home decor. There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, some colours are simply too bold or intense for most people's taste. Bright neon colours, for example, can be overwhelming and distracting, especially when used in large amounts.

maximalist bedroom
Source: Custom Neon

Secondly, some colours can have negative psychological associations. For example, many people associate brown with dirt and dullness, which is why it's often avoided in home decor.

Moody brown decor
Moody brown decor

Thirdly, some colours can be difficult to coordinate with other elements of home decor. For example, purple can be a challenging colour to match with furniture and accessories.

And finally, some colours can quickly go out of fashion. Today's trendy colour could be tomorrow's outdated hue, which is why many people prefer to stick with timeless neutrals.

The Most Controversial Paint Colours in Interior Design

When it comes to interior design, there are a few paint colours that always seem to stir up controversy. Here are a few examples.

Black is one of the most divisive colours in interior design. Some people love it for its sophistication and drama. Others, however, find it too dark and oppressive. I quite like black but you need to use it with intent and only where it suits. Then it can look absolutely amazing. My own living room was black for a while. By not painting it all the way to the ceiling, the area still felt bright and sophisticated.

black living room
The previous colour in my living room

Pink is another controversial colour. While some people find it charming and romantic, others associate it with childishness and frivolity.

Pink bathroom
Pink bathroom

Finally, there's white. Some people love it for its simplicity and versatility. However, others find it sterile and uninviting.

white bedroom
White bedroom

Popular Paint Colours in Home Decor and Their Impact

Despite the controversy surrounding some shades, there are a few paint colours that are universally popular in home decor.

White, for example, is a favourite for its versatility. It can work with almost any style of decor and can make a room feel clean, bright, and spacious.

Grey is another popular choice. It's a neutral colour that can add a touch of sophistication to any room.

Shades of grey living room
Shades of grey living room

Blue, particularly in its lighter shades, is loved for its calming and relaxing effect. It's often used in bedrooms and bathrooms to create a peaceful ambience.

Finally, green, especially in its softer shades, is growing in popularity. It's associated with nature and can bring a sense of freshness and tranquillity to a room.

Why You Won't Find These Paint Colours in My House

I love colour and there isn't much I am not willing to give a try. The world is your oyster when it comes to colour, there are so many different possibilities, and you can be as bold or muted as you like. I also find my colour preferences change over the years and I try a variety of colour schemes. That's the beauty of (paint) colours, you can change them as often as you like.

Despite the wide range of paint colours available, there are however a few shades you won't find in my house. These are my personal preferences. You might feel differently.


I don't use bright red. Avoiding the use of red is my preference, as it's often linked with overstimulation and even anger within interior design. The vibrant energy of red tends to stimulate more than soothe, potentially leading to feelings of unease and agitation.

red wall with decor

That said, the intensity of red varies with its shade. Bold, scarlet reds tend to be more overpowering while darker maroons are considerably softer. If you're a fan of red, it's not necessary to completely abandon it. I do use maroon every now and then. I've recently added a maroon-like colour to my toilet. You can subtly introduce it through decorative pieces to create a warm ambience in your space. Incorporating red in delicate details like a decorative object or a bunch of roses can make a room feel inviting without causing anxiety to spike.

A touch of maroon in my toilet
A touch of maroon in my toilet


I don't love yellow. I am sorry. I've tried, I really have. Unluckily for yellow, it seems to be one of the most polarising colours of the rainbow. Those who like it seem to love it. Those who dislike it really hate it. Yellow carries with it a sense of joy, positivity, and self-assurance. However, an excess of yellow or an inappropriate hue in contrast to the room's other colours can bring out its negative aspects: restlessness and worry.

cabinet with yellow door
Adding a pop of yellow without overpowering

Achieving the perfect balance heavily depends on the shade of yellow you prefer, ranging from the faintest cream to the vibrant neon and acidic yellows. Incorporating yellow into your home works wonders in hallways, entrance areas, breakfast nooks, and kitchens, where its bright attributes can create a welcoming atmosphere. However, it's best to think twice before opting for a yellow bedroom; over time, you will wake up feeling annoyed.

Bright neon colours

While they can be fun and energising, I find them too intense for a living space. I prefer colours that are calming and soothing.

You'll find that in general, I don't love primary colours. I love blue, but I tend to go for shades of blue towards the grey end of the spectrum. Even when my kids were little, I had a bit of an issue with the brightly coloured toys, generally in primary colours. They caused a bit of an error in my head. Again, this is personal and don't let my personal taste affect you.

Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Colours for Your Home

Choosing the right paint colours for your home can be a daunting task. However, here are a few tips to make the process easier.

Firstly, consider the mood you want to create in each room. If you want a room to feel relaxing, opt for cool colours like blue and green. If you want it to feel energising, go for warm colours like red and yellow.

Secondly, consider the size and lighting of the room. Light colours can make a small room feel larger and brighter, while dark colours can make a large room feel cosier.

Thirdly, consider the other elements of your decor. Your paint colours should complement your furniture, flooring, and accessories, not clash with them.

brown sofa against grew wall
Paint colours complementing the furniture

And finally, don't rush the decision. Take the time to test different colours on your walls and see how they look at different times of the day and under different lighting conditions.


The impact of paint colours on home decor is profound. They can influence the mood, the perceived size of a room, and even how we feel when we're in it. While there are some paint colours you won't find in my house, the key is to choose colours that resonate with you and enhance the beauty of your home. So, don't be afraid to experiment and find the colours that make your home feel uniquely yours.


Would you like to learn more about Interior Design? Or perhaps become an interior designer yourself? Follow my footsteps and study Interior Design with The Interior Design Institute where I could be your personal tutor. Click here to read more and receive a discount.

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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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