Generally speaking, we deal with the interior colours more intensely than with the design and style. And, it is quite correct because colours complete harmonious atmosphere and our psyche may reflect the effect of colours. Moreover, colours can optically reduce the room or make it higher, reduce the amount of light, or even soothe or disturb the human mind. Therefore, when choosing the colours, we should respect certain well-known principles.
Generally applicable principles
- Colour scheme should not be a figment of the latest fads, but it should follow a pre-conceived design.
- Larger areas such as ceilings, walls, and monolithic pieces of furniture should be colour neutral.
- On the other hand, accessories and smaller items may be painted with vibrant and rich colours. If we select such colours for larger areas, we may become worried and irritated over the time. They are also not suitable for children's rooms because the children must concentrate on tasks and gaming.
- Dark colours reduce the room and the light as well.
- Walls and ceilings should be airy and open. Therefore, only two or three different colours and shades should be applied in the room, which will provide more space and elegance than a wall with every colour of the rainbow.
Fashion fads - yes or no?
Fashion fads are usually only shrewd moves of companies that have just one priority: to make their colours the most sold. But designers know that timeless classic colours will work much better than the hits of the season. By nature’s influence, we love colours that we take as natural, i.e. green, blue as the sky, and white or grey typical for winter. These natural colours soothe us and influence us even in the long-term. Therefore, such colours will not get us tired uncomfortable, and we will not want to change them.
Bright colours such as orange, purple and pink are less represented, and, thus, we should use them less frequently in the interior. Brown colour creates the feel of certainty and stability and reflects the colour of the earth and wood. The yellow colour makes us feel the hot sun (and that is the way we choose it for rooms oriented to the north), while sky-blue evokes the clarity of atmosphere and water. For rooms facing the west, we should choose cool colours because they reduce the feeling of heat.
The light contrast of walls and floor
To create a pleasant interior, it is important to select not only an appropriate colour but also its hue. Dark colour absorbs light and creates the impression of a darkened room, making it look smaller. It may, thus, evoke a sinking feeling that is uncomfortable especially for people who suffer from claustrophobia. If you choose a light colour, then the interior will feel bigger than it is. Space opens and gives the impression of airiness. If we properly choose the colour combination of floor, ceiling and walls, space will visually expand, make it open and brighten it up.
If you have high ceilings, you can reduce them with a dark colour in contrast with light walls. If we turn the colour combination, then the room will be visually increased while, on the other hand, made narrower since the dark walls seem to get closer.
Dark floors, light walls
Rich and deep colours affect us differently when they are applied on walls than when they are on the floor. The effect derives from the natural arrangement of colours in nature. Bright sky opens up our view, but the earth we walk upon is brown and firm. Therefore, we prefer white walls and ceiling, and the dark floor is natural for us (brown and ochre colours associate soil and wood, pea green evokes grassy meadow). The bright floor gives the impression of uncertainty, and we fear to enter it because it feels like walking on water.
On the other hand, the too bright floor gives the impression that we cannot enter them safely. White areas evoke drifts of snow into which we can sink; blue floor feels like the water. Animals with their unprinted instincts confirm these assumptions completely. For example, dogs refuse to enter floor made of glass or grate but also blue carpets.
Warm and cool colours
Warm colours evoke the sense of optimism and cheerfulness, and they lighten and expand the room. Cool colours make us emotionally cool, but at the same time they evoke the feeling of freshness, purity and mentally, they seem to give a passive impression. Each room has its primary function. Therefore, we should keep in mind that cool tones soothe us a little, and encourage our activities. Thus, these colours should be applied in study rooms, children's rooms of lively and hyperactive children who can hardly concentrate on their tasks. Yellow colours evoke the feeling of sunshine, so we should choose them for rooms that face the north. Contrary, yellow colour, when applied in rooms facing south, would, even more, emphasize the feeling of warmth and, therefore, it would feel very uncomfortable. It's a cheerful colour that visually expands the space, induces appetite and the feeling of acidity, and it is, thus, often used in dining rooms. Light yellow shades are suitable for children's rooms and dark rooms for they gave the impression of bright sunshine. Red colour acts as a mood stimulant, and we can choose it for bedrooms of young people where it feels erotically, but it is not the colour of rest and sleep. It is also not suitable for children's rooms because it irritates our senses and diverts us from the sense of calm and concentration. Bright pink, orange or purple colours give the same impression. Deep red provokes, galvanises and activates us. On the other hand, in the long perspective, it can be aggressive and irritating and can cause attacks of anxiety in sensitive people. Green colour should not be applied in the vicinity of a dining table because it can reflect in the food, which would look rotten. Red or orange shades are suitable for kitchen areas because they stimulate appetite. They provide us with energy and visually narrow the room. Rich red or orange colour shades are suitable for large rooms, but, simultaneously, they may give some people irritating or aggressive impression. The white colour is traditional and reflects cleanliness and lightness. It lightens the space and exaggerates it.