Colour Therapy


I’m not sure if it’s summer’s approach here in New Zealand, but my love of all things colour is on the upswing and I can’t stop looking at images on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that are bold with punchy blues, pinks, reds, yellows, and more. Does this happen to you guys, too? This drive led me to wonder what it is about colour that influences our emotions so.

Goethe_Schiller_Die_TemperamentenroseThe psychology of colour has long been studied with Goethe and Schiller in the late 18th century creating the “Rose of Temperaments”, a diagram that matches twelve colours to human occupations or their character traits, grouped in the four temperaments:

  • choleric (red/orange/yellow): tyrants, heroes, adventurers;
  • sanguine (yellow/green/cyan) hedonists, lovers, poets;
  • phlegmatic (cyan/blue/violet): public speakers, historians, teachers;
  • melancholic (violet/magenta/red): philosophers, pedants, rulers.

In recent times, colour has been heavily used to market brands and consumer choices. Of course gender, age, and culture are a heavy influence on the colour choices an individual makes. As do the climactic zones cultures live in. It is noticeable that the tropics tend to favour bold and bright primary colours whereas the temperate regions are often teasingly accused of wearing and using too much white, grey, and black.

Colours can brighten a dull and dreary day and bring a smile to our face when we glance at bright towels, cushions, an article of clothing, buildings. The ancient and beautiful doors of Northern Africa, Middle East and India, draw so many people in. These colours evoke the spicy senses of sight, smell, sound of the souks, markets, and ancient cities of these countries:


Blue Door 2

Green Door 1Jodhpur door

Mellow colours influence me greatly, too. These summery popsicles in washed out greens and peach, cocktails in soft pinky rose, fresh-cut fruits in grapefruit, orange, and lime make me thirst for a gin and tonic on a perfect deck surrounded by home and interior design magazines:

Mixed colour 2

Mixed colour 4

Mixed colour 1

Then there are the neutrals. These provide a stable yet still energizing shot of colour which may be a backdrop to punchier hues or can stand in their own glory:

Natural tones 4

Natural tones 2


Can’t wait for summer to be here so I can get out on my deck in my teak daybed with colourful throws and cushions and plenty of coffee or summery drinks and foods!

(*images not mine – source: Pinterest and Wikipedia)

Scandinavian Winter Dreaming


I love it when winter appears around the corner and our sense of what we like to see in colour, texture, and warmth naturally begin to change.

I think this is why I am being drawn to white palettes with smatterings of wood-grain greys and browns, some texture in the form of a sheepskin rug thrown over a mid-century chair or a softly-woven and faded ikat rug.  I have in mind a Scandinavian winter and see myself curled up by the fire with friends and mugs of hot cocoa and stacks of good magazines and books.

Scandi Winter 1Scandi Winter 6

My current office consists of a funky, worn 1970’s styled solid wood table with cool lines, placed in front of my large ranch slider windows and overlooking a vibrant orange garden.  I am trying to source some shaggy Icelandic sheepskin rugs, however, for warmth and comfort and something very lovely to look at:

Scandi Winter 2Scandi Winter 3

I’m normally a gal more for bold colours so I am surprised to find myself so attracted to the pales and whites these days.  I wonder if this happens to any of you – do your colour palettes change with the seasons?  I am still loving pops of soft and feminine pinks like this lovely polkadot glass filled with soft pink peonies.

Scandi Winter 4

Winter can be a good time to “zen-down”, as my sister calls it, too.  I’m finding myself clearing out the old items I never look at or don’t use anymore, to be donated to the thrift shops where someone else can make use of them.  I find myself much more able to generate a calm sense of presence when I’m not tripping over bags of magazines I never read, a stack of old towels I may eventually use to dry off my dogs, or those beat up old shoes I may just “one day” wear.

Once I finish my clearing out, I will have room for pretty items like this simple cut-glass bowl vase filled with simple spring buds in the palest of pinks. I hope that day comes soon!

Scandi Winter 5