An Interior Designers’s Perspective on the Fundamental use of color in your homes

There is more to color than what meets the eye, if you are looking to explore means where you can make a boring room stand out- color plays a vital role, if used properly you can bring a dull boring space to life.  The fact about color is that, it affects every aspect of our life, even our bodies; as the sayings goes, “you ‘maybe feeling a bit off color’” or “‘you may be having a black mood’”. Our visual senses are highly developed and therefore color is so important to us, with each of our eyes containing 37 million light sensitive receptors.  An interior designer or a color consultant can help you in selecting the right color palettes than are unusual yet look attractive.


The white light we see comprises of various types of wave length, and each wave length comprises of a different color; red  being the longest wave-length and violet being the shortest. This is the pathway to the brain that receives and recognizes  each of these colors individually. Invariably colors present in light effect our hormones,  our health and even our mood which in science is described as a ‘sensation’. Our take on color is personal to each individual and specific colors has a big impact varying from person to person. Puberty is the stages of a human’s life where our individual preferences for color are decided.  Children are said to like red, orange and yellow upto the age of 5 and gradually by the ages of 13 or so shift towards the blues and greens.

From an decorators perspective, before choosing a color for your room in the house it is necessary to look up the basics to help you make the right choice.  There are several issues to choosing the right color and if you have the right insights you will make the right decision.  When you take possession of your home, a builder would generally paint the walls a pastel shade of cream.   While consulting with an architect or an interior designer first consider what you vision for a particular room is. If the architect and interior designer are different consultants on the project inform the architect on the use of the other elements in the room such as art, furniture and electronics.

Using Light in the right manner for your home

To begin with, the first approach to finding the right color palette is to getting to know your room. The first factor to determine this is to understand the amount of light entering the room, particularly sunlight. We understand color only after gauging how much light it absorbs or bounces back. If the paint in the dining room and the kitchen area the same colors, it would look completely different. Colors changes depending on the directions of north, south, east and west and also during the times of the day. At dawn,  it leans towards pinks, mid-day blue and towards the evening, purply-red.

The external surroundings also make a difference to colors of the light that reflects inwards, for example the bouncing of light from the swimming pool or the green lawn. The type of paint color you use can also radically have an effect on light.

The direction in which the room faces has a direct impact on lighting and as a architect you have to be able to visualize how this could effect the space you are working with. Rooms facing east or north receive less sunlight and tend to appear darker or colder. The rooms facing the south or the west get more sunlight which again impacts the choice of colors. The geographic location of where you live also plays its part. Finding where the light comes from and which direction it goes to is the rule of thumb. Rooms facing the north or east need a bright color palette, south or west facing rooms are warm in their own right and you can pick cooler colors.

Creating an identity for the space with the right type of lighting

There is still more to look into before you head to the color palette. The use of the space or the identity of the space is the next aspect. Would the room be used for relaxing or sleeping? Or is it a room for the family to get together. All of these functions have a bearing on the appropriate  color to choose and in-turn determine the architectural balance of the room.  Although we have our preferences on the choice of color there is a general rule however certain room and activities suit certain colors. Busy family kitchens look better with cool and relaxing colors.  Trendy singles can take more drama such as loud reds, and bright colors not always work in bathrooms not if you want to soak in a long bubble bath! For your bedrooms think before slapping on the oranges, yellows or reds. Strong colors work well in room with less use such as hallways.   Blues tends to be much more calmer and reds to be much more aggressive. Therefore in a bedroom where you want to relax will not need strong vibrant colors and likewise strong colors in the kitchen will make you heat up.

There are over 2000 colors available for your home but we still tend to be conservative in our choice of color.  Magnolia is one of the most popular choices for color commonly seen in many Goan homes. When you make choice of color don’t just take the tin home, taking the lid off and paint a big-enough sample before making a choice. Remember that is not jut what you are going to get on the wall.   If you are planning on painting a sample block ensure you paint a large one to really see what it looks like. With your test patch give it at least two coats to give you a better idea of what it would look like.