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Why do prisons, hospitals, and mental institutions use an ugly grey-green colour on the walls? Why wouldn't they use a cheerful sunshine yellow- something you'd like to see at home?
Why do they make depressing places look even more depressing? That kind of honesty we could do without!
asked in colours

vultan answers:

Probably trying to look as low-key as possible. Bright yellow walls sound headache-inducing, like being trapped inside a Jon Pertwee Dr Who set or something. If family members were gaetthered around the death-bed of a beloved relative, some may not like the decor to be distracting (or, even worse, to seem disrespectful).

In mental institutions they probably like to keep the colour scheme as calm as possible. Prisons are meant to be drab - people aren't supposed to enjoy their time in them.

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mercman99 answers:

Green and gray are noted as calming non agressive colours and are used in industry also to reduce negative mood swings.All the main body of equipment i use is either light gray or green.

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KentPDG answers:

You're right about the colors. Yellow for walls (not bright canary, but a softer tone) has been shown to have the most beneficial effects on mood and manner.

But the reason for gray-green is much more practical. Doesn't show dirt and smudges and cobwebs as much as a white, ecru, yellow, or cream wall. Hence less (read: none) cleaning is needed.

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