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February 20, 2008

Colours In Interiors:


An all white space is as terrifying as an all black one. There has been a recent trend to live in buildings with all white walls. This goes along with the trend of our society being obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness. Pure and white, clean and white.

Hospitals, laboratories and schools were painted white too, presumably because we believed that white would not distract the attention of the occupants or disturb patients. While not harming the scholars or patients, recent research has proved that the use of carefully chosen colour for walls and furnishings have had positive benefits to patients. Hospital rooms are now being changed to soothing combinations of soft green, blue, peach and 'creamy yellow'. Veterans in old age homes have been made more alert,physically and mentally happier and more active. Blending several colours in an interior avoids monotony and keeps the brain active while at the same time soothed. White in decorating is most successfully used as a neutral to set off all the other colours. Remember there are many shades of white and soft white are not as alienating as brilliant white.


White - Cleansing, cold, gives time to think, isolating, does not support decision making or action


Grey is the colour of self-denial, evasion and non-commitment. In spite of this it can provide a neutral background which can show off other bright colours. It is used successfully in exhibitions, advertising and other media.

Use grey as a backdrop, but do use colour with it.


Black is not strictly a colour (it is the absence of all colours), but it represents the extreme. Black is an extremely hard colour to live with. Often we see dramatic black and white schemes in magazines, but that is where they should stay. Black has a negative impact and should only really be used as a backdrop to highlight other colours or in small items to compliment other colours. It will have a strong effect on any colour which occurs in close proximity to it. A large black wall or ceiling can be extremely tiring and draining of energy. It also makes a space appear smaller hence can cause a feeling of claustrophobia.

The Chinese consider black to be a lucky colour in decorating, and you often find black used together with bright red. The Japanese use black for highlight among soft warm natural materials, coloured browns and tans. This softens the effect of black.


Black - Mysterious, can show a need to hide or identity crisis


Pink is a colour which is usually associated with femininity and love. One must remember that pink is in fact made up of red with varying amounts of white. A deep rose pink will have a very different effect from a pale shell pink. On the physical level, pink is a muscle relaxant, and also relaxes the emotions. A sensitive temperament is most responsive to pink and rose coloured rays.


Pink - Relaxes muscles, soothing, loving, supportive


Violet is composed of blue and red. On the one hand it is calming and relaxing, and on the other hand is a stimulant, which is the characteristic of red. The colour has a balancing effect and we are offered an environment which is balanced similar to green. It provides a place to be quiet and introspective. Yellow is the complementary colour.

Violet is a colour very closely linked to creativity and many painters and composers prefer to be surrounded by violet when working. Used in decorating, Violet creates an air of luxury, royalty and mystery as it has always been associated with kings and spiritual leaders. It is dignified, devout, religious or pious. Violet can be used in entrance halls, places of worship and dedication. It can be used for inspiration in touches in soft furnishings. Violet is best used in the home in small amounts in furnishings and combined with other colours.


Violet - Spiritual, creative, uplifting, calms mind and nerves


Mix green with blue to give a turquoise and it transforms the green to a cool, refreshing colour with a morning appearance. It is calming and soothing, especially when heat and pressure have been endured. Many nations, living in hot relentless climates, make use of turquoise. Red-orange is its complementary colour. When added in small amounts helps focus attention and gives an uplift of energy. Turquoise is more successful as a wall colour than green, as the area becomes larger but still holds its static calm appearance. Turquoise is more calming to nervous dispositions and is suitable for hospitals, or for the study of an overtaxed, strained company director.


Turquoise - Freshness, cleanliness, sparkling, new ideas, cool while stimulating, relaxing


Blue is the colour which predominates in the world today. Blue relates to night, whereas yellow represents the day and sunlight. Therefore blue makes us feel calm and relaxed. It makes us feel quiet and protected from all the bustle and activity of the day. The deeper the blue, the more relaxing. Dark blue has considerable depth and fullness – it represents contentment and fulfillment.

