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The Use of Colour

Can the Colour of Your Home Really Change Your Behaviour?

Colour Psychology is the study of colour and how it influences our behavior. A recent article by Frank H. Mahnke http://archinect.com/features/article/53292622/color-in-architecture-more-than-just-decoration states “Studies have proven that human-environment-reaction in the architectural environment is to a large percentage based on the sensory perception of colour” and “human response to colour is total – it influences us psychologically and physiologically.”

Blue is said to calming, black is said to be depressing, white and yellow are thought to be more cheerful colours, while red is said to be exciting and stimulate the brain.

Given that colour plays such a vital role within our lives, it also plays a vital role in the field of architecture. Colour is a very powerful tool when it comes to design because colour can create impact and response both mentally and behaviourally.

There is a significant relationship between colour and space because colour can alter the perception of a space. For example, darker colours can make a space appear smaller while lighter colours can make a space appear larger.

Effective use of colour needs to be deliberate and purposeful and sometimes subtle. It is important to have a very clear design rationale when using colour. The level of skill of an architect can be measured in their ability to use colour to enhance a space and draw attention to design features. Colours should be used carefully and with purpose to adjust the perception of proportion and add character.

The use of colour for a building needs to be considered holistically. It’s important to note that colour serves a purpose both internally and externally. In today’s environment of rapid technological advances we are provided with a range of options to add colour and texture to surfaces both inside and outside of the home. Products such as architectural panel and cladding systems provide architects with flexibility to explore both colour and form in numerous new ways. Not only do these new products provide striking and colourful finishes they are also extremely durable and long lasting.

While it’s not necessary to fully understand the psychology of colour, I’m sure we all agree that our lives and homes would be rather bland and boring without it. With a clear purpose and design plan, the sky is the limit with what you can achieve through the use of colour. With the application of architectural skill and creativity colour can be used to create impact and response and yes, may even change behavior.


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