Colour is the element of art that is produced when light, hits an object, and is reflected back to the eye: that’s the objective definition. But in design, colour has a range of attributes which are primarily subjective.
Colour is an imperative aspect of the design of interior spaces. The use of colours in interior spaces as the translation of abstract colour schemes, theories and meanings into the materials, surfaces, experience and use in a space is a complex matter requiring creativity, judgement and comes with experience.
Beginning with the general meaning of colours, the effect they have on people and ending with associating that with interior design. Interior designers know about how and when to use a certain colour to its best advantage.
In this blog, Oaklands Furniture, Design & Décor want to help you select the best colours for your home or work space. Be careful not to use your favourite colour, this may not be the right decision. In order to make people feel good, you have to learn a few characteristics of colours and the psychological elements. Colour is a form of non-verbal communication. It is not a static energy and the meaning of each colour can change from one day to the next depending on the individual – depending on what energy they are expressing at that point in time. For example, a person may choose to wear red on a particular day and this may indicate any one or more of these possible psychological meanings:
- this may be their favourite colour, or
- that they are ready to take action in some way, or
- they are passionate about what they are going to be doing that day, or
- it may mean that they are feeling angry that day, on either a conscious or subconscious level.
Red is the colour of passion, what they don’t know is the fact that red stimulates and raises the pulse rate, time passes by faster and it makes the objects stand out very easily. If used in proper amounts it can be a pure and strong colour but if not, it can be aggressive and severe. When you want something to stand out, you can use bright or dark colours and a little something red. It can be in some of the decor, an occasional chair a feature wall. Another important thing is the fact that red, like orange, increases the appetite and is often used in restaurants and kitchens.
Let us now focus on the meaning of colours which will help you as you decide on which colours to bring into your world.
We have already discussed Red in some detail. It is the colour of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. It is also the colour of anger and sexual passion.
Orange is the colour of social communication and optimism. From a negative colour meaning it is also a sign of pessimism and superficiality.
In colour psychology, yellow is the colour of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However, it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice. If you want to make people feel confident and optimistic, you should use yellow in the right amount. It is the colour that can stimulate and energize, yet too much use of it or the wrong tone can cause fear or other potential negative feelings.
The most balanced colour is green, it suggests the feeling of nature, a bridge between the warm and the cold colours. Green is the colour of balance and growth. It can mean both self-reliance as a positive and possessiveness as a negative, among many other meanings. Green represents life, the environment and outdoors, therefore used in the right way it brings harmony and peace
It is known that blue is the colour of sky and water, that means it expresses a calm and refreshing feeling. A strong blue stimulates clear thought and the soft blue calms the mind. Blue also makes people feel trust in association with a product but not used right can bring coldness or lack of emotion. Blue is the colour of trust and peace. It can suggest loyalty and integrity as well as conservatism and frigidity.
Indigo is the colour of intuition. In the meaning of colours, it can mean idealism and structure as well as ritualistic and addictive.
Purpleis the colour of the imagination. It can be creative and individual or immature and impractical. A luxurious look is given by purple, the colour of royalty and extravagance. Using the wrong tone, or too much of this colour can give a cheap look very easily. It can also symbolize creativity.
The meaning of the colour turquoise is communication and clarity of mind. It can also be impractical and idealistic.
The colour psychology of pink is unconditional love and nurturing. Pink can also be immature, silly and girlish in certain tones.
In the meaning of colours, magenta is a colour of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life.
The feeling of nature and the outdoors is expressed by brown. It gives a serious feeling, but it is also warm, solid and makes you feel comfortable. Brown is the colour of leather or wood and to get a vintage or industrial look you get to use it. Associated with green it makes you feel like you are one with nature. Used mostly for outdoors but also indoors, it is the perfect combination. The colour brown is a friendly yet serious, down-to-earth colour that relates to security, protection, comfort and material wealth.
Psychologically, grey is the colour of compromise – being neither black nor white, it is the transition between two non-colours. It is unemotional and detached and can be indecisive. Grey is a neutral colour. If you want a professional look, we recommend using grey. Heavy use of grey, will make people feel fear, lack of confidence or even depression. It is the only colour that has no psychological connections if it is used in proper combination. It is the colour between black and white, that means not standing out too much or being unnoticeable.
Silver has a feminine energy; it is linked to the moon and the ebb and flow of the tides – it is fluid, emotional, sensitive and mysterious.
Gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with wealth and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, the colour psychology of gold implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.
Whiteis a colour at its most complete and pure, the colour of perfection. The colour meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness, completion and cleanliness. It goes very well with black and visually stands out, draws out the elements of more stimulating colours.
The best colour for getting a sophisticated and elegant look is Black. Sometimes it absorbs the energy and creates barriers, but most of the times it represents mystery, as the meaning of it is darkness, not knowing what to expect. Black is the colour of the hidden, the secretive and the unknown, creating an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world.
Colours have a lot of power and they play a very important role in our lives. Once you have an idea about the effect they have on people, you can choose wisely and decide on the mood you want to transmit.
Play with the colours, the combinations are numerous, don’t settle with just one or two, mix them together in order to make people feel good.
If you have any doubts on colour combinations, please contact Oaklands Furniture, Design & Décor for some friendly and informative advice. We are always happy to help you.