The colors you surround yourself with at work have a significant impact on your mood, focus, and productivity. Certain hues create a tranquil environment that reduces stress and encourages concentration, while others can be overly stimulating. When designing or decorating an office space, it’s important to consider how color choices influence employees’ mental states. The most soothing office colors promote calmness and clarity.
The Psychology of Color
Color isn’t just aesthetic – it has a real psychological influence on our brains. The wavelengths of light that compose different hues are processed by the visual cortex area of the brain, triggering chemical reactions that generate various emotional responses. While associations with color can be culture-specific, many colors provoke universal reactions. Cooler tones like blue and green are often experienced as relaxing and peaceful. Warmer shades like red and orange feel energizing and vibrant. Understanding these psychological effects allows us to strategically employ color in office spaces. The goal is to produce an environment that keeps workers focused and level-headed.
Benefits of Soothing Colors
Incorporating calming, muted shades into office décor provides many advantages for workers and their productivity:
– Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety
– Promotes concentration and focus
– Encourages problem-solving and creativity
– Improves mood and mental outlook
– Increases productivity and work effectiveness
– Reduces fatigue and feelings of burnout
– Makes work more enjoyable and satisfying
Environments with peaceful colors allow employees to get into flow states more easily. They support mental clarity, alertness and cognitive function. This translates directly into higher quality work output.
The Most Soothing Office Color Choices
Here are some of the best office color options for creating a tranquil atmosphere:
Shades like light blue, azure and turquoise evoke feelings of calm, tranquility and mental focus. Blue hues remind us of serene settings like clear skies and ocean waves. Using different shades of blue in an office provides a gently soothing backdrop for work.
Earthy green tones connect us to nature and are innately balanced and harmonizing. Greens like sage promote concentration and stimulate creativity and new ideas. Minty hues feel cool and refreshing. Greens work well paired with warm wood accents.
Soft violets and lavenders have a mild sedative effect on the mind and body. They lower stress levels and feelings of anxiety. Lavender specifically has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Light purples make lovely accent colors.
Grays create a subtle, neutral backdrop that encourages focus and allows other colors to pop. Different shades of gray can be cooling or warm depending on undertones. Light grays work well on walls, while darker grays are grounding as furniture tones.
Clean whites and beiges open up space and feel airy and ethereal. Soft creams and almond tones are soothing paired with neutral taupes and pale woods. Off-whites work well on ceilings to impart spaciousness.
|Peaceful, calm, focused
|Tranquil, balancing, renewing
|Relaxing, sedative, soothing
|Neutral, subtle, smoothing
|Open, ethereal, creamy
This table summarizes the soothing psychological qualities of the best office color options.
How To Implement Soothing Office Colors
There are endless possibilities when integrating calming colors into office spaces. Here are some key strategies:
– Paint office walls light cool blues, minty greens, violets, beiges or soft grays
– Add accent walls in deeper hues for pops of color
– Use two coordinating neutral tones on opposite walls
– Light natural hardwood tones are warm and soothing
– Try plush area rugs in blues, sage greens or lavender
– Polished concrete floors in gray and cream are relaxing
– Upholster chairs in light blues, greens and lavenders
– Wood desks and tables in oak, birch and maple
– Calming grays for file cabinets, organizers and bookshelves
– Sheer curtains in airy ecru, light grays, or subtle stripes
– Pillows, throws and accents in violets, greens and sky blues
– Table runners, lampshades, and vases for pops of color
– Vases, trays, frames and desk items in soothing ceramic glazes
– Live plants such as succulents, bamboo, ferns or palms
– Candles, essential oil diffusers, water features for multi-sensory
– Soft white bulbs for overhead office lighting
– Natural light from windows or skylights
– Gentle desk lamps in white, cream or gray
Examples of Soothing Office Color Schemes
Here are some example color schemes for serene office spaces:
Light Blue, Gray & Cream
|Cloudy Sky Blue
|Oatmeal Linen Upholstery
|Ceramic Vases, Cream Textiles
This airy blue and cream palette feels open and uplifting. Warm wood tones ground the space.
Lavender, Mint Green & White
|Sea Glass Green
|White with Lavender Pillows
|White Washed Oak
|Mint and Lavender Ceramics
Soothing lavenders and mints evoke a spa-like retreat. Crisp white maintains brightness.
Sage Green, Beige & Walnut
|Walnut Desks; Beige Chairs
|Woven Textiles, Walnut Frames
|Walnut Wood Planks
Warm wood tones contrast beautifully with relaxing green and natural hues.
Purposefully employing soothing colors in office spaces can make a dramatic difference in employees’ mood, focus and productivity. Cooler blues, greens, lavenders and airy neutrals promote tranquility and mental clarity. While bolder accent colors can add visual interest, the bulk of an office should feature restful hues. Remember to also bring in natural elements like daylight, plants and textures for a layered sensory experience. With a calming color palette and thoughtful design choices, you can create a workspace that brings out the best in your team.