Blue rooms and blue tinged lighting make for a calming, expanding, relaxing environment with much more space. Blue minimizes anxiety in waiting rooms in hospitals, doctor's consulting rooms

and antenatal clinics. Orange is the complementary colour to blue. So a rich blue room, which may make one feel too lethargic and depressed, can be lifted with splashes of orange.

Blue rooms have the effect of a feeling of breathing out. Blue objects appear bigger than they really are. An excited person is calmed, breathing is slowed down and exhaling is encouraged. The room may be called cool, but we must remember there are warm blues and cool blues, just as there are warm and cold reds. To judge whether a colour is cold or warm we look for the underlying effect. Is it a grey slate blue, or a rich or bright blue. Is it a blue-red or yellow-red. We have to train our eye to pick out warm and cool colours.


Blue - Soft, gentle, peaceful, cooling, calming, sedating, quietness, aids intuition


Green emulates nature. It is the colour found mid-way in the spectrum and so has a balancing effect. It is neither warm nor cold. It is a comfortable, lazy colour. It gives one the feeling of calm and space. Green soothes as long as it is a soft and clear green. The moment green gets muddy, dull or olive, the colour indicates decay, on the verge of death, which is represented by the muddy browns.


Green - Relaxing, calming, cooling, balancing, caution, gives feeling of space, healing, empathy and sympathy


Yellow is the colour which is the closest to sunshine, and is always regarded as a sunny happy colour. Yellow wavelengths stimulate the brain, making one alert, clear-headed and decisive. For this reason, yellow is good to have around when you need to study, improve your memory or for people who need to expand their ideas and view of life.

Studies in hospitals have shown that patients in a bright yellow room required more pain-killers than those in other colour environments. Stay away from strong yellow and stick to

golden-yellows, clear primrose yellows, buttery creams and be careful that the yellow does not become tinged with green or turn muddy. Sickly yellows and greens are associated with emotions such as jealousy, envy, and greed.

On its own, yellow is a colour that gives us no anchorage, protection, aim or focus. Several accounts show that yellow decoration combined with yellow light is not a good environment for humans. Violet is the complementary colour to yellow. So introduce some violet into an intensely yellow room to stabilize its affect on us.


Yellow - Mentally stimulating, aids memory, lively, aids communication, stimulates nervous system


Orange is made up of red and yellow. On the one hand it has the physical stimulation of red and on the other the mental stimulation of yellow.

Orange is a very creative colour. It is also an anti-depressant and stimulates conversation. Most people do not like orange in their environment, although it may be just the colour they need. If this is the case, the customer should find a tone of orange which is acceptable. Rust, terracotta, amber, peach or apricot all have an orange glow and will reflect the positive and lively qualities of this colour.

Orange has a strong and beneficial effect on the digestive system,

so makes a good colour for a dining room or restaurant. Candles glowing in an orange or yellow room makes one feel warm, secure and cosy.


Orange - Activity, practical, stimulates appetite, joyful, sociable, creative


Red is the most physical of all colours, and it has the slowest vibratory rate and the longest wavelength.

Red has a stimulating action on our heart. It raises the pulse and our blood pressure and this is why red has a warming effect on us.

Studies have shown that when we look at the colour red our pulse increases about 15 percent and when tested subjects showed an increase of 20 percent in the strength of their handgrip. Emotionally red is linked to anger and shortness of temper, therefore we should make sure that people who are impatient or frustrated do not surround themselves with red. This will only exacerbate the problem.

Red, works best in places which require warmth and physical action. A cold room, a passage or corridor, kitchen or playroom would all be suitable places for red. Red in decoration is a colour which is either in fashion or not. Its strength of character makes it difficult to live with, so most people find it too oppressive and heavy to live with. There are however many different varieties of red. Burgundy, wine, terracotta are all colours which we often find in homes.


Red - Stimulating, activating, for energy, motivation, physical, love

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