It’s no secret that color can seriously affect your mood (we’ve previously explored how it can make you happier in your home, and highlighted the psychological merits of ROYGBV), but there are two colors in particular that can stimulate your creativity and productivity.

Fast Company released an article in 2015 that dove into the findings of a few studies on color. Evidently, according to this experiment out of the University of British Columbia, blues were ideal for the work environments of creatives, as the color promotes communication, trust and efficiency. In addition, since blue is naturally calming, it’s great for the workspace as it opens your mind to new ideas.

Another color proven to enhance the performance of creatives is green. The second-most abundant shade on the planet (blue is first), this low wavelength pigment promotes harmony and balance, which in turn can spur innovation, according to a study led by the University of Munich. The research team lead, Stephanie Lichtenfeld, reported that the nature-derived color “has implications beyond aesthetics” and even just a glimpse of green could trigger “the type of pure, open (mental) processing required to do well on creativity tasks.”

Top row: Can’t Find My Czechbook by OPI / Summer Regatta by Ralph Lauren / Pacific Coast Blue by Glidden

Bottom row: Bastille Blue by Glidden / Pacific Pleasure by Valspar / Whipple Blue by Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Top row: Chesterwood French Green by Valspar / New Pine by Ralph Lauren / Deep Jungle by Benjamin Moore

Bottom row: Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore / Freshwater Green by Valspar / Sweet Retreat by Clark + Kensington


Can’t paint? Give these cheats a try:

  • Is your desk or hobby spot up against (or near) a window? Curtain panels in green, blue or even red are a good substitute, as they will frame your peripheral, giving your eye (and brain) a creative boost.
  • If your office allows, try bringing in some accents for your desk (green mouse pad, a desk plant, maybe even a cork board covered in green fabric or paper.) You can also change the background of your desktop (or smartphone/tablet).
  • Furniture pieces in nature-inspired greens and soothing blues are another way to enhance productivity and creativity without painting your walls. Upcycle a wood desk and paint it a fresh Kelly green or punchy cobalt blue!