What’s your colour?

Colour me happy...and my home, too

By Francie Healy

“Why do two colours, put next to each other, sing?” Picasso asked.

There’s a kind of magic about colour. Some say it’s non-verbal communication. Some say it’s spiritual. Some say it’s music in another form, or poetry without words.

Whether it has special symbolism or whether it’s simply a trick of science, colour is what we love in our clothes, our vehicles, and, especially, our homes.

Psychology suggests colour can influence our mental or physical state or the moods of others.

Colour can change with the light, the time of day, the season. A colour on the south side of a house will look different in a room with shade. It will change with the angle of the sun in the morning, then at noon, then in the softness of late afternoon or early evening; and then at twilight, when it creates a different cast again.

Colour changes according to incandescent, halogen or fluorescent lighting. It changes when the light source is from a skylight, from a dormer, or through stained glass. It changes in the light from computer screens. It’s a tricky little thing, colour – always evading you just when you think you have it nailed down.

This is why designers sometimes suggest, when you’re selecting colours for your renovation, that you place a colour on a wall and watch it for a few days so you’ll know how it will look in “real time”.

Besides its aesthetics and how it makes us feel, colour can perhaps also reveal our own personalities.

Blue, they say, is not only the colour of introverts but of people who are artistic, intuitive and spiritual. If you’re a Blue, you probably enjoy peace, harmony, and calmness. Maybe you’ll have cool blues in a bathroom to create the feeling of water and serenity.


Extroverted “reds”, on the other hand, tend to be energetic, ambitious, active, passionate, and competitive. You might use red in a dining room, for instance, to encourage lively debate and discussion.

Orange, with its great warmth, is the colour of people who love people, who like to socialize, have adventures, make people feel at home – perhaps throw great dinner parties. If you’re an Orange, perhaps you’ll add orange to a room where people gather because of its welcoming energy.


And yellow? Oh, that’s the chipper one, the one expressing happiness, intellectual curiosity, creativity, and love. Yellow is joy and whimsy. Yellows like lots of natural light, especially in kitchens, to let the sunshine in.



People who like green tend to be down to earth. Green is life, nature, growth, and hope. Green’s homes are often solid, comfortable, and quiet. Greens sometimes like this colour in their bedrooms for restful sleep.

Purple people are also artistic and creative, like their Blue cousins. Some can be downright visionary. Purples tend to like beautiful open spaces with contemporary art on the walls.

Pink is kind, loving, sensitive, romantic and nurturing, but strong. People who use pink boldly in finishes and furnishings throughout their homes are confident and courageous. They know who they are.

When it’s time to change or add to the way you live, whether it’s house or office, cottage or condo, let your colours sing about you.

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