This easy painting trick can make your home seem happier - even scientists agree

Your color choices impact your wellbeing – this stylish trick may be the secret you've waited for

Breakfast Room Green in a kitchen painted by Farrow & Ball
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball, Breakfast Room Green)

Color blocking is a provocative design decision, but it could be the key to a happier home – and it's backed by designers and science alike.

The method of color blocking involves using complementary shades that sit opposite each other on the color wheel (for example, pairing an organic green with a bold red hue). However, while this paint idea may seem like a bold move, the experts suggest it could be the unexpected key to better wellbeing. 

But what makes this tip so sought after in the world of psychology – and which pairing should you choose? Here's what you need to know. 

Why color blocking may improve your wellbeing – according to psychology

Farrow & Ball entryway

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'Color blocking is often seen as a bold move, but bring these into a space and be less of a clash and more harmonious than you first think,' says Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant Lee Chambers

Lee explains that there may be benefits of bringing both sides of the wheel together in one space, as it combines warmer colors (that invigorate and energize us) with cooler colors (that temper out stimulation and offer calmer confidence and stability). 

'With both colors balancing each other, it can make a space work well if you've had a good day or a bad day, and its expression can help us to feel more in tune with our equilibrium,' Lee explains. And the psychologist is not alone in his admiration for this technique. 

Lime green living room with abstract artwork

(Image credit: Little Greene)

'Whether you are looking to create an air of calmness, optimism, or creativity, the key is to unpick the psychology of color and choose shades and combinations which work together in harmony. Color blocking is a perfect method of bringing this to life,' adds Helen Shaw, the UK Director of Benjamin Moore.

The paint expert adds that this technique is more than a passing interior design trend. Instead, it can have a 'powerful impact on our emotions and wellbeing.' But which hues should you begin with?

Which shades should you pair in your home? 

Sulking Room Pink by Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Sulking Room Pink by Farrow & Ball)

While color trends come and go, Lee suggests that one color pairing is likely to bring out the best in your home. However, it's not one for the faint of heart. 

'If I'm looking to take that courageous step, I consider bringing in some warm orange to compliment a rich blue or a soft yellow tempering a vibrant purple,' he says. 

If you're not a purple and yellow enthusiast, then fear not. Helen also recommends paying homage to one of the most fashionable shades of the moment, such as sage green and pink, for a similar effect. 

colors that go with yellow bedroom

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

'Soft pastel hues such as sage greens and blush pinks pair beautifully and are a perfect entry point for adding a subtle layer of tranquil, calming color into the home,' she explains. 'At the other end of the scale, bright colors are great for delivering a dose of uplifting energy and dynamism into our lives, as we've seen with the dopamine dressing trend in the fashion world.'

Will you go bold in the name of a happier home? If anyone can convince us to play with the color wheel, it is these experts. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.