Give Me the Blues
Blue shades in the room
Blue is usually associated with sky, water and expanse. But is that true of every kind of blue?
How does a blue room feel? Beautifully fresh, cool, transparent, airy, uncomfortable, light, impersonal, expansive, heavy, pleasant, melancholic, activating, calm, deep, breathe deeply, serious, solemn, annoying, noble, heavenly, wide, ...
How we perceive the colour in the room also depends on our personal taste. However, there are clear tendencies about how blues work in a room. For example, colour influences our temperature perception: you are more likely to feel chilly in a blue room than in an orange one - at the same room temperature. And compared to a warm colour of the same quality, blue tends to fade into the background.
No two blues are the same
Bright ultramarine or light sky blue: which one would you prefer for working in the office?
The countless shades of blue have very different influences on the room atmosphere. Decisive for the spatial effect is how bright and how intense the colours are. But also which shade of blue it is: a rather reddish or greenish blue. Blue shades tending towards turquoise are perceived as cooler than shades of blue that are closer to violet.
In the study "Colour and Emotion "*, people were asked about the emotional effect of colours. The impression of a colour was evaluated very differently when saturation and brightness changed, also with blue:
Light to medium shades of blue with little saturation are perceived as light, calm, airy, fresh or cool and expand the room visually. With increasing intensity, the effect is rather activating, invigorating, stimulatingly fresh - with maximum saturation it can even be perceived as annoying and restrictive. Dark blue can be perceived as deep and classy - but also as heavy and confining.
Here are three different shades of blue in comparison:
However, the size of the room, the size of the painted area and where the coloured areas are located in the room are also decisive.
You can find more information here.
It's the combination that matters
Of course, it is also interesting what a blue is combined with. A light blue room with tiles and metal can be perceived as icy. However, when the light blue is combined with warm oak floorboards, the room appears pleasantly balanced. An intense ultramarine in combination with a natural sand colour is fresh and inviting. Some nice examples of blue in the room can be found here
- *Study on Colour and Emotion: HAWK IIT (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim, Institute International Trendscouting)
- Book "Farbe Kommunikation im Raum" (Meerwein, Rodeck, Mahnke)