Choosing the best paint color for your home is easy. You already have a general idea of what colors you like and which ones will make a personal statement.
Paint will transform your home into something out of a magazine. The right color will relax you or brighten up a room. It’s all based on your tastes.
But choosing office paint colors is completely different. You may love the color lavender but that doesn’t mean it should be on your accounting firm’s walls, right? Or should it?
In this article, we’ll go over how to choose the best paint colors for your office, so you get the aesthetic you want and the productivity from your employees you expect.
How to Choose the Best Office Paint Colors
A study back in 2012 focused on the effects of hospital paint colors found white gives off a “clinical appearance.” It makes people feel intimidated and unwelcome. Instead, your office color should be subtle.
But what exactly does that mean exactly?
Most people grow up associating bright colors with energy, but it turns out they may not represent the right energy. For instance, a psychology study at the University of Rochester found red increases the speed and intensity of emotions. Red makes us feel as if everything is urgent, which leads to anxiety and worry.
Not very ideal for a productive office environment, is it? But it is ideal for sales, which is why retail outlets use the color red in their sale and clearance signs. People see the signage and think, “I must have this now!”
Intense hues like gem-colored greens and blues are great for energy but that’s not helpful if you work in an office where there’s a lot of thinking or collaborating involved. For example, emerald green could help you lose focus.
It’s not only the color itself that affects your mood and behavior, the intensity (saturation) of the color affects you as well.
The Different Effects of Colors on Mood
Famed color psychologist Angela Wright developed the Color Affects System. Ms. Wright set out to prove there was a correlation between colors and human behavior. In 1984, she wrote the Wright Theory after years of studying colors and their effect on humans’ mood and behavior.
To this day, psychologists use her theory and the Color Affects System as the benchmark of color psychology. Using the four primary colors, Ms. Wright concluded:
The color blue stimulates the mind, leading to more productivity. The hues of the blue color palette are ideal for staying focused in repetitive industries. Accounting offices often use blue paint colors to increase productivity and keep their employees focused.
As mentioned, red evokes a sense of urgency, so for physical jobs like construction, red will stimulate their energy levels.
Yellow stimulates emotion, which makes it an ideal color for creative industries. It also evokes feelings of happiness and can brighten spirits.
We may think of green as the color of money, and in a way it is. Green is all about balance, calmness, and reassurance. So if you work in the financial industry, green works well at your office color.
When you mix two primary colors together, the effects of those colors mesh into the secondary color.
For example, orange combines the happiness of yellow with the passionate energy of red. It’s said that orange will increase the oxygen supply to your brain.
Purple combines red’s energy and blue’s productivity. It’s associated with royalty and power. A light purple, like a lavender, works in spas and in feminine designs.
10 Colors That Work Best for Your Office
Now that you may have an idea of what works before for your particular industry, we’ve got 10 suggestions for the best colors for your office.
While we’re giving you the general color hue, we also list particular paint colors and brands. Many different paint manufacturers have “like” colors, so these ideas are by no means a recommendation. They’re only given as a tangible color suggestion.
White may have a clinical appearance, but a soft off-white, like Pointing by Farrow & Ball in an eggshell finish will soften the look of true white. It’s easy to decorate and design around, given its warmth yet clean appearance.
If you like the clean look of pure white and know that’s what you want, try a shade like Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. This is a nice shade if you’re adding a bright and intense accent color.
2. Teal/Light Blue
Because teal is a combination of blue and green, it can turn any workspace into a productivity machine. It’s important to be careful as not to have too much of one over the color. The brightness and intensity are also important for the desired effect.
St. John Blue by Benjamin Moore goes well in a professional setting like a lawyer’s office. It’s a soft teal with a touch of gray
Gray falls between black and white which gives off a neutral mood. There are different hues and shades of gray which evoke different psyches. Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore is very subtle but could make your employees, clients, or yourself feel a little melancholy.
4. Light Blue
A soft light blue like Ralph Lauren’s Salisbury Point will calm your surroundings and give off a peaceful vibe. This is a good choice for a private doctor’s office, especially a specialist, who deal with nervous patients daily.
In the corporate world, blue-grays can feel clean and give a boost to a backdrop. Silver Mist by Benjamin Moore will give off a professional vibe and at the same time not be too moody.
Brown works very well in a space that needs to feel powerful and strong. Coupled with rich wood office furniture, Wainscot by Farrow & Ball will also give off a nice warmth. Tudor Brown by Benjamin Moore in eggshell is also a masculine yet warm brown.
7. Pastel Yellow
If you’re in a creative industry, a pastel yellow like Butter Regal Matte by Benjamin Moore will get your creativity flowing. This yellow is soft with a touch of gold which makes it easy to accent with whites or browns.
Purple has many shades on its palette but going with something like Benjamin Moore’s Charmed Violet is a great choice for a feminine space like a salon.
If you want your space to be a little louder, try Delicious Berry by Behr. If you want a softer purple, Behr’s Zephyr is perfect for a calming yet regal feel.
A rich, dark, velvety green like Farrow & Ball’s Mere Green is perfect for healthcare and financial industries. Going brighter or darker will alter the mood of the room.
Anytime you’re looking at greens, keep in mind the way the light will hit it. A lime green may be a little too blinding if your space has a lot of windows.
Painting all four walls orange may be a little too much intensity but accenting one wall with an orange like Baja Orange by Ralph Lauren Paints may be the perfect remedy for low-energy afternoons.
In all these suggestions, adding accent colors complements the room’s aesthetic. Choosing the best paint colors for window trim is important too so be sure to compare the different paint swatches for the best color combinations.
Home Office Tips
In general, painting your home office is a little different than painting a professional office space.
For starters, this is inside your home. If you can’t stand the color yellow there are not enough promises of a happy, creative workspace that will get you to change your mind.
In some cases, people who work from a home office feel like keeping the wall colors neutral is best. They opt to add an accent wall or paint the trim a different color.
Others prefer a revamped workspace without any correlation to the rest of the colors in the house. This helps them to focus on work and not get tempted by personal comfort.
Balance in a home office is important. If you paint your walls a sky blue, don’t use a similar blue for the trim or an accent wall. Break it up a bit with white stripes.
Yellows and blues work well together if you choose the right shades and finishes. For example, Old Navy walls and Sunburst (both by Benjamin Moore) accents will calm and brighten your mood at the same time. Throw in a bit of red and you’ll kick your energy level up a notch too.
Best Prices, Best Service, Best Guarantee
Choosing the best office paint colors may be a little easier now that you know what to look for and avoid. So, now what?
Depending on the size of your office and if you’re going with a custom paint color, it may be best to let the pros handle it.
At Scott Brown Painting, we have more than 40 years experience in the paint industry. We offer superior customer service, high-quality workmanship, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
We’re open seven days a week to fit your schedule, so contact us today and let us provide you with an estimate.