Colour is a visual language understood by everyone, making it an important influencer in design. Each one of us perceives colour subconsciously and this can be used strategically to create a desired space.

Colour, however, is more than just a visual effect; it influences feelings and behaviours. The study of how colours shape perceptions and behaviours has its own name: Colour Psychology. Insights from these researchers have influenced all aspects of design, including architecture.

Colour in architectural design is tactically used to create unique experiences for people when they enter any space. It helps to create visual balance and form an appropriate mood for that environment. There is a reason why classrooms aren’t painted black, or doctors’ clinics are red.

All design elements including light, shadow and space work together to create a seamless experience. When done right, it’s not something anyone would necessarily pick up on; rather, it works subconsciously. It’s important to understand colour when designing an architectural project.

So, what do colours in architecture mean? How do they influence the mood and experience of any person in an environment? Let’s find out.

Green – Tranquil and Calming

Broadmeadows Children’s Court

Typically associated with tranquillity, the use of the colour Green adds a relaxing element to any space. It can be quite cheerful but with a calming component in the room. Green is a natural colour in our world and is associated with nature, so adding it to particularly sterile spaces can give it a bit more life. We have seen it been used in university lecture halls, children’s courts, and cafes.

View our Case Study of the Broadmeadows Children’s Court and observe how they used this colour to add a relaxing element to a typically stressful space.

Red – Strong and Powerful


When you think of the colour red, you may connect it with power, strength, and excitement – and you’re not wrong! This dominant colour can easily influence those around us. It’s not subtle by any means, but it will make an impact to your space. But beware! It can overstimulate so needs to be used carefully in certain spaces.

It is a common colour used in brand logos, particularly in the food space to grab our attention! (Think McDonalds, Coles, IGA etc.)

We’ve used Au.diPanel with a high gloss 2 pack polyurethane paint finish to give a vibrant red in a project at RMIT – what a way to get students excited about their studies! Click to read the Case Study.

Orange – Creative and Friendly

Geelong Library Project

Not as overpowering as red, but still a vivid colour – orange is considered inviting, friendly and exciting. Vibrant colours such as bright orange are commonly used in creative spaces.

We have seen this utilised in the Geelong Library Project. This bright orange was used in a shared communal space designed for collaborations and community gatherings – this stunning room makes you feel warmth and energy. View the project here.

Yellow – Positive and Radiant

Children’s Court Victoria

Happiest of all the colours is, without a doubt, yellow. This colour radiates positivity no matter what the space is. In the waiting room of the Children’s Court Victoria, yellow toned acoustic panels were added to the ceiling for a subtle positive element.

Blue – Deep and Dependable

Geelong Library

Considered a solid and dependable colour that encourages deep thinking and concentration, Classic Blue was crowned the Pantone 2020 Colour of the Year – so we don’t think this colour is going out of trend anytime soon!

Blue is dependable and traditional that gives an unexpected boldness to any space. It’s a popular colour choice for libraries to create an optimal environment to study.

Brown – Secure and Organic

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church

Achieving the feeling of harmony is easy when using warm natural timber tones. Brown is considered the ultimate organic colour, as it’s found so commonly in nature. This colour is one of the most popular tones in interior architectural design. It’s a tone that works seamlessly in most spaces and can complement other colours.

We’ve used it in several projects, but loved how it was used in our case study – Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church. This space is a warm and visually harmonious environment.

White – Neutral and Calming

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

One of the more underrated colours that isn’t quite a colour, White is considered neutral; however, that doesn’t mean it’s dull or boring.

One of our most important projects was the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. We brought a sense of warmth using Spotted Gum timber that flows through the building in a series of different patterns and effects, combined with a custom white acoustic ceiling in the entry. It adds a calming effect to this sensitive space. Read more here.

Black – Strong and Powerful

Arnold Bloch Liebler

Dramatic and powerful. Using black in commercial spaces makes an impact like no other. It can make a space feel more intimate and add depth to create a timeless elegance.

Utilised in meeting rooms at Arnold Bloch Liebler Lawyers’ head office, you can’t but agree that this space is stunning and impactful. View the case study here.

Acoustics in Colour

Acoustic panels

Acoustics can be used as a feature in architectural design, rather than just a requirement. We have a range of different products in different colours you can choose from for your next project.

Try our Inluxe Studio Acoustic Panel Visualiser so you can see our panels in 3D. Simply select the panel substrate, finish range, profile pattern and finish colour. Plus get access to panel details such as available group ratings, fixing systems and open area percentages.

Need something custom? Whatever space you need to fit out, Atkar Group has the products you need for your next project.