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Using Color in Home Design

Lesson 15 of 33

Color Meanings

Tobi Fairley

Using Color in Home Design

Tobi Fairley

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Lesson Info

15. Color Meanings


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1 Class Introduction Duration:10:02
2 Color Models 101 Duration:26:47
3 Color Schemes 101 Duration:45:39
4 Debunking Color Fears Duration:44:02
5 Debunking Color Fears Pt. 2 Duration:25:23
8 To Trend or Not to Trend Duration:12:47

Lesson Info

Color Meanings

So what about red? Don't most of us agree that it's stimulating it's sexy he think about the sports car red candy apple red sports car, which is also fast exciting? I didn't know this, but until I was studied this in school, but the idea of that buying or spin through if people buy more red product than any other product, which is great for and probably have has a lot of significance and meaning to why we have read for us both christmas and valentine's day at least in america because those are two of the holidays that people's shop and spend the most money and both of those just happened to be red. I don't think that's an accident it's passionate, daring if someone wears an entirely red dress especially like to a job interview or on television, don't you think what they're really daring dynamic? It could mean something entirely different, though it could mean an emergency, right? An ambulance or a a traffic light on emergency light a fire truck so that's far different emergency from se...

xy right? Totally really kind of polar opposite? Maybe it definitely has association with love with hot or with stop because it's a traffic light stop don't move forward so lookit already just within the color red how many mixed meanings you could get with different people stop fast they're almost the opposite of each other on dh, so you can see why it has it depends on a lot of things the person, the culture and there's certain things we can think about that have very specific societal meaning, like the red carpet at the oscars is something in america and in california in particular, that is associated with the color red. We hear the word red carpet, and we know that means glamor and luxury and people in the latest fashion, right or lipstick like my red lips sick today or as we said earlier, it might mean royalty like a crown crown jewels so it can really conflict and confuse and send the message send mixed messages to people if you're not careful with the way you bring this color into any situation, particularly an interior and then let's look it orange so oranges associate id with curiosity enthusiastic, creative, encouraging, cheap, um, cheap and luxurious on the same page isn't that funny, enduring, energetic, hyper welcoming, welcoming, maybe that's kind of that association within the pineapple, a sign of welcome to slight fruits and citrus and you think about cultural and personal associations with fruit and a lot of freedom is orange so it khun b and then think about other associations in different cultures like fall our autumn or halloween thanksgiving we talked about air meses a brand that's really luxurious so it depends on a lot of things that geographic location, the country, the state, the person point of reference ah and then what it's combined with is really important have you ever had thie instance where a client mainly the male because it tends to be more miles and famous has color blindness has red green colorblind specifically said they struggle with the nuances with red on our engine? Yeah, I have dealt with that and I don't remember I forget right now the statistics off the top of my head but it is men that are color blind so that is an interesting thing and so again that just goes to show that each individual or a person and that's because of their eye and how the light is reflected that they're able to perceive something which is a great example of proving the point from yesterday that an object isn't inherently an actual color it just appears a certain color because of the way we see it and so that's a specific person's physical body that's not allowing them to see the same see things the same way we do so you just have to know that about a kleiner they have to inform you of that it's not something that you would know where that you go around constantly saying well if someone were color blind just in case what if but we have had clients where we had to deal with that and it's more to me than about seeing how they specifically see a color. So, you know, yesterday I said in color one on one what I loved about that one sentence was it's, how my eye experiences the color or your eye so individual so you have to sit down with those people inside. What color does this look like to you? And is it appealing and does it work for you? And sometimes you think that I don't really care as long as my wife's happier, my partners happy or whatever? It's fine with me and then other people really have an opinion about it and want to be feel like they're part of the solution, and it needs to work for them, too. So it's a case by case kind of aces. So this is just a fun little kind of quote on the idea of yellow in its highest purity, it's always carries with it the nature of brightness and has a serene, gay, soft, exciting character. A strong yellow, as it appears on satin, has a magnificent and noble effect, so that someone already noticing on in the historic riding that just the material like we were talking about yesterday affects. The color yellow excites a warm and agreeable impression. The eyes gladden the heart expanded and cheered and a glow seems it wants to breathe toward us that's yellow but at the same time, then we see yellow can mean a lot of other things, like caution and hurry, like when the live cielo, when you're driving, you either have to stop are you better hurry because it is about