Calming neutrals and gentle greys have been our ‘go to’ shades for some time now. Don’t get me wrong, I love the pared back Scandi look and tend to steer away from colours that shout out. But, having been cooped up inside for so many months, I’m tempted to think beyond this safe, muted canvas.
Magazines and websites are certainly encouraging us to be more confident with colour and to experiment with different shades. Beyond personal preference, however, this is a tricky one to navigate. Where do you start? A tried and tested answer seems to lie in a framework called Colour Psychology; a route map used by interior designers that can help you navigate colour palettes. In the 1970’s, Psychologist Angela Wright researched how colour affects our emotions and behaviour. She uncovered that different personality types have different colour palettes that resonate with them in a positive way. The framework helps you understand more about who you are and your unique preferences, and then how to harmonise a palette that will create successful schemes. Through the study, Angela formed four groups of colours which reflected four personality types:
1 – morninglight – the spring shades – clean, clear, fresh
2 – dreamlight – the summer shades – cool, subtle, delicate
3 – firelight – the autumn shades – rich, fiery, offbeat
4 – starlight – the winter shades – cold, very light or very dark, very intense, clear, strong
With spring just around the corner – and not a moment too soon – I was drawn to morninglight. Apparently, a spring personality is “externally motivated and eternally youthful”. “Light on their feet” it describes and associated with water – the moving element. The spring colour pattern echoes the season with its fresh colours; there’s a strong connection with the outdoors and pink features a lot. But the shades aren’t sickly and overly girly. They’re soft, dusty, calming and feminine – and they evoke a strong feeling of optimism. Very of the moment, with Valentines just a few days away and spring within striking distance.
Dreamlight, or summer personalities, are associated with the element air. This group’s tones are more subtle, having been bleached by the sun, and they contain more grey pigment. Firelight – associated with fire – includes the more intense autumnal shades; the rich golds and burnt oranges that we’re familiar with. The fourth grouping – Starlight – is associated with earth. This colour personality with its winter shades includes clean, strong tones often described as chic, from icy blue to black.
We’ve always been encouraged to stick to certain colours in certain rooms – a restful shade for a bedroom and something more invigorating for a kitchen or bathroom – but working with the personality groups helps you choose a scheme that aligns with your personality, rather than just sticking to the rules. Moodboards are a great way to explore this further. And, as we look forward into 2021 – with its feeling of cautious optimism – why not follow mother nature and let the happiness in – be it with a blossom pink, the mellow tone of wisteria, a bold burnt orange or a shimmering sapphire. The choice is yours.
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