Without a doubt, color can have a big impact on how people respond to a space. From soothing blues and neutrals to bold reds and oranges, color can influence how people feel and how they perform in a space, both of which are particularly important when it comes to work spaces.
According to the International Association of Color Consultants/Designers (IACC), the right color choices can:
• Improve perception and protect the eyes from unnecessary strain
• Increase efficiency and minimize errors by reducing monotony, irritation and premature fatigue
• Improve orientation and increase safety
And, to some extent, compensate for specific problems such as noise, heat, cold, dryness, and more.
In short, yes, color matters.
DRAB IS THE ENEMY
People often worry that going too bright or too bold is a bad thing, but to be honest, drab is the enemy, too. It’s not just unattractive; it actually affects people. When they sit in a boring white or builder-beige space and there’s nothing refreshing or cozy; it’s not inspiring or pleasant to be in.
It’s important to understand the existing space and what the clients’ goals are for the space. Is the space dark or well lit? Is it hot or cold? Are there lots of separate spaces to be defined or are they trying to create one cohesive area? Do they want the finished space to feel formal and even intimidating or do they want a fun and funky vibe? Ultimately, it’s a combination of what you are looking to create in the space and what effect you want to achieve that drives the right color choices.
COLOR AS AN ORGANIZER
Without a doubt, bland is bad. But so is adding color just for the sake of adding color.
Color is great for organizing and anchoring a space. Even in an open-floor plan design, you can use color to define spaces. Let’s say you have a long wall and along that wall you have a copy area and a kitchen. By using a different color in each of those areas, either on the walls or in the flooring, you can give order to the space. This is helpful in allowing people to feel settled, calm, and in control.
GO EASY ON THE EYES
One important factor that people often fail to consider when selecting color is light reflective value (LRV), especially in the case of offices where you have people staring at monitors all day, its particularly important to make sure whatever color you choose for the walls isn’t too reflective. It’s hard on the eyes and has a definite impact on employee productivity and their general well-being.
When selecting wall colors use caution against selecting a color incorrectly, as it can promote over stimulation. Here is an interesting point, if you notice on reality shows where people are forced to live in a house together they use multiple colors and patterns combined in each room. At first glance that’s kind of fun, but over time it actually unsettles people and creates tension. While that may be great for ratings, it’s not so great for creating a cooperative and productive workplace.
APPLYING THE ART AND SCIENCE OF COLOR
Choosing color is both an art and a science. The main purpose of an office is for people to be productive in whatever field they’re in. We don’t let a client’s commitment to a color scheme or concepts interfere with productivity. That doesn’t mean we shoot down clients ideas entirely, but we can offer suggestions for ways to tone them down (lower LRVs) and perhaps incorporate key colors (accent walls or accessories) in a manner that’s in keeping with their vision, which truly makes the workplace a friendly, enjoyable and productive space for all.
Call or email us TODAY for a color consultation and FREE estimate!