Using Color Psychology in Your Nursery

August 2, 2016

By: Peyton Lambton

Peyton 1

One of the many questions I’ve been asked since announcing my pregnancy is, ‘Will you find out the gender?’ which is quickly followed up by ‘What color will you paint the nursery?’

We’ve decided not to have the gender revealed to us before the baby comes, so it did take some research before deciding on a nursery color scheme. I wanted to make sure we chose something that would have a calming effect and would grow with our child, no matter their gender.

There are tons of websites with information on color psychology, and it was all very interesting. For instance, I discovered that restaurants use red and yellow because those colors can stimulate your appetite. Very smart, golden arches! I also learned that several colors have both positive and negative impacts, so let’s break them down.

This is a common color for many homes, especially when you know you’re having a boy. Light blues are calming and can help create a sense of coolness, which is helpful in hot areas. The only tricky part about blue is that it can literally give you the blues, so be sure to accent it with some bright, cheerful colors.


This is the obvious choice when you know a girl is on the way. Light pink is also a calming color and will definitely ensure your little princess has a happy space. Just don’t go overboard with pink, as it’s easy to get tired of this color quickly. Consider its longevity and whether you’ll want to re-paint the room once your child grows up and out of princess phase.


This is a perfect gender-neutral choice. Stick with a softer yellow to promote happiness and optimism. Bolder tones of yellow tend to create intensity, frustration and anger…which you definitely don’t want to encourage in your child!


So, there’s a bit of controversy when it comes to red. While it is cheerful and energetic, you don’t want to use this as a predominant wall color. It is an intense hue for children and can create a negative environment, kind of like that red pen teachers use to point out mistakes on homework. As an accent color, however, it can add an element of fun. Try pairing it with blue, as these two complement each other nicely.


This is my personal favorite! Everything about orange makes me happy, probably because it is the signature color for my alma mater, the University of Tennessee. Orange is a warm tone that promotes excitement and enthusiasm. You can use it on an accent wall or with accessories, just beware of using it to paint the entire room. Orange can wear on the eyes and may even give your little one too much energy when it’s time to settle down for the evening.


We’ve actually decided to go with mint green, since it is another gender-neutral option. Everything I read about green made me happy. It is a cool color that promotes tranquility, harmony and calmness. All good things for a baby and growing child! Think about being in nature and how serene it can be when there are plants and vegetation all around you. This just made sense for us, and it was a very easy decision once we did our research.


This is always a popular choice, as white gives you the flexibility to change up the accessories in a room at any time. White is clean, pure and innocent, but research has shown it promotes secretiveness. It’s also unforgiving when it comes to dirt and stains, so if you are a clean freak like me, stay away from using all white. If you do want to keep the base of the room white, just be sure to throw in some punches of color.


I’m a fan of grey, since so many accents pair well with it. In fact, the majority of our home is a very pale grey because I change my mind so often. This allows me to switch up my decor when I get bored with a room, and I don’t have to change the paint color. Grey promotes deep thought and emotion but can also bring on sadness and loneliness, so mix in plenty of brighter colors here as well.


Many people choose a shade of brown for their nursery, because it is the perfect warm neutral, and there are so many options with accessories, just like with white and grey. Stick with a lighter shade of brown like a sand or beige, and your design options will be endless.


With all of this information about color psychology out there, you have plenty of opportunities to research and find a shade that will make everyone in your family happy.

DiningRoom_Peyton_Green (4)Want to hear more from Peyton? You can check back in with her on our blog and watch her Behind the Design videos on our YouTube page.

Also, be sure to catch Peyton on her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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