by Barbara Jahn
Our surroundings consist of an abundance of colours that we cannot imagine being without. We like to see and pamper them, but not every colour is the right background for what we what to do at a particular moment. In public, which constantly provides new impulses and is entirely unpredictable with the colour combination, one has to submit completely to this palette. But at home, where we retreat, pursue our hobbies or work out, cook or just put our feet up, we can control the messages given by colours and benefit from them in a positive sense.
The colour diktat
The newest design fairs undoubtedly leave their traces when it comes to furnishing a home. It isn’t really possible to avoid them if you want to be modern and up-to-date. Having said that, though, anything goes, and many colours are competing to be at the top of the popularity scale. Green and blue in every shade keep flashing up, as do red, orange and yellow, and all have their rightful place on the design catwalk. Thankfully, consumers have become more confident over time, and are no longer willing to have colour codes forced on them. Whichever colour you choose, it’s the right one.
At least as far as the furniture is concerned. Plenty of thought should be given in particular to the ‘immobile’ colours on floors, walls and possibly ceilings. Colours really must be chosen to match the mood for which the room has been designed and less the colour excursions, which can most certainly be refreshing for the rest of the room. Colour experts have long been working out which colours should be used where so they can be used to accompany the events that should happen in a particular place. It is well known that colour has a tremendous effect on the psyche, so it should never be underestimated, never mind completely ignored.
Show your colours
The bathroom is one room that demands a tremendous amount of feeling. It has long stopped being merely somewhere to have a wash; today’s bathroom is a retreat and a haven of peace. After many decades of white being combined with white, there have for some years now been gentle advances regarding colourfulness, which is becoming increasingly bolder – a trend that was also a big issue at this year’s ISH in Frankfurt. First black was the new white – not a big step, as Josef Hoffmann was already playing with the black-and-white effect in the bathroom decades ago. But then, gradually, inhibitions were cast aside, and suddenly colour in the bathroom was an additional dimension that opened up entirely new design freedoms.
One very special way of using colour can be seen at the new Boutique Hotel K7 in Bad Nauheim. Interior designer Doris Seher of Raumkonxept 50 was engaged to design the interior, and for this project played confidently with the colour palette and its full bandwidth – and demonstrated plenty of courage in doing so. Flora and fauna transform the rooms into worlds of undeniable atmosphere named ‘La Fleur’, ‘Urban’, ‘Marmor’, ‘Artroom’ and ‘Kamin’. “Here I played with feminine patterns and colours, and styled the room with floral patterns, pink decorative items and homely velvet fabrics. This was done with the business woman in mind who may have to be ‘one of the boys’ in her daily working life, but who can focus on just being a woman at the hotel in the evening,” is how the designer explains her artistic intention. For all the bathrooms, effectively almost as a contrast to the rest of the rooms, she chose a puristic play between black and white that radiates peace and provides the base for a relaxed time-out. The shower area was equipped with matt shower trays from Bette, which were combined with the silicone-free BetteZarge upstand.
Fotos © Anja Epkes
But regardless of how colourful or understated it is, the bathroom has without doubt bade farewell to the virginal all-in-white, and is now presented in the full range of colour to show just how effective colour can be, especially in the empire of wellness and relaxation. According to the experts, we can certainly dig deep down into the paint pot. Which is a trend that continues right through to the fittings. Copper, brass and bronze are joined by a rich black – undeniably competent partners for bathroom furniture in mint or taupe, grey, beige or why not go straight for greige, as well as green and blue, which are extremely popular at the moment. Of course, there are also all the shades in between, which fulfil our desires for naturalness and harmonise exceptionally well with the element water. But as is invariably the case, there are a few important points to bear in mind.
Light colours, for instance, are bright and friendly, create the impression of expanse and will make any room look bigger. Dark shades, by the same token, feel more compact, enclosing, restrictive, and can radiate comfort and safety at the same time. They are ideal for rooms that should radiate cosiness, as well as large and expansive rooms. Warm colours create proximity, and a personal, cosy and homely atmosphere. They are stimulating, activating, and virtually essential for north-facing rooms. Room temperatures are instantly perceived as being a few degrees warmer. However, warm colours also lift the body and soul, and are ideal for rooms where we are less physically active. Cold colours create distance, are seen as passive, and give the impression of practicality and functionality. However, they are also soothing, relaxing, cooling and refreshing, and perfect for very sunny rooms to increase them optically, and for rooms that are used for relaxing and quiet times.
In the end, though, whichever colour combination we feel drawn to is ultimately purely a matter of taste if it is to fulfil its purpose, namely to create an environment where we feel perfectly comfortable and completely at home.