“For me, colours are living beings, highly evolved individuals who integrate with us and with the whole world. Colours are the true inhabitants of space. “
The choice of colour for the walls of the house is a fundamental step to truly turn a house into a home. This choice requires commitment, attention and not a little introspective research, since, as the French artist Yves Klein also maintains, we must consider the colours of the real inhabitants of the space, as much as we do.
We must therefore immediately dispel a widespread myth: although in every culture there are different colour trends and some ‘iconic’ colours , no colour is ever really wrong . Like spices in the kitchen, the colours are all interesting: the important thing is to know how to combine them.
It is, however, important to choose one (or more) that enhances the spaces and helps to harmonise the environments, and with this guide we will explain how to do it.
1. Start from the environment, calmly
Observing spaces is the best way to start when choosing colours.
If you want to paint an environment in which you already live, the colour selection will be easier, because over time we may have already identified which colours we like and which ones have tired us over time.
For a new environment, for example a new apartment, the selection may require more imagination. This will be a good opportunity to experiment with new colour harmonies. Look closely at the natural lights of the environment, and try to look for examples (thanks to the joys of the internet) of environments with similar lighting as an example.
Moving on to the choice of colour, it will then be necessary to consider its three variables: hue, lightness and saturation.
The first and easiest step is certainly the first choice, that of the colour (blue, green, red, yellow, etc.). Then you must choose the clarity, based on the amount of natural light in the room, observing in particular the direct light beams on the surface to be coloured. Finally, we move on to saturation (for example, more or less orange), a choice that depends on how much you want to make that surface the “protagonist” of the environment. The more neutral the colour, the more “silent” the painted surface will be, and it will blend into the environment itself.
To link different rooms, it will be possible to use the same colour with different saturations and clarity (for example R238, R239 and R240 from the Airlite palette ), or choose different colours with the same saturation (for example G307, G312 and B405, always from our palette) .
At this stage it is essential to remember not to make hasty choices: the colours chosen will be with you for several years – you should take time to choice.
2. Don’t overdo it
We must always remember that the house must first of all be a place of rest and fulfilment of the senses, so creating the right atmosphere is essential.
Creating an atmosphere through colours means choosing them in conjunction with each other and in harmony with the shapes and lights of the house itself. For example, if you have already chosen part of the furniture, it is important to take into account its colours and shapes when choosing the colour of the walls.
Usually the number of house colours does not exceed 2 or 3 shades, but if the spaces are linear and empty it is possible to use several different colours, which will give a feeling of greater filling to the environment. However, such spaces are very rare, and the main advice is always to not overdo the choice.
Generally, more saturated colours are chosen for smaller rooms, but this rule does not apply to the corridor, which as a “quick passage” from one room to another can also have brighter colours and thus give a pleasant sensation of colour.
3. Play with the light
Mesmerism, i.e. the hue that colour takes on in relation to light, is one of the reasons why we may find that the chosen colour as slightly different, once applied to the surface. For this reason, it is always preferable to choose the colour with the palette in hand, and to consider the level of exposure and of iridescence of each pigment. Among the tones most sensitive to this phenomenon are the lighter shades and those on the grey scale.
So let’s consider light. An environment facing north will receive less natural light during the day, with a blue cast. In this case it will be advisable to favour the warmer and lighter shades, to make the most of the least amount of light.
Conversely, an environment with a southern exposure will see its walls naturally brighter and brighter, although the amount of light it will receive is the same. Thanks to this type of natural lighting, in environments facing south it will be possible to choose your palette with great freedom.
As for the exposure to east or west, the amount of light will be almost the same throughout the year, its hue will vary over time: in the east we will have warmer light in the morning and colder in the afternoon, while in the west it will be the opposite. To make the light progressively warmer, we recommend favouring more neutral colours in the east, and colder tones in the west.
4. Room by room
If it is true that the whole house must be harmonious, it is also true that each room has its own personality depending on its function.
The space of relaxation and hospitality is the living room, which is often also the largest and most comfortable room, suitable for exchanging stories and experiences. Given its importance, it is often also the space that most represents us in terms of aesthetics and comfort. Green light therefore to colour, if it marries with the chosen furniture.
The second most lived-in room in your home is the kitchen, in which it is important to keep to light shades to give a feeling of freshness and cleanliness. To make the environment a little livelier, it is possible to play with the insertion of original splash guards near the cooking area.
The bedroom is another environment in which your personality is often felt, but in which it is very important to balance the colours and create an atmosphere that favours evening relaxation. To reconcile sleep, cold and relaxing tones are ideal, even in intense shades, especially in the children’s room, which they will also live during the day as a place for play or study.
If you are looking for a space where you can indulge yourself, try the bathroom! Given its small size, this is the ideal space to play with brighter colours such as blue and green, declined in their infinite shades. Together with white, they will create an intimate and comfortable environment, suitable for self-care.
Last but not least, the corridor, often an environment with little exploited potential. If light and warm colours are commonly preferred to communicate a feeling of warmth and welcome, a touch of colour should not be overlooked, often if it will then contrast with more neutral environments on its sides.
5. The power of colours
Different shades generate different sensations in the viewer and an understanding of how to use them is essential in the creation of an harmonious and comfortable environment.
The warm shades, that is the shades of yellow, red and orange, are particularly suitable for rooms with little sunlight and in places of conviviality, such as living rooms, open spaces, kitchens or studies. They work best if they are not used for the whole room, but in a section of it, such as a wall, ceiling or corner.
The cold shades, on the other hand, such as shades of blue, green and purple, are to be used in rooms for relaxation or creativity, especially with southern exposure, including bedrooms, studies, open spaces and children’s bedrooms. However, remember that the smaller the room, the less the colour must be charged, otherwise the space will be narrowed visually.
The neutral tones finally, such as shades of grey, white and beige, equipped with a natural sense of elegance and simplicity, most complement environments that are less bright. In recent years, however, in which Scandinavian taste, minimal style and green aesthetics have taken over, these colours have been more widely used in large spaces, in the kitchen, in the bedroom or in the bathroom, often in contrast with the wood of the furniture and the green of the plants.
So let yourself be inspired by our Airlite palette, which will guide you through the world of colour and give you the colours that will become the perfect background for the memories of a lifetime!