to change its s oh it's! Spontaneous, interesting one cowardly um, so there's some associations with the yellow, I can't think of some right now, but there's some certain words and sayings in in american culture that the yellow yeah, yeah, there's a work I can't think of one of the quotes, but anyway, you know, you all know what I'm talking about. It's associated with intelligence and an intellectual attractive warm stimulates the mind youthful, cheerful, joyful, the stimulates the mind part is really, really important because yellow is the easiest part of color to see that's why things like taxi cabs or yellow? Because in a sea of new york city, you can spot them can't you see one from like blocks away there's a captain down there, but it's also it can, it can be an irritant it's been found to make babies cry which is interesting because think about in interiors how many people go I don't want the pink nursery or the blue nursery that's so boring let me pick a color that woodwork or maybe we don't know what we're having so we'll pick a color that works for either and they pick yellow and then what if their baby cries all the time and it's because of the environment that they're in it's also been shown to make people argue so if you're arguing all the time with the people in your life maybe you're arguing with your teenager is your house yellow and maybe if it is you should change it on its but it's also good for short term productivity because it gives you the energy and spontaneity and it allows you to kind of zone in on some creativity in short term short burst and you think of yellow kind of like that like short little bursts of energy so and then of course there are the associations like we said before with like fast food restaurants because they want you to hurry so interesting about yellow and we'll talk about later because you start looking at some of these things and you go well that's terrible I'm never going to use yellow if it's gonna make me argue with everyone in my house but it's not just yellow alone it's how yellow is used with other colors that makes a difference and the percentages s o green what about greenwell? Refreshing, lively, soothing, fertile healing harmonious, crisp, wealthy so it has an association with money. You know, yesterday when you all said go impress the green by button on the course I thought, well, that's interesting because sabrina's associated with money or spending money stable go go like the stoplight nature and growth. So you think of other associations like the green room, you'll have a green room here. The oscars has the green room where people wait maybe that's because it's wealthy, or maybe because it's harmonious sorts, lively or soothing, I'm not sure what it is that in the given space and sometimes green is just the green room and there's nothing green in the space, which is the case here. But then you see where designers have designed green rooms for the oscar and I see actually wrap the whole space in the color green, which is fun, eh? So it definitely has a lot of meetings, including being very fresh and very alive. Blue everyone's, favorite america's favorite and maybe not everybody in the world, but for certainly americans and I think it's a higher percentage in most places except for some countries and cultures that have some kind of a different association because of their culture but tranquil, placid, calming, relaxing, imaginative, faithful honest, blissful, clean and fresh, precise, masculine wise. So you think why corporations want to use blue and you can see a lot of reasons right here, honest, why's, faithful, those air good associations for a lot of businesses like a bank, right? We see lots of companies like that corporations and banks that have blue as there they're color symbol of another, you know, like insurance, blue cross and blue shield there's also associations with, like the sea and the sky and water, which we all love and that's why a lot of people love this color because it gives us that association like my beach photos this morning, but on the flip side, think about emotionally, its connotation of having the blues that's like depression like it's, a real deep emotional meaning if you have the blues, isn't that interesting? And it's probably because blue is so cooling and calming that it kind of goes too far for some people and he filled, depressed the blues on guy can't even say thinking about certain colors of blue have had that effect on me, like in probably maybe the seventies and eighties and my childhood blue became a color that was used a lot in holiday decor in traditional christmas decor as like a trend, and I remember thinking about as a child I liked it it was appealing but it was almost a little bit depressing because you were so used to read energy for the holiday and then blue had a totally different meaning andi even some musical associations with you know have a blue christmas oh meaning it's sad so means campaigns I feel like it's always political yeah well and red white and blue for sure in america patriotic and another city in other countries too but yeah it's one of those colors are there between us it's always on both sides no matter what your party is you're kind of in on both sides of the table right but royal blue can have that kind of royal association and really also it's often associated with mask with men right it's a masculine color so what about purple ah lot of us in this room or purple lovers kind of said it was her favorite color eso what is purple say powerful dignified ambitious I like that one extravagant purple could be a little extravagant because it is a little bit of an indulgent color and it's kind of on the outs it's not one of the normal colors it's not a primary color it's a little edgier royal independent mysterious noble and definitely I think it's associated with matt magical day children love it women love it more than men so purple