Looking for an injection of colour? There are a few important points to consider when making these decorating choices.
To start, decide how the room is to be used and the type of atmosphere you want to achieve. Your choice of colour will set the character and mood of the space.
Next, consider the effects of the natural light you have. Three important aspects to think about are; the time of day you are likely to use the room most; the size of the natural light source; orientation of the room. Watch out for our next blog to find out more about how light and the orientation of the room will impact your colour scheme.
There are two ways in which we look at colour:
- Intellectually – this is us coordinating colours logically using colour scheming.
- Psychologically – using emotional responses to select colour.
Any psychological response to colour is an individual experience, it is essentially based upon how we feel about a particular colour. An emotional reaction will often arise from memories, this can therefore create a very personal response.
Colour can work wonders in enhancing our mood, however it is important not to forget that each colour has its advantages and disadvantages. Often using too much of a particular colour can intensify its negative effects.
We have broken down the effects of the most popular colours for interior design:
Blue represents serenity, intelligence and protection. These qualities mean blue is a great accent for offices, it is believed to lead to increased success and great achievements. Due to its obvious association with water, blue is often used in kitchens and bathrooms. Too much blue can quickly become cold and unwelcoming. A good way to avoid this is to balance the blue with colours with warm undertones, for example yellows and creams.
Nature, balance and harmony are all associated with this earthy colour. Particularly restful are pale greens – which pair well with accents of blue and turquoise. Green is frequently used in bedrooms due to its natural calming effect, however as the common phrase “green with envy” suggests, large doses of this colour can incur feelings of jealousy.
Representing energy, happiness and creativity, yellow is the best colour to create enthusiasm. This colour can also awaken greater confidence and optimism. It’s association with sunshine provides yellow with the ability to appear as a light source in its own right. As with most colours, using too much yellow can have an adverse effect, inducing fear and anxiety. It is known that babies may cry more in yellow rooms so it is best avoided in bedrooms in general. On the other hand, yellow accents are perfect for producing sunny kitchens and bathrooms.
The energizing colour orange represents reassurance and warmth. As a result of its motivational qualities, this cheerful social colour is often using in gyms and by active wear brands. Orange also carries a glow that can be used to good effect in north facing rooms. Despite this, it is advised to use this colour with discretion in order to create an atmosphere of vivaciousness, spontaneity and liveliness! Bear in mind that over large areas, orange can appear overpowering.
The colour of passion, power, optimism and adventure. Red has the longest wavelength of all the colours meaning it overrules all other colours. The attention grabbing colour not only stimulates the brain it also increases the heart rate. Along with the ability to stimulate appetite and conversation, red is a great choice for dining rooms. Its romantic nature means it is a popular choice for bedrooms. The benefits of red don’t stop there, this hue flatters the skin therefore it is an excellent background for rooms that are used for social occasions.
With connotations of calm, sweetness and love, pink is an enchanting colour to use in bedrooms. Its soothing properties are able to counteract anger and violence. Nevertheless, pink still has its disadvantages when used in excess – this colour can also cause emotional claustrophobia. Don’t be scared, it can easily be balanced with the use of black and grey. Fun Fact – pink is the only tint colour with its own name!
Representing creativity and mystery, the heavenly lilac is proven to be the most spiritual colour. For a calming space, try using lilac in a bathroom or bedroom. However, remember that too much lilac can promote feelings of depression so add some brighter tones to prevent this.
Black is a colour that implies sophistication, formality and protection. This strong hue provides a space with protective barriers as it absorbs energy and conceals identity. On the other hand, within some schemes, black can also be used to highlight specific aspects of a room. Evoking a sense of sophistication and glamour, black truly is a classic. The powerful colour can cause depression and a negative environment if used too much. Correct use of black can create a dramatic atmosphere without being oppressive.
This mature colour brings with it a sense of independence and alongside it being said that it promotes productivity, grey is a popular choice for offices. Grey is extremely trendy at the moment, mostly due to its versatility, this hue has the ability to work well in any setting. Although due to its absence of colour, grey can be suppressive. With certain undertones, grey can be dull, leading to a lack of energy within the space. As a contrasting bright yellow works wonderfully with grey.
White represents sophistication, purity and simplicity. White has the ability to visually create the illusion of space and height – this is because of its reflective qualities. When used against other colours, white will cause them to appear fresh and clean. The disadvantage to white is that if it is used in large quantities it can be a strain to look at. It can also be perceived as sterile and unfriendly.
Being softer, warmer and more mellow than black, brown can be used as a good neutral base. This colour implies naturalness and comfort, being a hue often found in nature and associated with earth it carries a sense of security and stability. This also means brown can easily create a rustic effect. Brown is a very solid colour often favoured for male interior design, this is mostly because of its strength and maturity as a neutral.
Bare in mind that each colour will look different in every space, so do get samples to ensure your chosen colour create the room you desire.