Mati Cau Limited

Psychology and theory of colours

Colour plays a vital role in any design scheme, it is linked closely with light because we cannot see colour without light. You can choose colours from the colour wheel when deciding what colour is suitable for your space.

The colour wheel consists of primary, secondary and tertiary colours which can also establish colour categories. For example, colours opposite each other on the colour wheel are called complementary colours and colours next to each other on the colour wheel are called harmonious colours.

Primary colours: These are pure colours that have not been mixed with any colour. E.g. Red, Blue, Yellow.

Secondary colours: These are a mixture of two primary colours; such as mixing Red and Blue which gives you purple. They include Purple, Green, Orange.

Tertiary colours: These are colours you get from mixing a primary colour and a secondary colour together. For example; mixing blue and purple will give you Blue violet. Example of tertiary colours include: Blue-violent, Yellow-green, Red-orange.

The following are some colour schemes to consider when choosing a colour scheme for your space:

  • Harmonious colour scheme: The harmonious colour scheme uses colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. They work very well when used in a scheme as they harmonise one another. For example, Red and orange or Blue, purple and green and blue when used in a space as seen in the picture harmonise each other.
  • Complementary colour scheme: Uses colours that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel. These colours when used in a space complement each other and can create diverse spaces within interior designing. For example, in the picture below when yellow and purple Is used, see how complementary they sit.
  • Monochromatic colour scheme: This colour scheme uses one colour and then edited in a variety of tones. When using this scheme in an interior space, many tones of the same colour can create depth and texture.
  • Achromatic colour scheme: This colour scheme uses black and white in tones and shades. Other similar colours can be added such as different tones of greys.

Tints, shades and Tones:

Every colour on the colour wheel can be altered by either tinting, shading or toning.

Tint: This is when you mix white to any colour on the colour wheel, you keep getting different tints as you add to the colour.

Shades: This is when you mix black to a colour.

Tones: This is when you mix grey to any colour.

There are a lot more colour schemes to choose from. Do not forget the historic colour scheme, they still look nice when used especially if you are using an Era design.

  • Georgian colour scheme
  • Victorian colour scheme
  • Art Nouveau colour scheme
  • Art deco colour scheme etc.

The psychological effect of colour:

Colour has psychological effects on our mood: When choosing a colour for your space you should keep in mind what effect you want the space to have on its occupants.

The colour red means danger universally, but red is a powerful colour as it grabs one’s attention first, which is why it is used for traffic light STOP. Using the Red colour in a design scheme can create a big impact on the space as it stimulates and excites.

The orange colour can be as stimulating as the colour red but with less aggressiveness. It is a fun and energetic colour, ideal for a kid’s room or living room.

The blue colour can be calming, it is the most popular colour for bedrooms as it instils serenity and peace.

The yellow colour has an emotional psychological effect. It can lift your spirit and self-esteem. Yellow interiors create warmth and cheerfulness and can be inviting, great for living rooms.

It is the colour of balance. Lots of greenery in a space makes us feel at ease as there is less chance of a drought. Green is the colour of nature, it can give an interior a fresh and natural feel. Shades of green work well in a kitchen as it radiates healthy food.

The purple colour can be perceived as been very dramatic, but it is also a glamorous and regal effect.

This colour creates a sense of peace and freshness. Using the colour white in a small space can make the space appear large.

This colour is the most oppressive colour because it relates to death. However, when used subtly it can add depth and elegance to a space. Black can also make a space appear smaller than it is.

Light plays an important role in the application of colour, whether it be natural or artificial. At Mati cau limited we select colours for any design scheme carefully and we keep in mind that a person’s taste in colour is subjective to ones like. That’s why we work with you to create your dream space.

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