How to choose the perfect colour for your new home or business?

This is probably one of the few questions we have been asked the most during these past years by our clients, with an expectation for a fast answer.

This is probably, still nowadays, one of the hardest question to answer. Choosing colours without any other basis but the personal likes is an irresponsibility that, on the other hand you could use as a detector for the lack of professionalism.

The design was born as a response of a need; therefore, it must be understood as a tool to get to the goal – meeting that need. For residential homes, it might be to give off a cosy, warm and homey feel. In cases of a commercial project, we need also to take in consideration the ultimate objective or the purpose of it, which in many companies is to sell more and/or to cultivate an attractive working environment & productivity for their employees.

If we were to give an immediate answer to the question of “what colours should we use?” without gathering more information, we would be dissipating a big potential to the design, reducing it to just something aesthetically pleasant. It is necessary to remember that a good design is one that achieves the perfect balance between not just the aesthetic factors but also the design functionality and its structures.

Therefore, the right answer is always “It depends”. What does it depend on? On the goal we are trying to achieve. Based on this, we’ll choose the colour or colours we’ll be potentially using to help us to get our objective.

Here are 3 points you may want to consider before deciding on a colour scheme for your home or interior space:
1. Psychology

The psychology of color is the field that studies and analyses the effect of the colors in the human perception and the behavior of the human being. Aristoteles, the Greek philosopher, more than 2000 years ago established his analysis related to the basic colors linked with the colours of water, earth, sky and fire.

The colors to paint, though near infinite, could basically be divided into three main groups according to the feelings and reactions they create: warm, cold and neutral.

Warm colors go from yellows, oranges, to red. Cold ones are mainly greens, blues and reds. Finally, the neutral are whites, grays and blacks. Each color can separately create different feelings or sensations for different people. Hence it is important to choose the colours subjective to the individual/family.

For example, choosing the colors of the dental clinic or similar, white colors and cream would be a very wise election; they all give the feeling of hygiene, cleanness, peace, serenity… Blues would work also due to their relaxing properties. On the other hand, we should avoid reds, oranges or too warm colors as they trigger alteration excitement and movement. They even summon in this case negative thoughts such as blood or pain.

Maybe you have already realised that the museums are mainly white. Precisely because apart form peace and serenity, there is barely anything else the white color evokes. Therefore, the museum gets the ultimate goal of its existence; to influence their visitors with just with the master pieces exhibited and not the space itself, making the content its main protagonist and not the place.

These colour choices may seem subtle to the human eyes but hold strong influence over our perceptions and emotions. Thus, choosing the right colour is imperative in highlighting certain areas in your home and to set the mood you feel every time you return home or wake up in the mornings.

2. Associations

Certain colors are always associated or related to certain concept or branding. An obvious example is the green colour that has even used as a noun to act towards the environment. If we’re creating a project with ecological purposes, sustainable and efficient, green and its natural companions (brown mainly) are the right choice.

Another typical association is relating the pink to female and blue to male, specially when we talk about children. However, is good sometimes to break these associations in favor of the singularity of the space.

3. Volumetric Reasons

Colours have the ability to alter and change how the human feels in the space he or she is in. You have probably seen it in a room, that feels smaller or bigger than it actually is. This is due to the paint colour and/or the choices of laminates used to clad on the room’s carpentry.

It happened many times that when we go with our client to see a place they intend to redesign that is full of brick designs, they would come out disappointed saying “I expected it bigger when comparing it to the floor plan”.

Curiously, this is also due to the influence of the color. It is the absence of light reflected by the bricks that made our client feel the space is smaller. For example, bright colors increase the volume feel and at the same time they transmit more light, allowing whoever living in that space feel more comfortable, and dark colours, when matched correctly, would give a large room a warm and sophisticated atmosphere. Hence, when you do choose the right colour scheme for your homes or interior space, those colours will be your extra square feet so to speak.

Interior design is a powerful tool with big potential for both businesses and homes. Colours are just one of the many aspects of giving life and character to in interior space. Knowing this, for many it would be daunting to think “What if I choose the wrong colour scheme for my home or interior space? I will need to live in this mistake for the next few years I live here” or “There are so many aspects to achieving a balanced and well designed home. What if I hired the wrong person for the job?” Well our answer is to hire the right interior designer! This is more essential than many would imagine, not just for creating a beautiful home/working space, but to help you find the right balance in the interior space you own.

If you need more information or have some enquires, feel free to contact our design team via our Contact Us page, at our main line +65 63451730 or speak to our studio directors directly at +65 97386690 (Alicia)/+65 81234411 (Eugene) today!

Written by:
Laura Garcia
Interior Architect