8 happy paint colors for an instant mood lift, according to a psychologist

Green, yellow and pink is among the most popular paint colors for lifting spirits in the home.
To help households find the perfect wall colors for a happy home, the team at MyJobQuote.co.uk turned to Environmental Psychologist, Lee Chambers, to find out which shades can make us feel instantly happier.

While it’s no surprise that colors like orange and yellow make the list, some more surprising hues include grey and purple. Whether you’re on the hunt for some interior inspiration or want to dabble in a little decorating, take a look at some of the mood-boosting colors that will cheer you up…

1. Green

stylish room with green paint and wooden sideboard
HABITAT

Voted the most popular wall color on Instagram, green has been praised for its “refreshing quality” which can help to clear the mind. If you’re looking to improve your wellbeing in 2021, try tapping into this natural hue.

Green can be particularly stimulating to those who are striving for personal growth as it subconsciously reminds us of the natural world,” adds Lee.

Get the look: Mini Art Prints, Framed Mini Art Prints, Art Prints, Framed Prints, Canvas Prints, Metal Prints, Wood Wall, Art Posters, Wall Hangings, Wall Murals, Wall Tapestries, Wallpapers.

2. Grey

grey sofa and light grey walls in living room
HOUSE BEAUTIFUL/RACHEL WHITING

Grey stands as the second most popular wall color – and is a timeless choice for many homes around the UK. According to Lee, it “provides a crisp and refreshing atmosphere” which is known to “increase productivity.

If you’re planning to decorate using the hue, avoid painting every wall grey: “Too dark a shade can dull your surroundings, setting up a more depressing mood.” You can easily elevate tired-looking corners with grey accessories, a rug, or curtains.

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Coffee Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets, Coffee Mugs, Coasters, Serving Trays, Wall Hangings.

3. Blue

farrow and ball's hague blue, living room
Hague Blue

Taking the third spot is blue — a striking hue that has become increasingly more popular thanks to Instagram. “This color can be soothing and make you feel secure. However, much like grey, certain shades can evoke an element of coldness and sadness,” explains Lee.

Want to add a refreshing touch of blue decor to your home? For something subtle, keep everything neutral and opt for soft blue accents. If you’re feeling brave, however, opt for an all-over deep indigo transformation with a hue like Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue. It’s a surefire way to boost your mood.

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Floor Poufs, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets.

4. Pink

verona walnut drawer chests, habitat
HABITAT

Pink has taken the fourth spot, with Lee describing it as “the color of hope and one that can make people “feel empowered“. Pink can also help to increase energy and motivation — perfect if you’re not an early riser.

Get the Look: Throw PillowsPillow Shams, Rectangular Pillows, Duvet Covers, Comforters, Throw Blankets, Blackout Curtains.

5. Red

living room with red wall
FURNITURE VILLAGE

As the fifth most popular wall color, powerful red is a head-turning shade. While it’s known for jazzing up a bland space almost instantly, Lee warns that “certain shades when subject to lighting can make people feel more aggressive and less compassionate“.

If you want to tap into red embrace the color through accessories – try a red striped rug to bring color to the floor, or alternatively, a red lampshade to brighten up a dull corner.

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Floor Poufs, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets.

6. Yellow

yellow paint ideas
CROWN

Famed for brightening up any space instantly, yellow can boost your mood and promote imagination. If you’re wondering how to decorate a room with yellow walls, approach them with care, as Lee adds that “darker shades of yellow have been shown to make babies cry more often, and cause tension“.

Get the Look: Throw PillowsPillow Shams, Rectangular Pillows, Duvet Covers, Comforters, Throw Blankets, Blackout Curtains.

7. Purple

vibrant purple bedroom
GEORGE AT ASDA

Purple might have taken the seventh spot, but Lee explains that this is the best color for any home office as it “brings a sense of balance and enhances creativity“. He adds: “Both sophisticated and personal, purple walls could be of benefit in any household room.”

Get the Look: Throw PillowsPillow Shams, Rectangular Pillows, Duvet Covers, Comforters, Throw Blankets, Blackout Curtains.

8. Orange

dining room with orange walls, wooden furniture and a nature inspired theme
WAYFAIR

Zingy orange is a powerful color that works well in the form of accessories, paint color, and furniture. While it’s full of vibrancy and personality, Lee said that, much like red, it too can promote intense emotion.

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Floor Poufs, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets.


As well as color in the home, some feature wall designs can impact our mood, too. “Feature walls are an amplified focal point in a room which our eyes are naturally drawn to, instantly affecting our mood,” Lee explains.

Wood paneling
Inspired by nature, wood paneling can help to “trigger positivity” and “stimulate all our senses“.

Wall murals
Wall murals have “the power to pull you into the scene that is pictured and can trigger the positive emotions you attach to the imagery“. If you’re planning on decorating your space with a wall mural, Lee suggests making them personal to evoke calmness and motivation.

Metallic walls
Metallic walls can add depth and sophistication to your surroundings. Psychologically they can be grounding, especially bronzes and darker silvers as these are tones associated with strength and fortitude,” Lee adds.

Geometric patterns
Squares make us feel stable, circles evoke harmony and triangles promote adaptability. Pattern density is something to watch out for, however, as this can increase anxiety,” advises Lee.

Stone
Often found in kitchens and bathrooms, the stone is great for promoting resilience and strength, while also helping us to de-stress and disconnect.

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