Our college professor once told: ”I suggested my client to paint her walls gray. She said purple was her favorite color. So I suggested her to buy a purple scarf.”
One of the most common comments we receive when we say “I’m an architect.” is something like: “Oh, I would really love if you’d tell me how to paint my walls, I’m terrible at choosing colors!” Well, it is hard to choose a right color for your interior since there is no such thing as the right color.
Colors are something that should be on your mind from the beginning of the design process. Every material and piece of furniture should be chosen in relation to those colors. Simply put, the color of the walls (or floors) is not the same thing as curtains or carpets, it’s not an accessory. Color has almost the same role as interior lighting – it even affects interior lighting.
For the sake of the argument, let’s say gray is a color (it’s really a tone, but that’s irrelevant now). The same amount of light, natural or artificial, would have a different impact if interior walls were white, light gray, dark gray or black. Which means that, just like with lighting, it is possible to evoke certain moods or emotions with colors.
AKTA studio – Apartment in Basanavičius st., Vilnius
Do you see what we mean? This interior would be just as stylish with white walls, but painted gray, it has that specific, cozy mood. We don’t often see simple, almost minimalist spaces we’d describe as “cozy”. You’d think you need dozens of cushions, layers of curtains, and blankets, and carpets laying around to create cozy feeling, but once you start thinking about your space in advance, when you start seeing it as an integrated whole made of carefully designed details (instead of something plain that should later be decorated), once you know what do you want to achieve with your design – additional decoration will be unnecessary. Interesting about this interior is the fact it also evokes tactile sense, with its textured ceiling and velvet furniture.
So if we love this space so much, why can’t we always say: “Paint your walls gray”? Well, because it’s not just about the walls. It’s like every other color in there has a pinch of that gray, even wooden floor (look at the floor – it is off topic, but it’s perfect). There are no coincidences here, and yet, it doesn’t seem over-designed.
We love this palette, but we are serious when we say there’s no right or wrong color. Look at this apartment!
Lim+Lu – Happy Valley Residence, Hong Kong
How amazing are these partitions? By replacing the walls that compartmentalized the apartment with glass and steel sliding doors, the interior is strategically designed to appear more expansive and natural light is able to pass through from room to room.
Do you think it’s possible Lim+Lu already had these tiles and furniture installed when they decided on pink walls? It is not possible.
Pastels and dark jeweled tones are carefully combined with patterned tiles as well as with colorful furniture. And these golden highlights are just out of this world. Isn’t it amazing how everything is so different and yet goes together so well?
We can’t stop looking at the photographs of this apartment.
Location: Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
Photographer: © Nirut Benjabanpot
Even though they are completely different, these apartments share the same approach to designing with colors. Every material and piece of furniture is chosen in relation to the basic color of the interior – to contrast or to blend with it. To be honest, that is a complex task.
Click the links below photos to read architects stories about these apartments and feel free to check out their other amazing projects.
Next week we’ll talk about different approaches – colors as highlights. We would love to hear if these interiors inspired you to be both brave and mindful with colors in your own apartment.