Have you found yourself working from home more since COVID-19 hit our shores? Maybe you have been for a while now, but you haven’t had the time to decorate your home office, and it isn’t space you love being in, and it doesn’t inspire you.
The colours you choose for your office space can have a powerful effect on your behaviour and your emotions. It is as essential to your health and wellbeing as is natural light, the right temperature and the air quality. Surrounding yourself with the right colours will motivate you, keep you focused and productive, and you will feel happier. The wrong colours can lead to depression, irritation, aggression and low productivity.
Choose colours that support how you want to feel when you are working and which are going to have the most positive effect on you.
What behaviours do you need to bring out to work effectively?
Is your work mostly creative, analytical, physical?
Which colour is best to be in your line of sight?
These questions all have a bearing on what colours are best for you.
Each colour has a different meaning and can be used to encourage specific behaviour. In colour psychology, different colours can be motivating, aid concentration and have a positive effect on productivity, creativity and assist with communication.
The following colours are known to have a positive effect on productivity in a work environment.
Green is the colour of balance. It creates a calm environment; it aids concentration, it gives a feeling of balance and peace, especially when you are feeling stressed. Too much green can make you feel bored and lifeless. Shades of green you may like include sage, forest green, jade, emerald, olive and moss.
Blue represents your intellect. It aids concentrations and supports communication. Different shades have slightly different meanings and effects on you.
Light blue is good for communication and mental clarity. Too much light blue can feel cold and aloof.
Dark blue is good for keeping you focused, especially on detailed work. Too much dark blue can feel cold and unfriendly.
Blue tones include are navy, duck-egg, teal, sky, royal and baby blue.
Yellow is the colour of emotions. It is positive, energising, optimistic and gives you a self-esteem boost. Yellow aids mental clarity and gets the creative juices flowing. You may find too much yellow or the wrong tone can make you feel irritated and anxious. Yellow tones include buttercup, mustard, daffodil and lemon.
Some colours are best used as accents in your space to encourage certain behaviours at different times. They are great for influencing your mood or behaviour. You may have an important meeting that requires extra focus, or you are feeling tired and need an energy boost. Having small amounts of particular colours can benefit these instances.
Some areas you can introduce these colours are in your coffee mug, flowers or vases, cushions, stationery trays and even a pen in your favourite colour.
These colours include:
Red is a physical colour. It is positive and can give you a boost of energy when you are feeling unmotivated. However, too much red may be over-stimulating and annoying. Red tones include fire-engine, ruby, burgundy and raspberry.
Orange is fun, cheerful and active. It is warm and vibrant and, like red, can give you an energy boost. Muted tones are best for home offices like terracottas and peach. You may find too much orange to be over-stimulating. Orange tones you may like include peach, apricot, terracotta and rust.
Brown - is grounding and supportive. It can be too serious and lacking in sophistication. Brown tones include tan, cinnamon, chocolate and coffee.
Purple is great for spiritual awareness and for staying focused when you need time to reflect. This is not a colour popular colour amongst many people and too much purple can see you getting lost in thought. Purples shades include lilac, lavender and mauve.
Grey is an excellent accent background colour. Only use grey if you are a lover of it; otherwise, it could make you feel depressed.
White helps clarity and can give you space when you are feeling overwhelmed. Negatively it can feel cold and unfriendly. Best used as an accent.
Black - is the colour of authority. It can make you feel emotionally safe. Negatively it can feel menacing and unapproachable. Best used in minimal amounts.
The tone of colour is just as important if not more so than the colour itself. You will have a shade of each colour that you like more than any other, and this is the one that you should use to decorate. You may love baby blue, and it helps you feel calm, focused and happy where royal blue could be too dark and intense for you, and it will be distracting and depressing. Finding that right tone of colour is essential for your mindset and wellbeing.
Keep your work surfaces and walls either matte or with low sheen. The glossier or shinier these areas are, the higher the reflection. This can impair your vision after prolonged periods.
The saturation level or vividness of colour is also essential to how it makes you feel. Lots of intense green can bring out its adverse effects. Be mindful of the intensity you choose and the quantity that you use it in. It can make all the difference in how your space feels, turning it from a positive room to a negative one.
Keep the larger areas of your space lighter to mid-toned if you don't have a lot of light. Being surrounded by very dark colours all the time can affect your mood and mindset.
Bright whites can be hard on your eyes after a short period, so if you do use white, I recommend you use a warmer, less intense white to cut the glare.
Always test your colours by purchasing some sample pots and painting them on large boards or cardboard. Live with them in your home office for a few days to get a feel for them.
The placement of colours is essential in how your office feels. Areas of high contrast are not recommended. Nor are large areas of high-intensity colours because they are fatiguing for your eyes when exposed to them for more extended periods.
If you love bright colours, keep them to smaller areas like your chair or accent colours. Sitting on a bold yellow chair can be very inspiring.
Using a vivid colour on just one wall can give you the desired effect of the colour. By placing it behind you or on an area that isn't in your line of sight, you can face it when you need the influence of that colour. One more colourful wall in a muted tone may work well for you with all other walls in a lighter tone.
If you would like more guidance finding the right tones of colour or need assistance in where you should use specific colours, book a consultation with me. We can work together to select the right colours for your home office.
Until next time,
18 June 2020