The 21st March was the spring equinox – the day each year where day and night are of approximately equal duration all over the planet. And it is this relationship between light and dark which also marks International Colour Day, because without light, there is no colour.
As Karen Haller says, colour “is around us all the time and influences everything we do – though we are barely aware that this is happening. In fact, we are only around 20 per cent conscious of the colour decisions that we make, though we are making them all the time: about what we wear, what we eat, what we buy, how we relax, right down to how we take our morning cup of coffee.” The ability to see colour literally guides us through our lives, helping us in our decision-making processes.
As Swiss painter Johannes Itten says, “Colour is life; for a world without colours appears to us as dead.”
And in her book Joyful, Ingrid Fetell Lee observes that “the liveliest places and objects all have one thing in common: bright, vivid colour.” Across every culture in the world, bright colours are universally understood to be associated with joy.
These days we’re also very aware of the importance of incorporating biophilia – our innate connection to nature, into our homes. Colour is everywhere in nature, from sunrise to sunset, in the flowers, birds and insects. Colour here is a sign of the richness of our surroundings.
So if colour really is such a powerful force of positivity and optimism, why don’t we use more of it in our homes? Fetell Lee suggests that this is due to ‘chromophobia’ – a fear of colour. It seems we automatically default to beige or grey rather than risk making the wrong choice about colour, and then having to live with it.
As colour psychologist Haller says, “Colour is an increasingly important topic of consideration for neuroscientists, biologists, physicists, philosophers and psychologists; and research is continually expanding our knowledge of how we take colour in and how we emotionally respond to it.” And at a time like this, when so many of us are feeling increased levels of anxiety due to the Covid pandemic, surrounding ourselves with colours that instil feelings of positivity and joy is now more important than ever. It is time to put our own wellbeing at the forefront of how we design our homes, and to create spaces that nurture the feelings and behaviours that we want for ourselves and our families.
Colour is one of the elements that helps us to emotionally connect with our spaces. It makes our homes feel alive. After all, what are our homes, if not designed for us as human beings? As an interior designer, I use colour to influence and impact the experience of home that people have in a positive way. Using the right colour, or combination of colours, will have a positive impact on the emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing of the people who work, live and move through the spaces that I create.
If you suspect that you are suffering from chromophobia and have no idea what colours to choose, please get in touch and I would be happy to offer a colour consultation. Contact us to book your consultation with Nicola Holden Designs.