is one of the ones that falls on that gender lines cow was asking and then there's a time of emotions associated with purple depending on the shade from lavender to eggplant you could envision the different kind of emotions that would go with us peak is comforting female so feminine youthful shine nurturing, loving, pure romantic hopeful non threatening because it's sweet and depending on how bright it is it's sweeter than others are more girly than others you think of it and some of it's a baby girl and sometimes it's a teenage girl or a woman and you think about even associations with things like breast cancer it's become very symbolic with breast cancer there's also as connotation about men who are willing the wear pink right aren't that don't you think they're more confident if they're willing to wear pink and then there's a lot of men that I got wouldn't I would never wear a pink shirt and then what about the connotation of women who don't want to wear pique? I know some women who never want to wear pink because they don't want to be associated in some way is too feminine or too frivolous or not serious eso it pink actually has a lot of different meetings and associations more than you would think why does actually still a color so what does white mean pure holy clean innocent perfect sterile which may be the hospital association waitlist serious, unforgiving formal and maybe it in some cultures marriage because the wedding dress is white clean it could be a good thing clean can be good or it could be stark and cold eso it depends on again your goals on dh it could be depressing and it's been shown that all white rooms depressed people more than rooms with color in them because the lack of energy and movement so a lot of times you think you're going safe by doing something like white which is or even a pale beige which is not that far from what and you're actually causing people to be less happy or more depressed in your space andi we've talked a lot about museums using white black death or grief secrecy elegant sophisticated prestigious chic formal control depressing in funerals so there's a lot of difference between death and grief and elegant and sophisticated but you can think of both ah hearse and american culture is black for a funeral but so is a tuxedo to the oscars or you know to meet the president or something else that's much more glamorous and formal so very contrast ing meanings of black and white and depending on how much of it so we were looking at a lot of my spaces that I used black and white and we'd say well this has a tiny little bit of black and a lot of white or this is fifty fifty black and white it made a big difference right and how it felt us whether it was formal versus the all almost all light was more clean and edited and contemporary and then brown is practical, earthy, it's strong, reliable, boring uh naturally think of nature and trees and wood masculine, often rugged, cozy and rich so it depends on riches in like texture or riches and like chocolate chocolate cake that's so yummy eso again you're saying that there's tons of contrasts in each and every color right? So if we know all of this intuitively and we can say yeah, all that made perfect sense to me then why discuss it at length? Well, understanding how colors can affect you is different than knowing your favorite color so a lot of us like we talked about earlier today we might say, well, my favorite color is red, but now that I think about it, that has nothing to do with anything I'm trying to achieve in my life or my work space or any of those places and you can really get into trouble just asking people even as a designer, what are your favorite colors or what colors do you like or not like? And we've had people just make a comment and doesn't design presentation clients to say, oh, I don't like that at all because it's blue and I don't like blue and then you can take the conversation further and say that you said you wanted to accomplish all these things can we tweak the the color of blue, or can we add other colors with it to make you love it? Because it's really going to support the kind of emotional goal are out, come or task that you're saying you want to have in your home? Um, and so colors communicate and you want to be equipped to control any message you're sending through design so that's an important reason for you to know all of these things that we just talked about, and then it's one of your most powerful design tools, so we don't want it to have power over it over us, but we want to be able to use it in a powerful way to change spaces. Eso there's now a better understanding of hope of how much you khun b you can change a space what you're capable of doing with color in any given room, good or bad, the power doesn't mean powers not good or bad, necessarily, and it could be either on dh. So do you want to be powerful in helping someone make a space go from not working for them to working for them? Or does it have power over you because it is overbearing or overstimulating?

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley comes to CreativeLive for a special course.


Are you afraid of picking the wrong color for your living room? Selecting the right hues for your home can be a daunting experience. Tobi is internationally-renowned for her signature bold style and fresh approach to interior design.

Using examples from her extensive portfolio, Tobi will give you no-fail tips and techniques to help you turn your home into a space that reflects your unique style. You’ll learn about the psychology of color, how to pick the right color for the right room, and find out all about the latest trends. You’ll also learn how to pair colors and textures and help freshen any room in your home.

By the end of this class, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to embrace color in a big way.


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