The importance of colour in the nursery school environment

 September 21, 2016   |   comments

Colour isn’t just an afterthought – it became an integral part of our identity and experience – thanks to the help of behaviour and colour specialist, Catherine Shovlin. This is a short journey into our experience with Catherine.

1. Who we are
We were very clear that we were collaborators and wanted to embody life long learning from the very young to the mature.  The Early Years curriculum is about self managed learning and we want the building to somehow represent that.  In Early Years that is done in the layout so we needed colours to match it. Catherine introduced us to the different colour shades.  That each colour means something.  She matched our collaborative approach to the right tonal shades.  We trusted this so much when we saw it – we changed the colours on our logo!

 2. What our values are
We wanted our BeBright Bunnies to PLAY, DO and LEARN.  We believe if a child feels loved and nurtured they feel empowered and free to play and learn.  We wanted the colours to make the children that come to our nursery feel loved, nurtured, calm and ready to learn.

3. What’s our logo and how do they link?
So our logo had a black background, white lettering and three colours as the pictorial representation  orange, yellow and red.  What we learnt is that black represented control and we were collaborators –  so we changed it to an olive green colour – in keeping with the tonal shades that represented who we were.  The orange, yellow and red colours were tweaked to be in the same colour band.

4. What colour then?
When it came to the colour on the walls we wanted to keep this tonal journey consistent and to work with them to create the right atmosphere for the babies and children. Our main colour was green to represents calmness. Then we chose splashes of a blush pink.  We weren’t sure on the swatch of colour but when we put it on the wall we fell in love with it. Literally.  We could feel how the colour changes your mood. In the reading and learning corner we put blue.  And in the more adult areas we put the darker orange and blue.  Orange for stimulation in the kitchen; blue for idea generation in the staff toilet!

5. What feeling does it bring
I then found out that Catherine had worked on the colours for a children’s autism centre in a hospital and had chosen a similar blue to ours.  I was now understanding the magic colour can do to create an experience in our environment. Different areas stimulate different feelings due to the colours.

6. The benefits that keep giving
When you refurbish a space and throw cash at it, it is a labour of love.  When you start painting – that love starts coming to life – like in the movies when it went from black and white to colour. The huge benefit for me was knowing we had thought deeply about the environment we wanted the children to be part of. That the colours we chose underpinned our values and ethos.  This gives you huge confidence in your choices.  This confidence is also not only a gut feel but a feeling backed up with scientific and logical facts.  A marvellous combination.

Although I never want to paint a wall again in my life – I now truly know the value of choosing the right colour.

7. Proof will be in the reaction
Catherine told me a story when she saw a set of brochures a company put out and she told them which brochure would sell and which wouldn’t, based only on the colours.  They were sceptical about her assessment; until they checked against their sales figures and saw they matched her assessment perfectly.

We had a long waiting list even before we officially opened.  We truly believe the colours we chose had a part to play in how parents felt about BeBright Bunnies.  Our passion is on the walls – for all to see and feel.  We can’t wait to see how the kids react and show them nurture, calmness, and learning in action.

About Our nursery


BeBright Bunnies is a 35-space nursery for 6 month olds to 5 year olds. It is located at the Telegraph Hill Centre in a newly designed space above the Hill Station Cafe. Read more >

Cost and Registration

The nursery is open 51 weeks of the year from 8am – 6pm (optional early start from 7:30am or late pick-up till 6:30pm are a chargeable extra) . Please specify your preferred times using our enquiry form >