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Interior Colour inspire mood

Bring calm, warmth or relax mood with these colour into your renovation

Adapted from article that appeared in Curbed.com on 27th April 2020 by author Diana Budds

Human reacts and associates with colours

 is one of the most relative means of expression, as the famed color theorist Josef Albers once said. It’s also one of the most evocative. From the Red Room in the Black Lodge to the pastel pink pastry boxes of Mendl’s Bakery, color conjures up strong psychological associations. Should we feel apprehensive—as is the case with David Lynch’s unsettling interiors—or revel in sweetness, as in Wes Anderson’s surreal dreamscape?

Paint colour creates mood
Paint colour creates mood
Photo credit – Mystide colours from Avatar The Movie

Just as film directors reach for specific colors to create a mood, so too may we. During a hellaciously stressful and anxious time wrought by the novel coronavirus, color can become a coping mechanism.

We looks at things through the lens of color

Experts at the Pantone Color Institute, a global color consultancy, have been thinking a lot about the COVID-19 pandemic’s cultural effects, and how color fits into the picture.

“We look at things through the lens of color,” says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Institute. “Of course, this is a public health crisis, and it’s not like a public health crisis is looked through a lens of color, but we’re thinking about: How is this going to affect what people need from color? How is this going to affect what people want from color? How can we help use color as an antidote to what’s going on?”

Colours of contentment to overcome the depressive mood

Images of color swatches, which are nature-based hues, arranged horizontally
Pressman calls these colors “a nature-infused palette of health-giving hues conveying contentment”: PANTONE 17-5722 Bottle Green; PANTONE 14-4318 Sky Blue; PANTONE 14-0627 Shadow Green; PANTONE 20-0161 Beetle Wing; PANTONE 17-2411 Toadstool; PANTONE 17-1446 Mango; PANTONE 17-0949 Chai Tea; PANTONE 18-4728 Harbor Blue; PANTONE 17-0330 Turtle Green
 Courtesy Pantone

While Pressman says it’s too soon to speculate on how the pandemic will affect consumer marketing, she is thinking about the pervasiveness of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety right now and how that might lead us to seek out products and spaces that are soothing, relaxing, and comforting. And color can be a significant player in achieving those sensibilities.

Orange Kitchen Picture by Refresh Renovations

It wouldn’t be the first time hues were used to soothe. For hundreds of years, color theorists have ascribed psychological characteristics to hues based on intuition.

Orange inspires activity
Orange inspires activity
Photos credit Red Living By Bar Design UK Warm colors—like reds, yellows, and oranges—are associated with active feelings, while cool colors—like blues and greens—are widely believed to be calming and healing.
blue
Blue_Living inspires calm
Photo credit Blue living by Thespruce.com Photo Credit of green kitchen by Ideahomes.co.uk

Use these colours for family members with certain characteristics

Chromotherapy (considered alternative medicine to some and pseudoscience to others) has been hawked as a remedy for illness since Ancient Egypt. In the early 1900s, a New York City psychiatric hospital even had a “color ward” to treat patients: a black room to soothe “manic” patients, a red room to treat “melancholia,” violet for “insanity,” blue and green rooms for the “boisterous,” and a white room for someone who is “practically well,” as a 1902 New York Times story stated. “[S]o completely is a patient surrounded by an atmosphere of a particular color, deemed best by physicians for his particular mania, that the vibrations must act on him,” the reporter wrote. Rudolf Steiner, who founded Waldorf education, believed that classrooms should be painted in specific colors based on the developmental age of students.

The interest in how color affects mood, and maybe even mental health, hasn’t waned since the early 1900s. Recently, researchers interested in the effects of interior design on stress and anxiety have studied the body’s response to color, hoping to find some scientific backing to anecdotal assumptions. In a small experiment, researchers at the Aalborg University of Copenhagen blindfolded subjects, connected them to EEG machines (which register brain activity), and exposed them to different colors of light. Their brains were more active when their bodies were exposed to red and blue light. Green light yielded calmness and relaxation. Another study found that blue light helps people relax more than if they were using white light.

For relaxing home use blue and green tones

Images of color swatches, which are bright and bold colors, arranged horizontally
Pressman suggests these colors as energizing hues that brighten moods: PANTONE 14-0957 Spectra Yellow; PANTONE 17-3932 Deep Periwinkle; PANTONE 17-1464 Red Orange; PANTONE 20-0147 Diode Blue; PANTONE 18-3027 Purple Orchid; PANTONE 16-4728 Peacock Blue; PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise; PANTONE 12-0642 Aurora; PANTONE 20-0179 Leprechaun Dust
 Courtesy Pantone

Pressman believes that color can serve as an antidote to today’s trying times in three ways: by calming us, by soothing us, and by offering some much-needed positive energy.

Grey may not be your colour Post Covid

“Now is not the time for greys,” Pressman says, the color many people gravitated toward after the 2008 financial crisis, to which the COVID-19 pandemic is drawing comparisons. Instead, she recommends meditative nature shades like blues, greens, and browns as calming options.

Photo credit for pastel living by Architectureartdesigns.com To soothe us, she suggests colors that gently warm us, like pastel pinks, burnt oranges, and terra-cotta shades. To brighten moods, she looks to reds and yellows.

Add an accent colour to the colour scheme

“I need to feel positive because of all the uncertainty in the air and am trying to summon up the energy,” Pressman says. “So to put on that red shirt, to put on that yellow pillow, or something that sparks optimism and energy.”

accent colour for a balance of excitement
accent colour for a balance of excitement
Photos Credit yellow high stool by trendir.com

Pressman says of picking the color of the year, which is more about a cultural statement than trend forecasting. “We’re looking forward, but at the same time we are fearful and we need that solid foundation so we can comfortably and confidently cross that bridge into this new era. This kind of color—with its ability to elicit feelings of calm, with its feelings of sincerity, and a feeling of anchoring and continuity—fosters resilience and can be protective.”

For soothing home choose these colours

Images of color swatches, which are pastels and light grays, arranged horizontally
Pressman says that pastel hues are a very livable and soothing colors to consider. Shown here are PANTONE 13-2808 Ballet Slipper; PANTONE 12-0712 Vanilla; PANTONE 13-0908 Parchment; PANTONE 14-4102 Glacier Gray; PANTONE 14-4112 Skyway; PANTONE 15-4502 Silver Cloud; PANTONE 16-1109 Greige; PANTONE 17-4015 Infinity; and PANTONE 18-5204 Granite Gray
 Courtesy Pantone

When it comes to applying these colors to our homes, Pressman suggests thinking about how you want to feel when you step inside the door, how you want to feel in specific rooms, and using color to create those moods.

For example, a very bright optic white could look beautiful but feel stark. A creamier white or a white with brown undertones could make the color more warming. Using yellow in an entry hall, she says, can add sunniness. Meanwhile, something like a terra cotta could add instant warmth. Pastel hues, she says, are very popular right now and very livable.
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