Using colour in the home or workplace is vitally important since it is the representation of light and, like the amount of light we are exposed to, can influence the way we think and feel.
You may notice you feel more depressed in the winter months when the sun sets early and the amount of daylight is reduced, then when spring comes you get a sudden burst of energy that increases with each sunlight-filled day. Think of colour in the same way. Give yourself a kick-start by introducing colours into your home that will promote a healthy balance and help you feel happy all year round!
Take a good look around your home and see if the colours impact on how you feel – do you feel energised in some rooms and calm and contemplative in others? You need different emotional zones to help you feel your best – a space to get a restful night’s sleep, a space to relax and give your mind a rest, other places to be inspired and uplifted. By using colour we can help stimulate these feelings rather than working against them, and replenish the vital energy we need to face each day feeling our best.
Why do so many of us choose to paint our walls white? Lack of confidence? Lack of imagination? Personally I blame the home buying and selling programs on TV which insist that plain décor is the way to sell a house, and of course as Brits we’re all obsessed with the need to sell our houses one day!
Although white spaces can look clean and fresh, they also lack warmth and to many people can feel harsh and clinical. Because of the absence of colour there is no energy added to the space either, which means all the energy must come from the objects, furnishings and people in it.
This can be emotionally tiring for anyone spending a long time in a white room, and is more suited to art galleries (where the focus is specifically on the objects within it) or spaces which are often filled with people, who bring their own colour and energy.
If you insist on a neutral colour it’s best to choose a “hint of colour”, off-white or cream shade, which will at least inject some depth and richness to the room without detracting from the crisp, clean feel.
The fiery, passionate colours such as red, orange and purple create an intensity that is, shall we say, not suited to everyone! But these colours can be subtle too, after all there’s a huge spectrum of each - rusty oranges, deep reds and blue-black purples can be dramatic without offending anyone’s eyes.
Red is the first colour in the visible spectrum, and the most intense. It is associated with danger, fire and passion, and can be quite aggressive colour to have on your walls, but it will also stimulate your senses and energy levels. Best to use it in a dining room or entertaining space; it will certainly perk up your dinner parties.
Orange combines the fire of red with earth tones, and is friendlier to live with than red. Vibrant, welcoming and optimistic, orange is good for spaces which don’t get much natural daylight. If brighter orange tones are too much, try darker terracotta colours which will give a warm richness to a room, reminiscent of happy Mediterranean holidays perhaps.
Purple is associated with religion and royalty. Because of its sacred nature, purple is good in areas of your home where you need a clear head. Use it in a bedroom if you want it to be a place to sit quietly and meditate, and in any rooms used for parties or big occasions.
Try choosing these colours as accents before you take the plunge. Live with them for a while and see how you feel about them, and how they make you feel. Do you feel their passionate embrace, or are you simply annoyed by how they clash with your furniture? Try them and see for yourself; they are not for the weak at heart.
For inspiring ideas and furnishings in all colours (even white!) come over and browse round Interior Inspirations’ showroom in Farnborough.