How Different Colours Affect Behaviour in the Classroom

If you’ve ever looked at the psychology of colour when decorating different rooms of the house, it should be no surprise that the same can be done for the classroom. Using different colours within different settings can affect behaviour significantly, as well as improve mood and increase energy.

Whether you’re simply interested in the topic or are in charge of purchasing furniture for a school or college, we’re sharing a simple guide to show how behaviour can be impacted by the colours used in the classroom.

Colours can be incorporated by painting walls, creating colourful partitions or through the physical equipment in the classroom. Source One Consulting can help with using school furniture to create different environments and moods across the school. So, if you’re looking to create your own positive office space at home or homework space for your kids, read on to find out how each primary and secondary colour works.

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Red is passionate and energetic. When designing a room at school or in the home, red can promote interaction and participation. It’s particularly good for a music and drama studio where energy levels need to be high and positive.

That said, when used too much, red can be a little overbearing, so it’s worth bearing this in mind before painting all the walls.


Blue has a calming effect while also promoting productivity. Lighter blues are better than darker shades, as deep blues can often be linked to negativity.  Blues are ideal for libraries and study areas where quiet work and contemplation are encouraged.

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Like red, orange is warm and energetic. It’s great for communal spaces where socialising is the goal. Canteens and reception areas are great places to incorporate orange furniture or décor, but be wary when combining a number of energetic colours, as this could be overstimulating.


Green has a calming effect that provokes harmony within a learning space. It’s actually the easiest colour for the eyes to absorb, making it ideal for keeping things across the classroom easy and balanced.


Purple is often used in staffrooms, offices or classrooms for social sciences. At school, it can often provide a backdrop for contemplation and spirituality.


As with the interior, white is great for keeping a room feeling spacious and bright. But in a school filled with children, white can be pretty tricky to keep clean. It’s also a bare colour which doesn’t have the same engaging properties as warmer colours, making it less than ideal for younger children.

When choosing colours for the school setting, age, subject and energy should be considered. Having a red room for maths where students need to focus may be the wrong choice, for example.

Colour can also be influenced by age. Younger children are more often drawn to oranges and warmer colours that promote energy and engagement. Teenagers and college students, on the other hand, work better with bright, cooler shades.

The easiest way to incorporate the right colours into each classroom is through work surfaces and coloured plastic chairs. That way, furniture can easily be moved around to accommodate whatever subject, age group and energy level are needed.

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