Create your own sanctuary: How to use colour to spark emotions in your spare room

Create your own sanctuary: How to use colour to spark emotions in your spare room

One of Pinterest’s top predicted trends for 2022 is the rise of ‘emotional escape rooms.’ When the going gets tough, you might want to escape to your own place of sanctuary. Given how much longer we’ve spent at home over the last two years, it makes sense that this sanctuary is within our own four walls.

Searches for libraries, massage rooms, at-home yoga studios, music rooms and even rage rooms are up across all ages, according to Pinterest.

But your interior will need to vary, depending on the emotion you’re trying to create. For example, did you know that pink can drain our energy, while red is actually the quickest colour read by our brain? If you want to go into a room and feel relaxed, you’ll need a different colour palette than if you want to work out. 

We’ve partnered with Furrah Syed, an abstract artist and colour specialist, to provide her top tips to help new homeowners to create your own emotional paradise in your spare room:

1 - If you want a room to relax in:

In the last three months there has been an increase in Google searches of:

  • 49% for ‘meditation room’.
  • 23% for ‘massage room’.

To have your own small place of tranquility in your home which allows you to de-stress, meditate or switch off, a relaxation room might be just what you need. According to Furrah, you should surround yourself with shades like china blue or mint greens when decorating.

“Both of these tones give off a calming energy as the vibration frequency that they emit is low,” Furrah says. “I’d also furnish your room with a similar colour palette, and avoid bright, bold colours such as reds and oranges as these will excite our senses. You can use shades of cream and beige to complement the pale blues and greens to create a calming contrast.”

Look for soft furnishings which will make you feel comfortable, such as large cushions, so you can sink into a comfy chair or sofa after a long day - giving you an immediate sense of relief and calm.

2 - If you want a room to get creative in:

In the last three months there has been an increase in Google searches of:

  • 91% for ‘guitar room’.
  • 50% for ‘art studio at home’.

Whether you’re creating music, poetry or art, if you want your surroundings to help you to feel more inspired, you should go for a couple of bright, bold shades - orange, yellow, purple or red. These colours are known to spark imagination and can evoke feelings of optimism and energy.

However, don’t use all four colours at once, as Furrah warns that this can be overwhelming:

“A carefully curated mix of two of these colours will entice your creative energies and allow your inner visionary to come alive. These shades have a high frequency of energy vibrations, meaning that your mood will become uplifted, and it’ll help you to spark ideas.”  

3 - If you want a room to let off steam in:

In the last year there has been an increase in Google searches of:

  • 311% for ‘rage room’.

It might still be a growing trend, but rage rooms are (ahem) all the rage at the moment. They’re an outlet to explore your emotions and vent in a safe, contained way.

While the immediate satisfaction can be temporary, this dedicated ‘rage’ space can help to calm you, alleviate nerves and help you to see things more clearly.

While it may sound cliché, you should go for shades of red when decorating your rage room.

Furrah says: “Red has the highest frequency of energy vibrations, and one can physically feel the heat that red exudes. It thrills us as well, which is why most theatres have red interiors to get their audiences excited. Red will help to keep your energy on a high for longer.”

4 - If you want a room to feel zen in:

In the last year there has been an increase in Google searches of:

  • 50% for “crystal room”.

Our lives move fast. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might want a place of sanctuary in your home where you can wind down and leave the stresses of modern life behind. For some, crystals can be a helpful tool for stress relief and for connecting with ourselves.

No matter why you’re drawn to crystals, you can create your own peaceful oasis which radiates ambience by going for earthy shades in your decor.

Furrah suggests this because shades like beige, oak, charcoal and burnt orange can mimic nature at its calmest state. To accompany these tones, go for hints of dusty rose, olive greens and sea blue in some of your upholstery and cushions to add a touch of tranquility and serenity.

5 - If you want a room to workout in:

In the last three months there’s been an increase in Google searches of:

  • 50% for “home gym”.
  • 49% of people searching for “home gym equipment”.

In 2020, fitness moved from gyms to our homes, and for some, there’s been no going back. It’s easier to work out when we only have to walk a few steps to our home gym, and in the long term, it’s more affordable too. 

A well-designed gym makes the prospect of a workout even more appealing. Colours and decor are fundamental for this, says Furrah.

“The most effective colour for a gym interior is red or orange - but not both. These shades can raise our blood pressure, stimulating stamina and strength. Combine your chosen shade with small doses of ocean blue, soft green and whites to increase your focus when working out.”

Elements of yellow can really help, too, as it has the ability to increase focus and motivate anyone who is working out in this environment. However, you should avoid pink in your gym.

“Research has shown that pink in an interior may drain energy and reduce aggression. Some sports teams have gone to the lengths of painting the opposing team’s lockers pink to reduce their aggression. Pink is an affective mood regulator, but too much of it can be draining,” Furrah says.

6 - If you want a room to study in:

In the last three months there’s been an increase in Google searches of:

  • 53% for “home library”.
  • 86% for “home library design”.

Surprisingly, red is also a really useful colour to have in an office setting, as it’s the quickest colour read by our brain.

“Red stimulates our energy and focus and therefore it will enhance your brain to absorb information. However, red shouldn’t be used in excess, as this can be too overwhelming and may divert its positive effects.”

Green is also a good choice, Furrah says, as it improves our vision and focus. She advises adding furniture with calming colours such as cream, beige or pistachio green as these will complement the bright shades of the red, and provide a sense of balance. Be wary of colour overload - too many bright shades can be distracting. When purchasing furniture, go for curve appeal. Softer edges help to keep us focused and reduce stress, freeing the mind.

As our spare rooms extend beyond simply having guests stay over, more and more people are looking for creative ways to use this extra space. We live in a busy world, and we all need our own safe place to go when we feel overwhelmed, need to focus or perhaps just decompress. By using Furrah’s suggested colour palettes, you can tailor a space to meet your emotional needs without having the hassle of leaving your home.

If you’re looking for a new home to create your perfect escape room in, check out your affordability with our mortgage calculator tool:


Data from Google searches was taken from Google Keyword Planner and is correct as of 15 March 2022.