Interior Design And The Psychology Of Colour
Colour psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behaviour, it influences perceptions that are not obvious such as the taste of food.
We decorate with colour to lift, enhance or soothe our clients required perception. I rarely ask a client what their favourite colour is, it is sometimes quite obvious and evident. It is more useful a gauge to ask which colours they really do not gravitate towards ?
That said, and avoiding preconception , I will often walk in to a space and it ‘tells’ me what colour it wants to be ! If it is a strong inclination I’ll convey it go the client,
otherwise it will pass like a ghost in the night !
Red is considered one of the happiest colours. Here I imagine scarlet, tomato, not oxblood red. I love a scarlet wool felt sofa punctuating a dark space.
I once did an entrance Hall in Athens with scarlet suede walls against which we set a fabulous Boulle armoire cabinet ( André Charles Boulle / French C18th ).
This was all the space needed and this colour cries ‘welcome’ and ‘party’ in the same breath.
I have recently completed a classical Drawing Room in a fourth floor duplex with great windows and views and we used a blush pink linen for the walls and curtains.
This very subtle colour looks fantastic in the sunshine but equally uplifts on a dull day and we fill the room with the palest peonies when in season.
Within the confines of another classical brief for a house in Oman for a fun young couple, we broke away and had fun in the Majlis ( Sitting Room) a male dominated 'chill out 'room. The brief was ‘car crash’ and we found suitable bits to decorate the room.
We hung a wonderful ‘corrugated steel ‘ facsimile wallpaper ( from Osborne & Little) which looked very realistic in its masculine grey metallic tones.
Blues and greens can be soothing and contemplative and work well for Studies and Bedrooms. I love orange as it is uplifting ( and can be used in small doses well).
Purples are rich and have pretentions of royalty . Yellow is sunny but can be tricky, whilst dark yellows ( jaundice ) can be draining.
Many interior design clients want to live within a neutral foil, and this is fine , but it is bland if everything is one colour (taupe?) . It displays no indication of a personality .
Inject colour ‘pops’ with cushions, lampshades, art, and flowers as these can easily be exchanged .