Here in Australia we are heading into the deep dark depths of winter! So that may sound a tad dramatic, but many of us struggle when the days get shorter and the temperature drops even if that is in the mild climate compared to elsewhere around the world.
Our surroundings undergo a transformative shift and the vibrant hues of summer give way to a more subdued and cosy palette. Have you ever wondered why we gravitate towards specific colours during the winter season? Well keep reading…
The influence of nature
During winter, the natural landscape undergoes a significant alteration. Trees drop their leaves, leaving a bare landscape sometimes even blanketed in snow. This change in scenery subconsciously affects our colour preferences. We tend to seek colours that harmonise with the winter landscape whether that is cool blues, crisp whites or even earthy tones that provide a sense of familiarity and serenity during the colder months.
Winter is often associated with introspection, warmth and cosiness. It’s a time when we seek comfort in our surroundings. This desire for emotional comfort translates into our colour choices. We are drawn to warmer and richer colours like warm browns and red tones or even soft neutrals that evoke feelings of warmth, security and intimacy. They create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere that helps us combat the cold and darkness of winter.
Cultural or seasonal symbolism
Some colours hold cultural or seasonal symbolism that influences colour preferences. In many western cultures, red and green are associated with Christmas and their presence during winter evokes feelings of festivity and tradition. Although in the southern hemisphere we celebrate Christmas in our summer, the growing trend to celebrate Christmas in July is because of these relationships that we associate with the time of year. We can say the same with cooler colours like icy blues and silvers that we often associate with winter as they reflect the frosty and snowy landscapes.
Colour psychology is the study of how different colours affect our mood or behaviour. There have been many studies carried out over the years on colour perception and preference can attract a particular mindset. During winter, when daylight is limited and the weather can be dreary, we tend to seek colours that uplift our spirits. Cheerful yellows and energetic oranges can help us combat those “winter blues”. In more severe cases, people may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder where a form of seasonal depression is triggered by the changing of the seasons. By creating a contrast against the cold, dark winter days and injecting a sense of vitality into our surroundings colour really does have the power to boost our mood and energy levels.
Fashion and design trends
Each year we see new colours and styles come into fashion and these heavily influence our colour choices at home. Each season, new colour palettes are introduced and find their way into our homes. As they are presented to us in clothing, home décor and accessories, our desire to keep up with these trends leads to an almost automatic acceptance of a particular tone or colour scheme.
From my office window I can see the golden leaves falling from the tree in our yard. They cover the grass, which has taken a break from the months of what seemed an unrelenting pace. The bright pink flowers have disappeared into the silvery clumps of the evergreens.
The afternoon sun is fading and the cold air is setting in. Winter is here my friends so why not have some fun with it. Surround yourself with colours and textures that make you feel warm and comfortable as we settle in for the ride.
This doesn’t mean a total redesign by the way. Changing things up for winter can be as simple as swapping a print for a mirror to bring in more light or adding some warmer tones through some cushions or throws on your lounge.
We all spend more time indoors during winter so maybe a few changes or introducing a few warmer accent colours will make your space comfortable and welcoming.
Let’s enjoy this slower season at home with our family and friends x