Color in interior spaces | Architecture & Design

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From mood to time perception, color unconsciously influences emotion and everyday behavior. Although our reaction to specific colors is largely subjective – informed by experience, culture and context – there are some universal truths that transcend prejudice. Color theory attempts to explain the connection between color and human behavior, touching psychological, biological and creative elements.

Invented in 1666 by Isaac Newton, we commonly use the color wheel as a map of the color spectrum to show us the relationships between different colors. The basic color wheel is divided by hue and temperature, then categorized by primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. More complex color wheels incorporate tints, tones, and shades, created by adding white, gray, and black, respectively, to a base hue. Besides hue, colors contain two other components: saturation, which indicates liveliness, and value, which refers to brightness. Our basic understanding of color associations centers on hue; however, it is widely accepted that saturation, temperature, and value tend to have a greater influence on emotion.

Colors induce biological reactions that differ according to their temperature, saturation and value. Cool colors decrease excitement, promoting relaxation; warm colors increase excitement, stimulate excitement. These responses are further influenced by saturation and value. So a high value, low saturation blue is probably more relaxing than a high saturation blue. Apart from experience, culture and context, our biological reactions to colors influence our conscious and subconscious associations. For example, since red increases arousal – and with it heart rate and adrenaline – we tend to associate it with feelings of excitement, passion and anxiety.

Apply color theory to your space

color theory

By taking these biological reactions into account, you can create spaces that positively affect the people who live and work there. For example, offices can be busy and stress-inducing spaces; if they’re painted or decorated in a stimulating color scheme, staff have nowhere to pause. To promote a healthy and comfortable working environment, it is important to have a balance between cool and warm colors in the workplace, with cool colors taking precedence in spaces intended for concentration, contemplation and relaxation.

Color theory is both a science and an art. Your palette has the power to influence human behavior and evoke emotion; how you use said palette in your space is entirely discretionary.

Refresh your palette with six new colors

Our six new Cube colors cover the entire color spectrum, offering a selection of warm and cool hues.

A deep, warm red, Sargazo is delightfully seductive, evoking feelings of passion and stimulating conversation.

Light, earthy and natural, Parthenon’s subtle and timeless aesthetic is perfect for contemporary spaces. Walking the line between cool and warm, the Parthenon is both peaceful and upbeat, tipping the scales both ways with context.

A confident honey yellow, Beehive evokes feelings of joy and excitement with a hint of nostalgia.

Cavalier is an effortlessly cool, soft, dark purple. Effortlessly sophisticated, Cavalier feels luxurious, yet grounded – a shade known for sparking creativity and spiritual connection.

A rich twilight blue, Muralla evokes a sense of pensive tranquility. Associated with logic, intelligence and integrity, this hue is perfect for spaces designed for contemplation or concentration. Biologically, this deep blue is said to lower blood pressure and slow heart rate.

Gherkin is a lush jade green with a touch of warmth, although it is a naturally cool shade. This delicate balance offers both serenity and vitality with a touch of opulence. The color of leafy foliage, Gherkin is grounded and familiar.

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