Colour is the first thing anyone remembers about anything they see. It shapes spaces more than any other physical object. If a designer wishes to control the context and identity of a surrounding, playing with colours is the most effective differentiator.
"With colour one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft." ~Henri Matisse
The French artist stood as the explorer of how colours are a powerful tool of expression in the rather black and white constructive world. The comprehension of character and spatial hierarchy can be optimised with a careful curation of colours. Colours have a subservient influence on how a person feels psychologically and they express themselves.
Below is a brief description of how each of these colours controls perceptions in architecture.
Red is a striking colour noticeable from a distance without any ambiguity. The colour attracts immediate attention. It is considered the most vibrant colour on the spectrum. It is the strongest of all other warm colours and therefore has a strong influence on changing a space. It may come across as compact and stimulating.
Effect- Exciting, Stimulating
Association Positive- Passionate, Fervid, Active, Strong, Warm
Association Negative- Intense, Aggressive, Raging, Fierce, Bloody
Ceiling- Intruding, Disturbing, Heavy
Walls- Aggressive, Advancing
Floor- Conscious, Alert
Marigold, Oranges, Celebrations-The first colour that comes to mind is ORANGE which evokes an emotion of friendliness, social, and cheerful joy. Orange has a similar feel that yellow instils without being dominating. It is ideal for making subtle announcements in a space. The mexican cultural embrace orange and rejoices it on every occassion.
Effect- Exciting, Stimulating, Cheering
Association Positive- Lively, Energetic, Extroverted
Association Negative- Intrusive, Blustering
Ceiling- Stimulating, Attention-Seeking
Walls- Warm, Luminous
Floor- Lively, Motion-Oriented
Whenever yellow colour is perceived, the first image that comes to mind is a smiley face. Thus, conforming psychologically to being the happiest colour associated with joy and celebration. This colour forms a focal point in the interior against other hues, get your statement ornamentation in yellow, and it is sure to do the job.
Association Positive- Sunny, Careful, Radiant, Vital
Association Negative- Egocentric, Glaring
Ceiling- Light (Towards Lemon), Luminous Stimulating
Walls- Warm (Towards Orange), Exciting To Irritating (Highly Saturated)
Floor- Elevating Diverting
The green grass, leaves and trees- this colour dwells in the heart of nature, most relaxing and refreshing for any tired soul. It is apt for the living room and the dining, helping a person unwind. It also has healing properties; thus, lightly coloured green elements in the areas used for spiritual mediations will benefit the most. The darker shades like blue can be imposing on the quietude. Allowing elements of biophilia in your surroundings adds thefreshness you are looking for.
Effect- Retiring, Relaxing
Association Positive- Tranquil, Refreshing, Quiet, Natural
Association Negative- Common, Tiresome, Guilty
Ceiling- Protective reflection on the skin can be unattractive
Wall- Secure, Calm, Reliable, Passive, Irritating If Glaring (Electric green)
Floor- Natural (If not too saturated), Soft, Relaxing, Cold (If towards blue)
We all fell in love with blue as we gaze upon the azure sky. This colour evokes the feeling of hope and coolness. It is the most liked colour, even if it is associated with being cold and unemotional. Light shades of blue are pleasing and restful, while the dark shades establish authority. Staring at blue calms the human body; thus, it is perfect for the bedroom. The blue colour also makes a space appear larger.
Effect- Retiring, Relaxing
Association Positive- Calm, Sober, Secure, Comfortable, Noble
Association Negative- Frightening, Depressing, Melancholy, Cold
Ceiling- Celestial, Cool, Residing (If light), Heavy and Oppressive (If Dark)
Walls- Cool and Distant (If Light) Encouraging and Space Deepening (If Dark)
Floor- Inspiring, Feeling of effortless movement (If Light), Substantial (If Dark)
Subdued yet popping to bring out a unique identity of the space. Purple is an unconventional choice, but it does balance the neutrality of the surrounding. Mauve, lilac, lavender, and violet are some variations that can be applied. Dark Purple can bring in sadness and frustration due to its intriguing depth.
Association Positive- Dignified, Exclusive
Association Negative- Lonely, Mindful, Pompous, Conceited
Ceiling- Disconcerting, Subduing
Walls- Heavy, Overpowering
Floor- Fleeting, Magical
Pink, regardless of having a huge association with feminism, is rather a very soothing colour for anyone who fancies it. Adding pink to your interior palette makes the room look spacious. Pink has a very contemporary vibe which is unmissable.
Effect- Lively (Bubble-Gum Pink), Calming (Light Pink)
Association Positive- Lively, Calming, Intimate
Association Negative- Too Sweet, Weak
Ceiling- Comforting, Delicate
Walls- Aggression, Inhibiting, Intimate, Too sweet if not greyed down
Floor- Too delicate not used very often
Mocha, latte, cappuccino, light and dark chocolate- Yum, isn’t it? Let’s add these elements to your interiors. Serious yet down-earth colour reflects comfort and protection. It is pleasing to look at and brings one close to nature. Brown is minimalism wrapped with classic chic.
Association Positive- Warm, Secure, Stable
Association Negative- Oppressive, Heavy
Ceiling- Oppressive and Heavy (If Dark)
Walls- Secure and Assurance (If would be much less so if painted)
Floor- Steady, Stable
White is the most elegant colour to employ in your interiors to make them look chic. It is the most popular choice because white works with everything. The colour easily pairs up with other colours while adding brightness. White colour has a special characteristic to maximise the light entering the room. It elevates the space along with the occupant’s mood.
Association Positive- Clean, Crisp, Bright
Association Negative- Empty, Sterile
Ceiling- Empty with no design objections, Helps diffuse light sources, Reduces shadow
Walls- Neutral to empty, Sterile without energy
Floor- Touch inhibiting not be walked upon
Gray is neither black nor white, absent of colours drawing little to no attention. It fits right in with industrial style interiors. Grey doesn't have any identity or a personality of its own, it harmoniously resonates with its surrounding setting, and is versatile ranging from tranquillity to edgy.
Effect- Neutral to Calming
Association Positive- Neutral
Association Negative- Boring
Walls- Neutral to Boring
Black is a combination of all colours creates an allure of mystery. It boldly adds drama to the interior setting. When mixed with white, the surroundings lean towards sophistication. Black has a flair for balancing the shades with contrast. Keep a check on how much black is used, can have an overpowering influence.
Association Positive- Deep, Abstract
Association Negative- Dungeon-Like, Night, Grief, Death
Ceiling- Hollow to Oppressive
Walls- Ominous, Dungeon-Like
Floor- Odd, Abstract
The relation of colour with emotions aligns with the perception of colour and the surrounding,along with an individuals emotions. Different colours can be used as per a person's preferences. Yellow isnt a highly prefered, Orange near the dining area booasts appetite. Purples, blues and greens calm the interiors. Pink, brown perfect for work spaces. Some black in the kitchen to add character and whites work everywhere.
Colours are personal and subjective- Explore your unique colour palette. What's your favourite colour scheme? Comment below.