You’ll hear some people say: Colour isn’t important!
My response would be: Really? Let’s talk about traffic lights, warning signs, blue skies and rainbows!
Did you know that colour can help connect the neuropathways in the brain? And that they can create a biochemical response?
Each colour has a specific wavelength, and each of these affect our body and brain in a different way. Using the right colour, and the correct selection and placement can seriously affect the feelings, attention, and behaviour. It’s time that we leveraged that to our advantage.
The age when infants begin showing a preference for colour is at about 12 weeks old. Generally, children prefer the colours red/ pink and blue, and cool colours are preferred over warm colours.
Children have more intense reactions to colours than adults do. Research has found that children’s reactions to colour were across the board more intense that adults reactions.
Children wearing coloured goggles who were made to complete pegboard tests were found to solve the tests much faster when wearing goggles of their favourite colour. Scientists have tested children from different cultures to determine whether colour preferences were influenced by culture or environment. The results suggest that many of these preferences are hard-wired, not learned.
Facing that evidence, it’s clear that colour has been overlooked for far too long.
Colour is one of the most noticeable attributes of the world around us and it can affect our mood, learning and behaviour.
So, what should we be thinking about when setting up a nursery or designing a kids bedroom? Just before you open that paint can, take a minute to consider the psychological effects of your colour choice.
If you’re painting the nursery you should think about the mood that you want to achieve. You’ll be spending lot of time in there and it needs to be nice and comfortable for you and for your baby. The room should also reflect your taste since baby only requires a safe, warm environment.
Reds, yellows, oranges and beige or creamy colours are WARM. In general, warm colours elicit happiness and comfort. They can make large, open spaces feel a little cosier. Bold shades of red, orange and yellow can stimulate the mind and have an energising effect on the body. While this is beneficial for growth and development, it’s not much of an advantage when it comes to the nightly bedtime showdown with your average, overly energetic toddler. These colours are great too use in playrooms, while for bedrooms you should consider pairing them with cooler shades to get the balance.
Cool colours are calming colours: Blues, greens and greys are COOL. They can make your child’s room feel spacious and relaxing. The blue side of the spectrum along with cool browns and greys and the cool off-whites possess all of the qualities of coolness in that they are calming, focusing and soothing. These colours quiet the emotions and sharpen the thoughts, allowing the mind to do its best work. Despite their soothing nature, cool colours are not particularly inviting and can leave people feeling cold and reserved. To soften the effect, pair cool colours with creamy neutrals, add soft fabrics, with lots of texture and layers, and add lots of personal details.
Kids grow up quickly and their tastes change even quicker, and because of it it's nice to have a colour scheme that will transition with your child so they can grow into the room. You can always paint three walls in a neutral shade and one wall can be the fun wall: you can use your child favourite colour or some cool wall paper, stickers etc. And when your child is ready for the change you’ll need to do just one wall.
In the end, trust your instincts: if some colour makes you or your child happy go for it! Don’t be afraid to break the rules. It’s your space and it should make you feel comfortable, nice and happy. Remember, psychological responses are deeply personal - we are designed to like what we need :)
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If you have any questions at all about styling your baby or childs room send me an email.