Colour Psychology in Interior Design

There is no doubt that colours are fundamental elements in our lives. It is present in our life and activity, leaving a mark on everything that surrounds us: from the colours used in the interior of the living space, to those outside of it (buildings, streets, shops, etc.)

Colours have the power to influence our soul, adding warmth or cold, happiness or sorrow, interest or reluctance, peace or anxiety.

Creating an architectural ambience also depends on the aesthetics of the interior space to be decorated. Our interior designers will use form, texture, colour and light, to harmonize the functionality of the space with the mood and personality of the individual.

The usage of colours in interior design results in defining the „volume” of the space – turning a room more spacious or more intimate, depending on the chosen palette.

Even though humans can identify approx.. 7.000.000 different shades, we need to be aware of 9 core colours and their significance:


  • Physiological effects: increases blood pressure, raises muscular tonus, activates breathing, and creates the feeling of warmth.
  • Psychological effects: general stimulator, excites, irritates, stimulates the intellect, facilitates the association of ideas in the mind
  • Recommended for: lobbies, large spaces, spaces with low temperature.


  • Physiological effects: maintains blood pressure, and favours digestion.
  • Psychological effects: optimism, happiness, social colour.
  • Recommended for narrow and long spaces (tunnels, passages, access halls) to blur the distances, or in waiting rooms.


  • Physiological effects: stimulates the optic nerve and influence the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system.
  • Psychological effects: the happiest colour, calming the nerves, focusing the attention
  • Recommended for: rooms with North orientation, with low light


  • Physiological effects: lowers blood pressure, and dilates the capillary vessels.
  • Psychological effects: quietness, relaxation, contemplation, disconnecting, de-attachment
  • Recommended for: spaces with large surfaces, in light tones, with blue-ish hues.


  • Physiological effects: calms the breathing and reduces the pulse frequency, decreases muscular tonus.
  • Psychological effects: resting and calming, creating the sensation of distancing in space.
  • Recommended for: rooms with large surfaces, but in light shades, in rooms with high temperatures and also in small spaces to create the feeling of spatiality


  • Physiological effects: accelerates breathing, and intensifies the cardio-vascular activity.
  • Psychological effects: in the same time attraction and distance, optimism and nostalgia.
  • Recommended for: spaces with small areas, with a pure and clean palette.


  • Physiological effects: break, reducing metabolic activity.
  • Psychological effects: the feeling of depth, introversion.
  • Recommended for: the element to delimit and contrast the other colours.


  • Physiological effects: the contraction of the eye’s pupil and the eye’s muscles.
  • Psychological effects: expansive, robustness, purity.
  • Recommended for: small spaces and volumes, narrow areas, to mark paths and delimit interior spaces.


  • Physiological effects: becomes valuable especially in the presence of the other colours, as its effects can attenuate or accentuate them.
  • Psychological effects: creates the feeling of dynamism, and happiness, it is a lively colour in combination with others.
  • Recommended for: any spaces that need a base to emphasize the other elements.

Lastly, choosing colours for interior design needs to be connected with the lighting in the space. This single aspect has a tremendous influence on the final experience and the individual’s perception.

At ONNO, our architects play with colours in a way that is customized to each client. We create experiences by blending base nuances with accent shades that interact one with the other.


× How can we help you? Available from 09:00 to 18:00