I never quite understood the full impact that colour had on me until I experienced the loss of a loved one a few years ago. I remember not wanting to see or even wear bright colours. Colour was just too overwhelming for me to take in and I felt as though the colour itself was somehow draining what little energy I had left in me, out of me.
I felt as though I only had limited capacity for external stimuli and that included colour. Grief is different for everyone and I experienced it and it’s deep depths wave after wave, and the effect of colour definitely was part of my experience. I remember for a long time the only colour I could handle was whites, subtle neutrals and light grays. It was as though I needed a blank canvas and neutral surroundings to support me. Colour wasn’t the only thing that I found I was impacted during this period of my life. Reading, hobbies, socializing, adventuring… a lot of things that I used to love just felt empty and drained me. I’m thankful for my family and friends who patiently stood by my side offering grace and support during one of the hardest times of my life.
What about you, have you ever experienced this? Have you ever found bright colours, a particular colour, or certain colour combinations just too much?
I know you must be thinking but you’re an Interior Designer, you work with Colour, how did you navigate this while still working? I didn’t. I actually took some time off from consulting. I respect my clients and knew that I wasn’t in a sound place to give the best colour advice during this period.
A time came where I desired colour in my surroundings again, I began wearing colour again, decorating with it again and didn’t feel it draining the life out of me. In fact I feel as though now I have a deeper understanding of colour, and see colour along with its varying intensities, shades and tints in a new and fuller way as a result of what I experienced.
So, let’s take a moment to look at the actual science that is colour and its impact on our psyche.
Colour Psychology is the study of colour in relation to human behaviour. We know that blue helps us feel soothed and tranquil. Reds are bold and can make us feel hungry. Green is peaceful and we associate it with growth and health. Yellow is a bright and warm colour that encourages optimism and promotes clarity and Purple is associated with royalty and can emote luxury and ambition. Often marketers will use colour psychology as a large consideration in the messaging they are conveying to their target market. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola use red because it’s associated with excitement, youthfulness, efficiency and is know to encourage appetite. Facebook, American Express and Dell use blue in their logo because it builds trust, dependability and strength.
We also know that we have our own personal association with colour. One person may associate blue with rest where another may associate it with productivity. It’s important to consider your own response to particular colours, this then gives you the opportunity to use this knowledge positively in supporting your lifestyle. You may discover you have a negative association with brown, yet have a multitude of brown clothing in your wardrobe, or furnishings in your home which could be unknowingly impacting your daily mood.
How can we use colour psychology in our homes? Colour is personal, take the time to consider your and your families responses and associations to particular colour combinations and honour your findings so that your family members feel at ease and at home in their surroundings. You can outwork individuals unique association with colour in common areas of the home by use of saturation. When it comes to creating a harmonious interior the amount and strength of a given colour used can play a big part in the overall visual feel a space has. For example, you may love red but your partner doesn’t, while you could handle all walls of the dining room to be painted in a highly saturated red it would emotionally drain your partner, and make them feel anxious as they don’t have the same love of the colour red. Instead, you could paint the walls of the dining room a neutral colour and introduce accents of that same saturated red that you love via some abstract art. Often small doses of bold colours work to create better harmony, especially in residential spaces.
Why not take the time to stop and think about how you are using colour in your home, is it supporting you and your loved ones with feelings of peace, ease, and happiness or is it causing tension, stress and anxiety.
If you would like to explore this further visit this blog post https://mydecorator.com.au/2013/07/18/colour/ to learn more specifics on using colour psychology in the interior of your home. We also offer Colour Consultations where we can help you select the right colour scheme for your home that will support your’s and your families lifestyle. Contact us today to make an appointment on 0439 081 072.