Colours to inspire creativity

If you're in charge of renovating a space where creativity is encouraged – whether it's a school, art studio or home office – you may want to think about the best paint colours to use to stimulate the imagination.

Psychologists and researchers have long linked certain colours to different reactions within the human brain. A University of British Columbia study, released in 2009, found that the colour blue encourages people to think creatively.

Juliet Zhu, the study's author, believes that the colour's associations with the ocean, sky and water encourage people to associate the colour with openness and tranquillity. In turn, this peaceful feeling allows individuals to feel safe about being artistic.

If you want to add a touch of blue to your work space, a shade such as Resene Aquarius could be a great option. It would work well as a feature wall when contrasted with more neutral shades of white or grey, or could be applied to furniture to spruce up a room quickly and affordably.

If you are using a lot of the shade in your space, look for a blue with a warm undertone to stop the room from looking too cold.

Another colour found to stimulate creative juices is green. A study called Fertile Green: Green Facilitates Creative Performance found that volunteers who viewed green images produced more creative results than those who viewed images in other colours.

The study linked the increase in creativity to the perception of green as a colour of growth. However, too much green can make people feel complacent or increasingly laid back, so break it up with other colours to avoid it from having a negative effect in your workplace.

Resene Spirulina would be a great choice for home office or study renovations. It's not too bright, has a soft finish and would work well with other neutral shades such as Resene Caraway.

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