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Designer outdoor cushions | water resistant, soft and durable | Luxe outdoor candles and summer scarves | Perth, Australia

My Moteef Blog

MyMoteef - A blog inspired by the philosophy 'Go bold. Be real. Stay curious' - By Australian graphic designer and creator of Moteef, Terri Ioannou.

How to use colour to get what you want!

Terri Ioannou

For some time I've been intrigued by colour theory. It's one of those concepts where there's a lot written about its influence but I think it's affect is still underestimated by many.

Having spent a little under 20 years of my professional life working in graphic design and advertising, the use of colour feels very familiar to me on paper but I am sometimes a little hesitant to decorate my home with or wear colour myself - the options appear so limitless. The beauty of a design brief is that the solution can often only be conveyed effectively with certain colours and so the choices are clear, based on colour theory (and a little intuition!). Having long stepped away from the studio, I have come to know that decorating and wearing colour can be approached in a similar way to resolving a design brief.

When you're struggling with colour choices and how to use it in your life I suggest starting with some personal questions like: "what energy do I want to encourage", "what emotions am I awakening?" "what feeling do I want to inspire?" "how do I want people to behave"? "what will this choice say about me?" or "how will I feel in the mix?". This personal brief and a basic understanding about how colours can effect your moods and those of the people around you, can have a great impact on how you entertain, work and relax but ultimately how you connect with the people in your life.

There is heaps written on the subject of colour theory or psychology i.e. what it says about you if your favourite colour is red, what it suggests if your logo is yellow, why fast food restaurants choose orange and what it means if you hate green. It all boils down to the fact that colour creates a powerful energy and with a bit of knowledge you can use it to manipulate your world and your personal interactions.

On Facebook I have been sharing some quick colour guides that I've distilled from my own research and knowledge. In general, home makers are more willing to select colourful accessories for their outdoor spaces and obviously choose their favourites when they do so. That's great because they're using intuition to guide choice, but, what if they were willing to be a bit more calculating? What if they were willing to have a stash of accessories that they pulled out depending on the mood they wanted to evoke for themselves or for a group situation?

> Blue seeks peace and tells it how it is! | via moteef.com.au
Picture credit:  http://www.sunset.com

> Yellow likes to analyse and have fun! | via moteef.com.au
Picture credit:  http://www.domino.com

The mood is set by the dominant colour but blends can work wonderfully as shown above in 'yellow'. Here the chromatic blue works as a slightly more conservative base and the yellow brings the chat and the laughter encouraged by splashes of red energy. 

> Magenta is optimistic and rises above the drama ! | via moteef.com.au
Picture credit:  http://www.homedit.com

> Orange loves people and is a total show off! | via moteef.com.au
Picture credit:  https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens

> Green loves people, animals and helping out! | via moteef.com.au
Picture credit:  http://www.bhg.com

> Red is strong willed and full of desire ! | via moteef.com.au
Picture credit:  http://www.bhg.com

By using colours that are a bit warmer or cooler than the hues above, the subliminal effect becomes altered depending on which way you go. For example, burgundy is a blue-ish red which is less energetic and more sophisticated than true red, whereas scarlet is more yellow and therefore more fun-loving. 

It's something to think about next time you wonder why everyone is smiling at you - it could just be your yellow jumper!

>> Do you think about the colours you use in your space or do you simply go with what you like?

Go bold. Be real. Stay curious.