What are happy colours?

Happy colours in a home can brighten your decor or mood. Use happy colours to decorate your kitchen, bathroom or lounge.

Happy colors for the home

Everyone has their own palette preference, but some hues are actually said to make us feel better than others. You can use these “happy colours” in your wardrobe or in your home — in fact, these warmer, brighter tones are expected to set the interior decorating and fashion trends for 2012. Watch the precise hue you choose, however, as even muted tones of joyful colours can make you miserable.

Tangerine Tango

How fun does this colour sound? Pantone Colour Institute® has deemed this reddish-orange hue its colour of the year. The international company describes its choice as an appropriate mood-booster, given continued economic concerns around the world.

“Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute®.

How to use it: This shade is bold, and the Pantone experts expect it to subtly affect design trends. Try painting one wall this colour, or grab an orange throw rug for your lounge room. Orange is also a natural complement to green and blue, so try this pair for your bathroom towels or kitchen table scheme.

Bright as sunshine

It will probably come as no surprise that yellow is another “happy colour,” and one expected to appear in homes throughout 2012. The hue of sunshine, daffodils and lemonade stimulates the brain, making you more alert and decisive. It can also help you get organized and be diplomatic in handling others’ viewpoints. But don’t paint your walls a Dijon mustard yellow — dull yellows and yellow-greens can evoke overwhelming feelings. Choose a bright and cheery yellow.

How to use it:  Brighter yellows work well with darker blues — consider yellow walls with a cobalt blue rug, or try the same pairing with a couch and pillows. Better Homes and Gardens gives examples of painting a kitchen ceiling yellow or using yellow and white stripes to elongate a room.

Pantone HoneysuckleTickle me pink

Positive and spring-like, pink has the ability to make people calm and content. Honeysuckle was actually Pantone’s 2011 colour of the year, but it’s still expected to be a presence in trends throughout 2012. The colour works because it is a blend of two other hues that can bring up less cheerful emotions on their own: red, which can be angry at times, and purple, which can be darkly mysterious. Pinks have been used to paint the walls of prisons to pacify inmates, according to Dr. Alexander Schauss, Ph.D., director of the American Institute for Biosocial Research in Tacoma, Washington.

How to use it: A bubble-gum shade of pink seems to produce the most smiles, but it can be hard to pull off. It can work as border trim in a bathroom, as a floral centrepiece for your dining room table or paired with white to offset its brightness. If you want the bright shade, try it in long candlesticks, as borders on curtains, on shams or in picture frames.

Get more color inspiration

Crushing on orange home accessories
Embracing bright colours
How to choose the right paint colour

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