Use your hues to convey emotion


Veterinary architect Wendy Wheeler offers tips to jazz up a room in your practice.


Red: Brave and bold, red can increase the heartrate and induce rapid breathing.

Orange: A happy color; combines the forthrightness of red and the cheerfulness of yellow.

Yellow: Raises spirits and brings a sense of joy. Exposure to intense shades raises anxiety.

Use a warm color:

  • To add vibrancy.

  • In north-or east-facing rooms with little natural light.


Blue: Encourages thought and contemplation, but can have a depressive effect if overused.

Violet: Joins contrasting feelings of liveliness and calmness; can imply tension and ambiguity.

Green: Signifying life, freshness, and harmony, green is commonly used in restful spaces.

Use a cool color:

  • For a calming effect.

  • For west-or south-facing rooms with lots of light.


White: Associated with purity and cleanliness, but may suggest emptiness or boredom.

Black: Represents strength and formality; negative associations of emptiness and death.

Beige: Often used to accent colors, beige functions well as a background for bold artwork.

Use a neutral color:

  • In moderation.

  • For a modern (white) or sophisticated (black) look.
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