The Block 2015 Blocktagon: How does colour impact the mood of a room?

Information verified correct on October 29th, 2016

Last night we met the new renovation rookies of Channel Nine’s The Block: Blocktagon as they prepared for the initial gruelling 24-hour challenge of the “eighth wonder of renovation war” -- and it was all about colour.

The Block 2015 logo

With a modest $3,000 budget and a stringent timeframe, the contestants were required to deck out an entire room each. With “budget blunders” already underway for the eleventh season of the show, the results of the 24-hour competition will likely dictate the pecking order for the remainder of the competition- that is, the winning contestants will get first choice of the Blocktagon level that they will renovate.

Naturally, the teams go head-to-head as they fight it out for the penthouse.

Required to ‘invent’ a colour that does not currently exist on the colour chart, the contestants were sent into Block shock. While each team was given a basic colour theme, it was up to them to get their creative juices flowing to select a unique colour of their own.

Colour is highly subjective, we know. But how does colour impact the mood of a room? And were some contestants assigned a more strategic colour than others? Will the judges be swayed by the psychological value of certain colours on judging day?

We spoke to colour-response analyst, Anjel Obryant, and graphic designer, Jacklyn Wickham, to find out.

Which colours were the contestants assigned?

Luke and EbonyYellow
Suzi and VoniPink
Andrew and WhitneyOrange
Dean and ShayBlue
Kingi and CaroRed

Room colours and their psychological value


Colour plays a pivotal role in influencing the mood and atmosphere of a room, but it’s important that the paint colour complements your personal taste as well as the purpose of the room. For instance, light colours are expansive which can make a space appear larger than it actually is, while dark colours are sophisticated and warm which can give a space a more intimate appearance for a living room, for example.

Obryant points out that “...every single colour affects you physically, mentally and emotionally whether your eyes are opened or closed. The colours that work best for a master bedroom are pale blues, pinks, aquas, as well as lavender as they promote good sleep and relaxation. The paint colour should be used on the walls and then half strength on the ceiling as this can double the size of the room.”

Luke and Ebony: Yellow


Colour consultants believe that yellow is generally associated with positive emotions which can provide an uplifting and energising effect. While yellow is ideal for kitchen and dining areas, yellow is not considered an appropriate choice for a master bedroom, as studies suggest that yellow can create feelings of angst and frustration, as well as being draining on the human eye.

Does this mean Luke and Ebony got the short straw?

Obryant adds: “Yellow stimulates the brain and in chromotherapy, and yellow is believed to stimulate nerves and hostility.”

Suzi and Voni: Pink

Crimson can evoke feelings of hostility and generally this colour should be avoided as a theme colour for a bedroom.

According to Obryant, “Pale pink relaxes and calms the body”, which could mean that the mothers from Queensland may have a strategic edge.

Andy and Whitney: Orange

Orange encourages enthusiasm and is generally considered an energetic colour. While not a good idea for a living room or for bedroom, this colour may be better suited for exercise rooms, such as a home gym in order to boost energy levels.

Obryant says that orange is ideal for social activity within the household: Orange is a communicative colour that’s half yellow and half red. Its is a stimulant if you want to communicate a lot with people which would be ideal for living room, but not suitable for a bedroom.”

Dean and Shae: Blue

bluewalls3Known as a calming colour, blue is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms due to its tranquilising effect. If you opt for a pale blue as a colour theme, make sure you balance it with warm hues for the furnishings and decorations. To stimulate relaxation in social areas such as living rooms or kitchens, consider warmer tones, such as turquoise.

Obryant says that blues calm the mind and body and are suitable for a master bedroom: “If you’ve got an energetic household with lots of kids, then aquas in a living room or bedroom can provide a good balance as its a combination of yellow and blue.”

We’ll have to wait and see what tone of blue Dean and Shae decide on to know whether they may have an advantage.

Kingi and Caro: Red

Red increases the energy level of a room and stimulates conversation so its generally considered to be suited for living or dining areas.

