Colour in the kitchen

Sensory - Colour

Colour is something that so many of us take for granted, but is such a powerful mood setter. It affects so many everyday life decisions and is such an important element when looking at interior design. It has hugely powerful connotations for the kitchen as Karen Haller, our guest blogger explains.

“We only have to imagine a world without it to realise just how much we use and rely on colour to make everyday decisions and navigate our way in the world around us. From the clothes we choose to wear, to waiting for the green light to cross the road, colour is a helpful guide throughout our life.

Being able to see colour and interpret what it is communicating to us is one of our most powerful sensory skills.

I’m seeing the shift from colour being seen and used as just something aesthetically pretty, to it becoming one of the key tools in the design industry - a powerful sensory tool that can influence human responses and behaviour in almost any way and in any environment.

When it comes to food, there’s a saying “we eat with our eyes”. We are taking in and making many decisions based on the colour of the food alone. Take your morning cup of tea as an example; whether you have it black or milky or any of the tones in between, you know how it is going to taste from the colour.

We judge if food is ripe or starting to go past its used by date, by its colour. You only have to think of a banana to know when it’s green it’s starchy and when it’s yellow it’s sweet.

Working alongside the other senses, we already have an idea what a food is likely to taste like, by the colour of it. The other important thing here is context. For example, when we see a red strawberry we already know it’s going to taste sweet. We see red chillies and we know the taste is going to be hot and fiery.

We are constantly making decisions based purely on colour and it’s just the same for the colours we choose for our home. Colours can reflect our personality, create a sense of positive well-being or that instant wow factor.

There’s one colour in particular you won’t find in food: blue. We instinctively avoid food that is blue. In nature, it’s seen as being poisonous. Our favourite blue berries are actually purple. You’ll rarely find this colour in restaurants, cafes, kitchens or places that serve food. Blue is also likely to have the effect of acting as an appetite suppressant.

Using accents of orange on the other hand can aid in stimulating the appetite and it’s a fun, playful hue that encourages socialising.

A popular colour for modern kitchens is white. Whilst it gives a sense of cleanliness and order, it can feel also feel a bit cold and sterile at times.

Ultimately, no matter what environment you’re in you’ll be amazed at the number of decisions and choices you’re making on a daily basis based on colour alone. This demonstrates just how important it is to take time choosing the best colour scheme and design for your kitchen.

Karen Haller is a leading international authority in the field of applied colour psychology. She has spent over 20 years studying, researching and working with colour and is a global specialist and teacher in colour psychology.

Tags: Kitchen, Trends