MEANING ASSOCIATED WITH COLOURS

Ever since man understood fiery red meant danger and those purple berries were poisonous, colour has been associated with moods and feelings.

Religious artists used colour as a form of shorthand – people looking at a stained glass window or a heraldic coat of arms would have instantly known blue equalled contemplative faith or green meant hope. Even saints were associated with different colours.

The colours used to decorate rooms in a house can affect the occupants’ moods. Find out why:

Red

Associated with: danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure, optimism

Pitfalls: it can be overpowering and lead to headaches. Either vary the shade, paint one wall red, or use it for accessories only. use deep red in children’s designs.
Red room
Red rooms

Pink

Associated with: love
Best for: bedrooms as it can be peaceful and restful. A hot fuchsia can introduce passion
Pitfalls: can be appear to be very girlie and sickly sweet. To counteract this, introduce hints of dark charcoal or black
Pink room
Pink rooms

Orange

Associated with: stability, reassurance, warmth, and is thought to aid digestion
Best for: living and dining rooms
Pitfalls: might keep the occupant awake when used in a bedroom. It can make a room look smaller because it’s an advancing colour, so make sure the room gets plenty of light
Orange room
Orange rooms

Green

Associated with: nature and energy, calming and restful, balance (halfway between red and blue) security, stability
Best for: bedrooms, living rooms
Pitfalls: too much green is thought to make people too complacent or too laid back. Inject some red or orange to counteract these feelings
Green room
Green rooms

Blue

Associated with: calming and soothing; promotes intellectual thought; believed to keep hunger at bay; loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative, prevents nightmares
Best for: bedrooms, bathrooms, studies
Pitfalls: can look cold and unwelcoming. Make sure it doesn’t look too chilly by choosing a blue with a warm undertone
Blue room
Blue rooms

Yellow

Associated with: sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellect
Best for: kitchens, dining rooms or north-facing rooms
Pitfalls: not very restful for a bedroom. Yellow is thought to enhance feelings of emotional distress
Yellow room
Yellow rooms

Lilac

Associated with: spiritual matters – suggests the misty area between the sky and heaven, feminine
Best for: bedrooms and bathrooms to create a stress-free sanctuary
Pitfalls: can be insipid. Liven it up with black or silver, or both
Lilac room
Lilac rooms

Purple

Associated with: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex
Best for: bedrooms
Pitfalls: can be overpowering
Purple room
Purple rooms

Brown

Associated with: security, stability and very practical
Best for: living rooms
Pitfalls: introduce a livelier colour for mental stimulation such as green or blue
Brown room
Brown rooms

Black

Associated with: death, eccentricity, drama. It’s a non-colour that absorbs colour and reflects nothing back
Best for: using in moderation
Pitfalls: depressing – think of all those angst-ridden teenage bedrooms. Use it to temper the sweetness of other sugary colours such as pink, but don’t use it as a base colour

MEANING ASSOCIATED WITH COLOURS

Ever since man understood fiery red meant danger and those purple berries were poisonous, colour has been associated with moods and feelings.

Religious artists used colour as a form of shorthand – people looking at a stained glass window or a heraldic coat of arms would have instantly known blue equalled contemplative faith or green meant hope. Even saints were associated with different colours.

The colours used in layout design can affect the occupants’ moods. Find out why:

Red

red colour

red colour

Associated with: danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure, optimism
Best for food page designs as it promotes sociable and lively feelings, and stimulates the appetite
Pitfalls: it can be overpowering and lead to headaches. Way forward is to vary the shade. It’s not a good idea to use deep red in children’s design.


 

Pink

 

pink colour

pink colour

Associated with: love
Best for: layout of bedroom pages and  love portrayals as it can be peaceful and restful.
Pitfalls: can be appear to be very girlie and sickly sweet. To counteract this, introduce hints of dark charcoal or black


 

Orange

orange colour

orange colour

Associated with: stability, reassurance, warmth, and is thought to aid digestion
Best for: food page layout as it stimulates appetite.


 

Green

green colour

green colour

Associated with: nature and energy, calming and restful, balance (halfway between red and blue) security, stability


 

Blue

blue colour

blue colour

Associated with: calming and soothing; promotes intellectual thought; believed to keep hunger at bay; loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative.
Pitfalls: can look cold and unwelcoming. Make sure it doesn’t look too chilly by choosing a blue with a warm undertone.


Yellow

yellow colour

yellow colour

Associated with: sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellect
Pitfalls: Yellow is thought to enhance feelings of emotional distress


Lilac

lilac colour

lilac colour

Associated with: spiritual matters – suggests the misty area between the sky and heaven, feminine.
Pitfalls: can be insipid. Liven it up with black or silver, or both


Purple

purple colour

purple colour

Associated with: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex
Pitfalls: can be overpowering.


Brown

brown colour

brown colour

Associated with: security, stability and very practical.
Pitfalls: introduce a livelier colour for mental stimulation such as green or blue .


Black

Associated with: death, eccentricity, drama. It’s a non-colour that absorbs colour and

 

black colour

black colour

reflects nothing back.
Best when: used in moderation
Pitfalls: depressing. Use it to temper the sweetness of other sugary colours such as pink, but don’t use it as a base colour

 

 


 

TYPE OF COLOURS

 

Primary colours

Primary colour wheel

Primary colours are three key colours – Red, Blue and Yellow. They cannot be made from any other colour.


 

Secondary colours

Secondary colour wheel

If you mix equal amounts of the primary colours, you get the Secondary colours – Purple, Green and Orange.

Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue = Purple
Blue + Yellow = Green


Tertiary colours

Tertiary colour wheel

If you mix a primary with a secondary colour, in a ratio of 2:1, you get a Tertiary colour. Red-Orange, Blue-Green etc.


 

Cool versus hot

Look at the colour wheel and you will see the left hand side of the colours are ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ and the ones on the right are ‘cool’ or ‘cold’.

Colour wheel

Colour wheel



 

Neutrals

Neutrals are one of the easiest groups of colours, or non-colours to work with. They don’t appear on the colour wheel and include Black, Grey, White and sometimes Brown and Beige. They all go together and can be layered and mixed and matched. No neutral colour will try to dominate over another.


 

Accent colours

An accent colour is a colour used in quite small quantities to lift or to add punch to a colour scheme.

  • An accent colour should be in a complementary colour. It works best if it’s a bright, vibrant colour. Accent colours are perfect if you’re scared of using strong colour.
  • Keep most of your room in shades and variations of one single colour. Choose a number of items in a harmonious colour. Then pick out just a few objects in an accent colour.

 

Clashing colours

To use clashing colours is thought to be a no-no.