Warm and Cool Colours: How to Use Them in the Home

by | Mar 2022

Looking at a colour can have a really profound effect on us! How many times have we felt melancholy when looking at the dark blue of the sea, or suddenly happy and energetic when looking at the explosion of colours in a flower meadow? This is because our brain associates each colour with a specific mood and this influences our mood, concentration and energy.

Colours can therefore be divided into warm colours and cool colours, depending on their temperature and the effect they have on us.

Let’s find out how to use them at home!

oggetto decorativo lezard

Why do two colours, placed side by side, sing? Can this really be explained?

Itten Chromatic Circle

The leading exponent of colour classification is certainly Johannes Itten.

With the circle that bears his name, he explained the categories, complementary colours and combinations of cold and warm colours.

The circle is made up of: a central triangle containing the three primary colours (yellow, red, blue); three other triangles connected to the first with the three secondary colours, created by combining the primary colours (orange, violet, green); an outer circle containing the primary colours, the secondary colours and the six tertiary colours created by combining the primary and secondary colours.

Looking at the circle now, it is easy to understand and identify which colours are warm and which are cold: yellow to red are warm, violet to green are cold.


Cerchio cromatico di Itten
Lampada a sospensione Dorian

Warm Colours

The three main warm colours are yellow, red and orange.

They are the colours of the sun, fire and warmth, which is why they have always been associated with passion and power.

Warm colours are mainly used in rooms in the home that are dynamic and productive, so they are ideal in the dining room and kitchen, for example.

It has been shown that warm colours not only make people more likely to be in a good mood (e.g. yellow or orange at breakfast time can get the day off to a good start), but can also go some way to stimulating the appetite and metabolism.

Using these colours in other areas of the house can also give a unique character, for example giving an energetic touch to a neutral area such as the bathroom.

Cool Colours

The main cool colours are green, blue and violet.

Several studies have confirmed that these colours have a relaxing effect on the observer, transmitting emotions such as peace, tranquillity and gentleness.

It is therefore advisable to use cool colours in rooms where these feelings are most important, especially in the bedroom.

Using blues and greens in the bedroom can help you sleep better, creating a relaxing and sleep-friendly environment.

This colour palette can also be used effectively in environments where calm and concentration are important, and is therefore suitable for rooms such as a study or open-plan work space.

Lampada a sospensione Elisabeth
Lampada a sospensione Brenda


It is of fundamental importance to find the right balance between colours and, why not, to give oneself a space where one can dare with the most daring combinations.

In fact, using a mix of warm and cold colours can make an environment particularly original, for example combining a blue wall with elements and accessories in warm colours.

It is also possible to experiment and find the right balance in already neutral environments, such as the bathroom or the kitchen.

In the kitchen, for example, you could combine yellow or red lights with a wall tending towards grey, to ensure both the energy of yellow and the relaxation of grey.

The important thing in these cases is always to study in detail the space available and its lighting: once defined the starting point, space to your taste and imagination!

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