According to Obryant, red has the highest vibrational energy which may not be ideal for a bedroom.

How to select the right colour for a master bedroom


Before deciding on a paint colour, consider the mood you want to achieve for the room and the psychological value of different colours.

For instance, cool colours such as blues, greens and lavenders can be great choices for a master bedroom because they have a calming effect. The darker the hue, the more pronounced the relaxation effect is believed to be.

Wickham comments about the importance of ambience for the master bedroom: "I believe that a master bedroom should feel comfortable, relaxing and spacious, yet private at the same time. I think that soft neutral colours will be the most timeless and effective in achieving a soothing and relaxing mood for a sleeping environment. I do think that colour choice is personal so each individual would feel differently about a particular colour palette.  Offsetting a feature wall or including a vibrant painting or funky furniture can help lift and balance the neutral tones." 

As elements of a room such as furniture, fittings and carpet are available in a limited range of colours compared to paint, you should decide on these elements first and then select your paint colour. Obryant suggests that homeowners decide on lighting fixtures before selecting colour: “Make sure all the lighting in the house is done before the colour is chosen because the lighting can change everything. The vibrational energy of lighting is important- always use warm whites, not blues for lighting. Make sure all lights are in place before you consider colour decisions and put colour samples on the walls and on the ceiling."

Additionally, Wickham suggests that homeowners decide on the overall mood of a room before selecting any décor or colours: "Once the mood is established, you should research styles that you like in order to create a mood board –this will allow all your ideas to appear on one page so you can establish if this is the right feel you are after before undergoing the work."

Obryant recommends that renovators and homeowners access Dulux paint folders and use samples before making any colour decisions: “Get Dulux folders and make sure you put samples on the walls and ceilings before you paint because you need to see the colour at night as well as during the day.”

Finally, Obryant suggests that the position of a household is a consideration that renovators and homeowners should make before deciding on paint colour: “If the property is south-facing, you should use warmer tones but if it’s facing north then you would use cooler tones because of the way the light hits the house.”

Recommended colours for different spaces

KitchenRed and yellow hues work well in the kitchen area. In particular, yellow increases metabolism, brightens a room and gives you energy.
Obryant says that the kitchen is an important place to have cool colours for meal preparation. She recommends using off-white or neutral colours as well as pale blues to support creativity.
Living areaWarm tones such as reds, yellows, oranges as well as earthy tones including brown and beige work well in a living areas.
“It’s a good idea to have a lovely beige tone for ceilings and walls, and then you can change the colours per season for cushions, art and decor. You can have warm tones during winter such as oranges and red hues and then when it gets cool, you can have blue and aqua accents.”
BathroomWhites and warm colours are popular choices for bathroom areas largely because they are associated with hygiene and cleanliness.
“Everyone thinks you should have a white bathroom. I always use off white and beiges to warm up the system when you enter the bathroom you feel better if you have warm tiles on both the floor and wall. Warm beige which looks good with white accents.”
Home officeGreens or blues are a good choice for home office areas in terms of boosting productivity.
In addition, Obryant claims that “yellow stimulates the brain so it would be good for a home office environment. Calming tones such as blues are ideal for an office space because if your eyes are strained, you can calm the eyesight by looking at the walls”
Dining roomAs red is believed to encourage appetite, Obryant says: “Warm tones such as peach will stimulate your appetite. In a large dining area, you can use lovely maroons and reds which will increase the appetite and sociability.”

Where can I buy paint online?

Many online home improvement stores offer exterior and interior paints for your home. [provider_id="1373" title="Masters Home Improvement" external="/painting"] for example has everything from paints to paint scrapers down to paint tools and woodcare products with brands including 3M, Valspar and Wattyl. Want to know what specials they have at the moment? Check out our Masters coupon codes and see.

Colour inspiration for the kitchen

Colour inspiration for the living area

Colour iInspiration for the bathroom

Colour inspiration for the home office

Colour inspiration for the dining area

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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