Colours play a pivotal role in our lives and the colours chosen for a home or office are more than just trivial decor details. Colour preferences and selections reflect a person's personality and psyche, and colours reveal inner emotions and may also affect one's mood. For centuries, humans have been fascinated by the nature of colours and how different shades define our world on a personal level.
a) Psychological Properties of Colours
Colour is one of the most engaging dimensions of sight. Colour gives objects and surfaces a personality and aura that goes beyond our senses and invoke specific emotional responses. Different shades and hues affect us differently and can work on our subconscious to bring us peace, anxiety or inspiration.
People also choose colours to express certain emotions or aspirations. For example, we may choose a dark red to express a rich and sophisticated lifestyle with a touch of romance and sensual energy, while others may choose a light pink to convey a youthful innocence with a hint of vanity and light heartedness. Lighting, textures and furnishings also play an important part in creating a mood and lending subtlety to meanings.
b) Understanding personal colour palette
Social norms are powerful and can deeply affect how individuals perceive and grow to love certain colours. For example, blues have traditionally been associated with boys while pink is associated with girls. This gender differentiation is ingrained in a person's psychology and thus, it is often unlikely to see a guy who is willing to paint his office or room pink.
Different communities and cultures also view colours differently. Where white is considered a colour of purity among European societies, the same shade is viewed as a colour of death and mourning by the Chinese. It is thus important to take cultural sensitivities into account when choosing colours.
Beyond social norms, personal taste in colours is also affected by our experiences growing up and there are many reasons why people like certain colours and view others with distaste. Individuals perceive things differently and it is important to be sensitive to the preferences of those the room is painted for.
c) Colour Affects the Way You Feel
Moods and emotions can easily be influenced by the colour in the environment. A room painted in a dark, oppressive shade is likely to depress the mood of an occupant while a living room with a light blue hue will help generate positive feelings. The energy level of a space can be controlled easily as long as the designer has a good understanding of how different shades and hue affect people emotionally.
d) Choosing the Correct Colour
Choose colours that complement existing furnishings and suit the main purpose of the room. For example, a dark blue paint will complement the LED lights from computers and gadgets, creating futuristic lighting effects that will delight a techie. Bright paint, on the other hand, will make a room look tacky if existing furniture are very lightly coloured.
It is also important to have some contrast and variation in the chosen place. A key point to note; opposites on the colour spectrum complement each other and bring attention to each colour.