Have you ever wondered why some of us love rich, fiery and intense colours while others prefer a muted or pastel palette? Whilst most people will profess to ‘love colour’, what that means to each and every one of us is something totally unique. Why is this? Why do we respond so differently to so many colours? The answer lies in colour psychology.
Rebecca Randall, our guest colour psychology expert kindly offered some insight. We asked her advice on choosing the right interior colour palette for your home.
Do colours really affect us?
We live in a world made up of a myriad of wonderful colours. Colour affects us on every level: emotionally, physically and mentally. Colour is the first thing that our brain registers before, shapes or words or texture. The part of our brain that registers colour is in the limbic system which is the part that handles our emotional responses. So in this sense colour is emotion.
By finding out how colours affect us we can learn to use them to positive effect to create a harmonious home. Understanding the psychology of colour enables us to use colours to encourage certain moods, induce a feeling of well being and also provoke particular behaviours.
Can a colour influence different people in different ways?
Each of us has our own distinct colour and design personality and once we know how to tap into our authentic self then we can begin to understand the immense power of colour. We are all influenced by Colour Association, Colour Symbolism and Colour Psychology. Although there are universal responses to colour our personal experience and culture make our responses to various colours unique. The psychology of colour relates to its meaning and effect on us and is different down to each tone and shade of the colour.
Is there a particular colour that most people like?
Blue is universally stated to be a favourite colour, but for each person it will be a different shade or tone of blue from, dark navy, teal, turquoise, royal blue, indigo, to sky blue: all are blue, but so different and as such create a different mood. Every colour has both a negative and positive quality depending on how it is used in combination with other colours. Understanding that we can change how we feel in a space by using colour is key to creating a scheme that has positive effects. Getting this balance wrong can result in the negative effects dominating.
As an interior designer, what the key to choosing the right colour palette?
Broadly speaking there are 4 tonal colour groups and we fall into one of these: spring, summer, autumn, winter. This is not to be confused with the personal colour systems used by many Colour Houses i.e. House of Colour. The key to successful interior design is to ensure that you understand the personality of the client and the mood and behaviours they wish to evoke. Many designers have a ‘signature’ style but this more often than not reflects the personality of the designer rather than that of the client. To create a home that feels authentic to the client a designer must learn about the personality of the client and their family or those people who will be using the space.
All of this can be achieved through the careful application of Colour Psychology. Whether the room is used for relaxation or socialising the colours chosen will affect the people who spend time in that space. The key is choosing colours that evoke the response that you desire.
This ‘hammam’ cloakroom below was designed for a client who had lived in Southern Spain as a child and wanted to evoke a feeling of uplift and energy resonating with the memories of her past. She wanted her guests to feel excited, a sense of fun and energized which was why the yellow and turquoise were used.
This board was created for a client who wanted to create a relaxed, chilled out TV room and kitchen but with a bit of ‘zing’ for the kitchen. The lime was the colour that provided the zing against the subdued grey , the green the colour of balance and harmony.
Rebecca will be running an Understanding Colour Workshop on May 11th at @canvaspace in Tunbridge Wells. More info via rebeccarandall.co.uk or email@example.com
Finding the right interior designer
The key to a successful interior design scheme is good research and planning and it’s wise to get a designer involved as early as possible to help with this. Choosing the right one for your project is a critical first step, but we know that finding the right one can be a bit of a minefield. This is exactly why we created this website in the first place! Register your project below and we’ll help you to find the right person for your project in no time…
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