Jul 29, 2021
What is ‘Color Theory’?
When we think of the healthcare industry and the colors associated, oftentimes white is the first color that comes to mind. Clean, sterile, bright. However, colors in hospitals play a huge role in the wellness of patients. The healthcare industry is becoming more sophisticated, and with this new growth comes the opportunity to curate and craft color palettes that create a calm, patient-centered space. So, what is color theory? Here is our breakdown of color theory in three main silos:
Using Color to Your Benefit
While there are more widely known color theories, cultural or situational impact includes many factors to take into consideration. For example, red is an energizing color because it encourages alertness. Red is recommended for folks with neurological conditions that may need brain stimulus. On the opposite side of the coin, red can sometimes cause anxiety or overstimulate the senses so it isn’t recommended for patient rooms, etc.
Blue, green, and purple, especially in cool muted hues, can be very calming. They’re great for hospital rooms, wards, waiting areas, and rehabilitation rooms. However, balance needs to be taken into consideration when integrating color. Create balance and contrast with different colors, hues, and saturations. For example, a room that’s mostly cool-toned needs to be balanced with warmer elements, like natural wood, etc.
In children’s hospitals, or even in hospitals that have areas where kids can be active and creative, contrasting colors can provide that stimulation, or at least a signal that being energetic is encouraged in this area. Contrasting primary colors can be a fun way to achieve this look and feel.
Patient Rooms are first priority when thinking about color theory. Colors evoke certain moods and emotions, so sticking to a calmer palette is best. Like we mentioned before, soft blues, greens, purples, and neutrals are preferred. Even the family of the patient is affected by color choices, so stay away from bright or contrasting colors and opt for muted, cool pastel tones and soft neutrals like beige or cream.
Employee Spaces such as breakrooms can go either way when it comes to color palette; each providing its own benefit. Bright, colorful spaces can help tired hospital staff stay lively and encourage mental stimulation. On the other hand, we know how long and stressful most days are for hospital staff, which is why darker, muted colors can be more relaxing and offer a respite for many employees to recharge.
We hope this article is a rich resource for you as you navigate color theory in a space that sees many different situations. By taking color theory into consideration when designing your healthcare space, creating a beautiful, calming space is no longer a stressful situation, but rather second nature!
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