In Love With Colour
It doesn’t seem to matter how many colour consults I do, I always find myself getting excited when working on a colour pallet. The reason? Because colour has the amazing ability to act on our brain and central nervous system in such an active way that it actually affects the way we perceive space and determines the way in which we feel and perform in that space.
Colour can be used in a space to evoke peacefulness, drama, calm and quiet, comfort, somberness, studiousness and so on. In general, individual colours evoke the same responses in everyone. Colours in which blues and greens predominate, are perceived as cool, relaxing, passive and calming. On the other hand, colours in which yellows and reds predominate, are perceived as warm, active, youthful and invigorating.
The intensity of colour also affects our perception of the space. Take a blue-green for instance. At full density is perceived as dramatic while at a much lesser concentration it is perceived as relaxing or antiseptic – hence its use in hospitals.
The use of one colour, or a monochromatic scheme, is one of the easiest types of colour arrangements to use and to live with. Single-colour schemes are created by using one colour alone but using this colour in different densities and textures to add interest and depth. You could, for example, use a dark tone on the floor and furniture, a mild tone on the walls and a paler tone on the ceiling. Add interest to this by using patterned or textured fabrics on furniture, pillows and curtains. One colour scheme is most successful when one adds a hint of a second colour either contrasting or a neutral.
A contrasting or complimentary scheme is created by mixing opposite colours in different concentrations to achieve a balance of tones. These schemes are extremely stimulating because when contrasting colours are used together they give the impression of “bouncing” off one another making one colour seem warm and the other seem cool.
Blue with orange, yellow with purple (violet) and red with green – these are true contrasting schemes. One can also use split contrasting scheme where one main primary colour is used with two tertiary colours – red with yellow-green and blue-green. The key to opposites attracting is in making sure the chroma, or brightness, of the colours you are using are of equal value so as to create balance in the room. Contrasting bold and bright colours will create energy while contrasting pastels and muted colours will create calm.
So now you can see why using colour is so exciting and fun! For a world without colour would be a dull world indeed.
Benjamin Moore colours: New York State Of Mind 805, St.Lucia Skies 781, Emerald Isle 2039-20, Summer Plum 2074-20.