How Colour Influences You

September 6, 2016

Whether it is subconsciously or not, colour will always influence your mood, emotions and how others feel in your space. Notice how green reminds you of nature, the blue of the ocean or winter, and red of fast food restaurants or heat. Well, that is because the colour does in fact influence you, whether you are aware of it or not. Colour can influence your productivity, your emotions towards others and yourself. Colour associations are different for all, and this can be tricky when you are trying to reinforce one thing, but others interpret this differently. There is no rule about what colour evokes what emotion, but there are guidelines that you can adhere to when designing your space.

Modern colour psychology dates its origins to the early 19th-century when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his book, Theory of Colours. Though there is some debate regarding the implications of certain shades, researchers, interior designers and marketing professionals seem to agree on these basic tenants.

  1. Red – symbolises power and passion, and has the ability to make space feel intimate and warm. Red also evokes hunger and also has the ability to evoke anger and irritation.
  2. Orange – symbolises innovation as well as energy. When using this colour as an accent, it works well, though overusing this colour has the ability to leave people feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Yellow – symbolises creativity and happiness. It needs to be paired with a lot of natural light in order to create a space that feels calming.
  4. Green – is known for its soothing qualities. Green allows a space to transition to the outdoors.
  5. Blue – symbolises calmness and freshness, though can be associated subconsciously with coldness.
  6. Purple – communicates luxury and royalty. When used correctly, purple adds a sense of sophistication and importance.
  7. Gray – gives a sense of serenity and relaxation in a space.
  8. Brown – allows for a relaxing touch that is associated with nature.
  9. Black – communicates power and authority, but when overused, has the ability to be depressing.
  10. White – relates to purity and calmness. Using tones of white works extremely well, but overusing pure white has the ability to make space feel sterile.

When designing your space, always choose three colours. Neutrals for large wall and floor spaces, calmer colours for furniture and an accent colour to make a statement. Let us take a look and see what colours are best associated to what room.

  1. Office – blue or gray as these colours produce productivity yet a sense of calm relaxation.
  2. Kitchen – yellow as this produces energy and has the ability to increase one’s metabolism.
  3. Dining space – red, as this colour encourages one’s appetite.
  4. Living area – gray and neutrals as these colours calm one’s nerves and this allows for easy relaxation.
  5. Bedroom – hints of green and neutrals as these combinations promotes health and tranquillity.

We need to understand and remember that colours act in three ways: neutral, passive and active. For example, dark colours are overwhelming yet give a sense of sophistication and warmth, which makes them ideal for large rooms that want to create a dramatic appearance and appear intimate. Light colours give the illusion of space, and brightness though can be used in any size room. So that is a basic guideline as to what colours mean and how they can affect you and those around you, but remember that these are just guidelines and that you need to choose according to your personal taste, as you are the one spending time in that space.

Gary Da Silva – Office Interiors

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