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Colour is a sensation

It is a scientific fact that colours affect us both physically and psychologically. Colours have an unmistakable impact on our state of mind and on our perception of temperature and distance. How we see colours is a perceptual experience and therefore highly personal. This is why we see and feel colours differently. When we perceive colours, a number of parallel reactions and associations take place in our mind. These responses can differ greatly from one person to another. Even childhood experiences may subconsciously influence our sensation of colour. Colours also have intense symbolic and cultural significance.

When indoors, we naturally assume that the floor is the darkest element in the room and the other colours become progressively lighter as we look upwards towards the ceiling. We feel content and secure – the dark floor reminds us of the solid ground on which we stand, while a light-coloured ceiling seems to be airy and spacious, just like the sky. Walls, in turn, give us a sense of security when coloured so as to be clearly perceptible.

Once we know such basic facts about space and colour, we can also use them inversely. For example, if we want to create an airy and spacious ambience in a room, we can colour it completely white. Painting the ceiling, walls and floor white accentuates the furniture and softens the contours of the space. The mood is free, otherworldly and ethereal. The impression of immaterial space can be further accentuated with certain types of lighting.

ABC of colour selection

Colour cards