How to Design Your Apartment with Color Therapy Principles


"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions."    Pablo Picasso 

“Colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.” So said the late Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who believed colors and our response to them play a vital role in psychotherapy. But he was hardly the first to associate colors with our emotional health. The psychology of color dates back thousands of years to Egyptians who studied the effects of color on our moods and used them as holistic tools to influence wellbeing.

When it comes to design for the elderly, integrating the principles of color therapy might be the difference between blah and blissful. Using colors known to influence our outlook may help create peaceful, spiritually uplifting environments that positively impact the lives of seniors, especially those living on their own.

The lack of officially published research in this area has not stopped color psychology from becoming a force in interior design. The evidence is anecdotal but indicates that while our visceral responses to color are based on personal and cultural experience, there are certain colors that are associated with specific moods and emotions. 


The color red is just what the interior designer ordered to pump up the heart rate and boost excitement. A full red wall, if it works with the décor, or even red accents can infuse a space with positive energy. Splashes of red and orange dishcloths, vases, placemats or plates around may help improve your appetite.


When considering calm bathroom colors, blue should be at the top of the list. With the relaxed ocean vibe, soft blues create tranquility and peace and are often seen in luxury spas. It’s also a perfect bedroom color especially for seniors who complain of restless sleep. Blue surroundings may help seniors fall asleep more easily and sleep better.


With the connection to nature, deep greens bring the outdoors in, adding a little springtime all year round. Green is a great color for a room meant to relax and inspire. A lighter green with pops of soft yellow creates an atmosphere of comfort and brain stimulation for reading and puzzle-solving.


White walls are known to be calming, purifying and cleansing. It is an especially appealing apartment color as it opens up a space, making it feel larger and lighter than its actual square footage.


Soft yellow brings sunshine to a space. It is particularly uplifting during the winter months when natural light is in short supply. Splash yellow on the walls in the kitchen and wake up to sunshine every morning. 

No matter what the weather, surrounded by colors that bring out the best in us, home is a brighter, happier place every day.