Healthy Colours in Interior Design

Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. - Pablo Picasso

— Healthy Colours in Interior Design

Colours surround us every day, in every environment. While we do not always notice them – these colours affect our moods and feelings.  This makes it very important to consider health colours in interior design.

Some colour-effects have universal meaning: The red zone of the colour spectrum is classified as warm colours – evoking emotions of either warmth and comfort, or anger and hostility. On the opposite blue side, classified as cold side, of the spectrum feelings of calm, sadness or indifference can be evoked.

While the influence of colour is not easily identified and proven, it should not be underestimated. Colour as a language has been part of our lives since the beginning of time; we describe people as “feeling blue” or “being green with envy”, showing the descriptive power of colour.

In terms of physics colours are measured as different vibrations or wavelengths, this shows that individual colours have distinct properties and qualities.

Consequently, one needs to take into account the psychological effect of colour versus the importance of design.

At Rumour Has It we pay special attention to the effects which colours can have in certain spaces, particularly in the case of our Healthcare clientèle.

PositveHealth.com identifies certain colours which need to be introduced into patients’ lives to influence them positively:

Pink evokes creativity, unconditional love and feelings of contentment.

Green creates the illusion of space and aids in taking heart and flowing with life.

Violet transforms thoughts into positive affirmations and gives inspiration.

Red can give grounding and energy as well as strength to be well.

Plenty of consideration needs to be given towards the facility type as well as the area or department being decorated. Additionally, the individuals who will be using it need to be identified, as the age and requirements of patients or staff need to be considered.

A commercial space needs to be professional but also inviting, just as residential space needs to be elegant and comfortable.

Facilities should talk to designers and explain exactly which areas will be changing and the function of the rooms which need to be designed. The function of a space plays a vast role in influencing the colour palette, textures and designs which appear in a room.

If the room has neutral tones then we ensure that colours and light are brought in effectively.

In Italy there is a famous proverb ‘Dove il sole non entra il dottore‘, which translates to ‘Where the sun does not enter the doctor does‘.

Seeing the sun and absorbing its light for a few moments every day is essential to health and well-being according to PositiveHealth.com. It is vital to incorporate natural light in a healthcare facility.

If it is not possible for the patients to go outside it is important to bring nature inside the space, this can be done through textures, colours and materials around the space.

Often healthcare facilities use colours for way-finding. As a result, designers need to take into consideration the appropriate colours used to help people find their way around the hospital.

According to Health Care Design Magazine assisted–living or retirement-type facilities allow for richer colours in order to create a homier feeling.

Colours to avoid include highly saturated, vibrant yellows and reds, as these are colours which cause feelings of anxiousness.