Using the right colours in interior spaces
Using the right colours in interior spaces is very important as this can have a great impact on your health and wellbeing. If you are the careful type who is unsure of the choice of paint colours to use, you could accessorise with vibrant colours against a neutral scheme. However, if you are the brave and bold type who is not afraid of splashing your walls with vibrant colours, the trick is to balance the scheme with subtle colour accessories.
Light, scale and background effects.
Other design elements will have some impact on how colours appear. These include the amount of daylight in the room, the size of the room, as well as the juxtaposition of the surrounding or background colour of an object (or surface). These elements, when cleverly paired with the right colours, will affect the moods created in any interior space.
The science of physics informs us that colour is a property of light, without light, colours do not exist. The colour we attribute to an object is dependent on which wavelength of lights are absorbed or reflected by an object or surface. So, it is important to test paint colours in the environment and on the surface in which they are to be viewed during both day and night times - before making the final decision on choice of paint colours.
Colours can be used to exaggerate the size and height of an interior space. And also to play down the size of an oversize room. Warm colours (red, orange, yellow) tend to give a feeling of cosiness or intimacy. So, if you have a huge bedroom that you want to look more intimate, paint it with a warm colour to make it feel cosier. Cool colours (blue, green, light purple) are calm and soothing. Unlike warm colours, cool colours give the perception of a receding room, which makes them great if you want your small room to appear larger.
It is important to critically analyse the existing characteristics of the interior space prior to choosing colours for the design. Here are some tips to consider.
- the dimensions and shape: how colour might be used to perceive the size of the space and give perception of a spacious or cosy setting.
- the amount of natural or artificial light and how the light enters the space - direct or indirect lighting could make a difference between glares, glooms, or your desired outcome.
- the mood you want to create in the space: warm or cool colours determine how energetic or less forceful you want the scheme to project - and the emotions you want to trigger in the interior space. Some colours make us happy, and some make us sad.
- the functionality of the space - scientific research has shown that every colour, hue, saturation, and value, has specific psychological effects and colour impacts on our psychological state.
Creating the mood
Above images from the Delux website are a few examples of the moods you can create with colours in your interior space. Follow the link for more inspiration.
Below are tips on commonly used colours - green, blue and red; and the moods they create. Remember to create a sense of balance in your choice of colours so that you end up with some vibrancy in a mellow scheme or bold and dramatic accents in a quiet scheme.
Green is associated with healing, tranquillity and harmony. And because of its prominence in nature, green colour schemes (the cooler shades) tend to be restful to the eye. The greens associated with nature - such as landscapes, forests, parks, etc are refreshing and contrast nicely with the blue sky.
Classic blue colour schemes project a sense of calm and tradition. This explains why the calm shades of blue are popular choices for decorating bedrooms, living rooms and hospitals. In its royal blue hue, the colour implies power.
Red, on the other hand is lively, youthful, and exuberant. The colour schemes of red are therefore cheerful and make one feels warm and energetic. This explains why the colour is prominent in hospitality settings because of its projection of warmth.