From lighting, this week’s topic cuts across colour, a revelation on the effects it has on our feelings and how we respond to colour on a subconscious and emotional level. The role of colour in design is very important. Like any other aspects of interior decorating, it has the power to make or break the overall look of a room.
Therefore, the aim of this article is to enable you to decorate with colours that will give you the feeling you want to experience in a room.
Colours convey a mood
Let me introduce my next point with a brief illustration. Mary and Erica are good friends; during one of their long overdue catch up sessions they happened to find themselves deeply engaged in a conversation.
Erica so desperately needed a colour scheme for her upcoming wedding event. However she was finding it difficult to make up her mind.
Eager to help, Mary interrupted her friend in mid sentence, “Why don’t you use your favourite colour, and then we will proceed from there. You do have one right?”
Sure, Erica had one. She didn’t hesitate before exclaiming, “Yellow of course!” Mary was curious to know what her friend found so fascinating about yellow.
However, Erica had never thought about this, she always knew she liked yellow, but didn’t know why. After a short silence, amused by the answer she was about to give, she responded “I don’t know, I suppose it makes me feel happy!”
We are attracted to certain colours because of the positive emotions they arouse in us. Not only does Erica appreciate the colour yellow, she also likes the emotional response she derives when she comes in contact with it.
When you are decorating your home, it is important to understand the effects different colours have on your mood before you decide on a colour scheme.
Colours have meanings
Because colours can have tremendous effects on human behaviour, before you incorporate them into your living space, consider reflecting on how your colours of interest make you feel.
The function of a room and the mood you wish it to create should correspond to your choice of colour scheme.
For example, blue is a calming colour. It can be used in any room where you wish to relax and not where you wish to stimulate physical activity. It symbolises water and cleanliness.
Therefore it is a perfect colour for a bathroom. It is also the colour of communication and is therefore perfect for a lounge or sitting room area. Blue is not a good colour for a kitchen or in a dining room as it is an appetite suppressor.
On the other hand, yellow stands for energy and awareness because it’s uplifting and warm. Yellow is good for studying or reading, whilst promoting self confidence at the same time.
It is a perfect colour for a room where children do their homework or for a home office. Because yellow is bright and can be overbearing, it should be used subtlety in decorating.
In the above I have described two colours and the moods they create. Read on to discover sources of colours and how they can be combined to create stunning schemes.
The success of a design largely depends on its colour combinations. Some people have a natural flair for colour, unfortunately not everyone is blessed with this gift, but there is still hope!
The colour wheel is a visual representation of the colour theory. It was invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1706 and has since then become a brilliant guide used by many artists and designers around the world. You too can use it for your benefit.
Primary colours are the three key ones on the colour wheel. They are what I call the “mother of colours” because they cannot be made from any other colour. They consist of red, blue and yellow.
Secondary colours are purple, orange and green. They are created by mixing equal amounts of any two primary colours. Mixing all three primaries will give a neutral colour.
Neutral colours are not on the colour wheel and consist of different variations of grey, brown, ivory, and beige. Neutrals are easy to work with because one neutral will never dominate the other.
Colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel are known as complementary colours. Notice how green and red sit opposite each other; they are complementary colours.
This combination of colours looks great together because they create a striking effect when used in the same room.
Adjacent colours can also make excellent colour combinations; for example, yellow and green or red and purple.
They are less contrasting and more gradual.
Creating different intensities of the same colour is another effective way of colour application. You can create lighter tones by adding white to a colour and darker shades by adding black.
Your choice of colours can either create an atmosphere for relaxation or one that can stimulate the mind and raise energy levels.
Always remember that there is more to colour than what you see. Colour creates moods which are essential to our living environment.
The author specialises in Interiors and Fashion