The Effect of Colors in Architecture

Color is a key element of nature as well as architecture and interior architecture. Color plays a prominent role in influencing the human experience of architecture. Colors in a space influence how humans feel and they stimulate our senses. Architecture and color are strongly bonded with one another. Colors are related to symbolism and our psychology that can evoke our emotions. They reveal the purity of space.

Color demonstrates certain aspects of architectural detail and it visually affects our feelings and psyche. The color scheme used in the design of buildings is not only associated with aesthetics but influences our emotions and communications as well. It is a global visual communication tool that conveys messages.

Colors used by architects and interior designers have mood associations and psychological effects on humans. Certain environments are created related to sensory perception of various colors.

colors of architecture

Perception of a lower space is created when a darker color is used on the ceiling. The sensation of a shorter and narrower space is produced when the darker tone is used on the wall. In health buildings, certain color schemes are used considering their impact on patient's health and recovery. In educational buildings, striking colors are applied to evoke psychological development and to create positive stimuli in the children.

Different colors are dramatically associated with different sensations and emotions with regard to culture and experiences.


Red color depicts energy, passion, or warmth. Red is also perceived as frightening due to its association with blood. It is usually used in commercial buildings, restaurants, and stores. An accent of red color can be used to highlight certain elements of art in the space.


Orange is a color of creativity and enthusiasm. It is normally used in schools, studios, and offices. It creates friendly, calm, and soothing spaces.


Yellow represents positivity, radiance, friendliness, liveliness, and gladness. It is often used in commercial buildings, restaurants, kindergartens, and daycares. It is also used to emphasize certain elements in a space.


The green color connotes serenity, calmness, and warmth. It is used in the interior design of healthcare, hospitals, clinics, and relaxation spaces as it is associated with well-being and tranquility.


Blue represents optimism, security, and confidence. It is regularly used in commercial areas, offices, and banks to create soothing and cool architecture. The blue color is used to keep humans alert and active.


Purple connotes calmness, softness, relaxation, and well-being.


White is associated with cleanliness and purity. It gives a feeling of calmness and being alert. It makes the architectural spaces appear wider and brighter.  

stained glass

Colors used in our architectural spaces have an impact on our nervous system, which could be positive or negative. Buildings with diverse and lively colors can give us optimistic feelings and make us feel better. Different combinations of colors can be used in architecture such as monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split complementary, triad, tetrad, and square.