Colours in Architecture and What They Convey

  | 6 min read

Studies have shown that the way you connect with colours in architecture plays a major role in how it influences you psychologically and physiologically. What this means is that the colours you choose for your home will have an impact on your mental and emotional state of mind.

Colours in modern architecture - Private Property Nigeria 1

Empirical evidence has also shown that your experience of an architectural environment is largely driven by your sensory perception of colour. One of the reasons why architects continue to explore the potentials of colour and its impact on your mood is because colour remains a visual language understood by people all over the world.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some colours in architecture, what they convey as well as what they say about your personality. Let us look at some basic colours as well as a few others.

Yellow - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria 3


Yellow comes with a dash of optimism. When you use yellow, it gives off a bright and optimistic touch in and around your home. The shade of yellow that you also choose to use plays a role in the effect you are shooting to achieve.

Yellow - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria 2

When you use a pale shade of yellow on your ceiling or walls, what you get is a touch of sunshine in your home. Meanwhile, a darker shade of yellow, it comes with a subduing touch. You don’t always have to use yellow on your walls, there are other ways you can use the colour to achieve great effects.

If instance, when you want something to stand out in your home, yellow is a fine choice. You can also use yellow in small quantity for your accessories and flowers.

Red - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria


Red is a colour that stimulates and leaves you with that feel-good feeling. Generally, red delivers a resonant touch in your home. A room with plenty of red can push your level of passion upwards.

Just like orange, red has a reputation for increasing your appetite, which explains why it is widely used in the kitchen in modern architecture.

Purple - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria


There’s no colour that delivers a dash of luxury and opulence like purple. This is the psychological effect that purple delivers. If the purple you go for has a shade of blue, you can capture a solid air of mystery and serenity.

If you settle for a shade of purple that comes with a strong dash of red, you will attract more attention and end up dominating the home. The purple colour has a very vibrant reputation for representing power and royalty so don’t hesitate to go for this.

White - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria


If you are aiming for a clean and refreshing look, then white is the colour you want to settle for. It is a psychological effect. You can use white to create an air of a space that is pure, fresh and breezy.

When you use white on your walls, floor and furniture, you inject a rejuvenating dose of freshness into your home. Not everyone likes colourful rooms but if you’re steering away from having a room that is excessive white, feel free to combine white with other neutral colours like black, grey or brown.

If you’re looking to enjoy the full psychological impact of white, don’t overdo it. Instead, use it to call attention to certain things and elements in and around the house. For example, you can use white to emphasize windows and door frames.

Blue - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria 2


Blue in your home comes with a cool and clear touch. When you add a touch of blue to your interior, you can create an atmosphere that is psychologically associated with work and meditation.

One of the most remarkable highlights of blue is how it has been medically proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate. You can also use it to give a room an enlarged feeling, especially when you use a light shade of blue.

When used in the kitchen; on the wall or furniture, blue can psychologically reduce your appetite and this can, in turn, lead to weight loss.

Pink - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria


Psychologically, pink is one of the colours you turn to when you need to establish a fine, comfortable and soothing atmosphere in your house. Pink is largely considered a feminine colour, has a reputation for throwing up a feeling of freshness and sweetness and is globally associated with girly representations.

Pink is more widely used for interior designs as opposed to the exterior of the home. There is a wide array of pink so, don’t hesitate to play around with this colour.

Black - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria 2


Black depicts elegance, pure sophistication and respect. If you’re shooting for a bold statement in your home, consider going for black. You can’t go wrong especially when you are smart about it.

This colour lends an air of sophistication and style to the interior design of your home. One easy way to make the black stand out, even more, is to use it against a light or neutral background. Black draws attention and it is a good way to highlight certain things in your home.

Black is also associated with formal and serious occasions as well as death, fear, mourning, widowhood and mystery. The best way to work with black is using in minimally but deliberately. They are best used to highlight things like tables, wall frames and racks.

Red - Colours in Architecture - Private Property Nigeria 1

Effects You Can Achieve With Colours in Architecture

Colour is not just about the way they produce different sensations on the eye as a result of how they reflect or emit light. They can be used to achieve the following:

  1. Visual Effects: There are specific colours that are capable of making an object feel lighter, heavier, smaller, larger, nearer, more distant, cooler or warmer through the application of colours.
  2. Psychological and Physiological: How you apply colours in architecture can leave you some psychological and physiological effects. For instance, red is known to aid digestion while green leaves you with a soothing feeling.
  3. Symbolism: Colours can have an assortment of associations within the same culture. A good example is red, which is used to symbolise stop signs or danger. It is also, popularly used in themes of romance. Valentine’s Day serves as a good reference for this. White, on the other hand, symbolizes innocence, purity and even death.
  4. Association: Several studies have shown that you associate different colour in architecture with the characteristics of different objects and materials. Two good examples here are the way you associate blue with water and red with fire.

Final Thoughts on Colours in Architecture

At the end of the day, the way you experience colour rests largely on the surrounding colours, the depth of light that falls on the colour as well as the level of saturation. The idea of colours in architecture is to find out what works for you. What colour in architecture and home design are you most excited about?

Samod Biobaku
A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch,, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.