Posted on 02 August 2013

It's often suggested that individual colours are imbued with different meaning and every colour can provoke different thoughts and feelings, so it's important to choose a colour scheme wisely or else you could end up giving entirely the wrong impression!

Why is colour important?

There's so much more to choosing the perfect carpet than making sure it's the right shade to suit furniture or soft furnishings. Colours used in a work or living space can be shown to affect the occupants' affinity with that space. Choosing the perfect colour scheme can help improve the user experience by conveying a mood, which in turn can enhance the effectiveness of a room. This could be illustrated most simply by say, choosing calming and soothing tones for a restful area such as a bedroom, or vibrant and bright tones for an energetic environment, such as a gymnasium.

Colours are hugely important for reflecting personality into the home or office. Colours represent different meanings and can provoke different feelings in people. Certain colours will mix better with certain people and themes, so your carpet will be one of the most important finishing touches to your project.

For this very reason many companies spend time and money with designers, colour consultants, and focus groups on deciding which colour or combination of colours they want to be associated with their particular brand and their 'line of business'. A look around the high street, or the internet, will show you the results they came up with. Browsing through design magazines will give you some insight into the 'zeitgeist'.

Carpet and carpet tile is very often chosen to provide a neutral background for the other paraphernalia you might find in any given work or living space. 'Statements' are often made with art and graphics, furniture, lighting or wall decoration. This 'conservative' approach to choosing a floor covering, may will continue to be the norm, but more and more we are seeing advantage being taken of the bolder and more imaginative options that are now available to the consumer or specifier, in terms of carpet colouring and design.
The disadvantage of being too bold is that this, sometimes, gives a scheme a definite 'shelf life'.

It's not all black and white

Black and white are at opposite ends of the colour wheel. Black absorbs light whilst light reflects it.

White represents purity. This colour is associated with light, innocence and goodness. Some say that white is the colour of perfection. White is also symbolic of coolness and cleanliness. Many familiar items of modern technology are usually white as it resembles simplicity.

The colour black on the other hand has a negative connotation and is often seen as sinister or mournful, but it also represents elegance, power and mystery. Black is an incredibly formal colour.
Again, many items of modern technology, use black to convey sophistication and a 'business-like' quality.

The colour black allows us to play around with perspective and depth. Let me explain further - In clothing black is often referred to as a 'slimming colour'. When artists or photographers use a black background then are usually trying to make other colours stand out. If you combined the colour black with other colours such as red or yellow - you could end up with a very aggressive colour scheme.

Brown - bad name, great palette?

Brown is a great colour to work with as there are so many shades - from light brown to dark chocolate brown and because there is so much variety this colour can work well in many different styles of decor. For many of us brown will symbolize nature. Do a quick test, try and name a few things that you would associate with the colour brown - earth, trees, organic, reliability, sustainability. On the other hand some may regard this 'earthiness' with as being incompatible with environments where a clinical or cool mood are being conveyed. However, there are many examples we can see where dark matt browns are used in contemporary spaces to provide a sense of quality and sophistication, with a softer edge.

Go for the glow

here are certain colours that are great at 'warming' up a space and red, orange and yellows are all examples of warm shades. These are often used as accents or statements, as they can sometimes be overwhelming in large areas. However, where used imaginatively, as part of a cohesive scheme it is possible to 'go for it' with them, and to achieve stunning results.

The colour red can mean different things in different contexts. People often associate love, passion, romance and happiness with this colour. On the other hand it is also associated with negative end of the passion spectrum - anger and violence, and is used in a very formal way, in signage, to illustrate danger, or to advise caution.

Orange is quite often a motivational colour. Orange represents joy and energy but can also symbolise extravagance and rebellion.

The majority of people would probably associate the colour yellow with the sun. It's bright, optimistic and can leave you feeling happy. However, yellow, when used inappropriately, can also be associated with weakness or sickliness.

Play it cool

Cool colours are usually associated with the calming effect and these colours are usually blue, green and purple.

 Just like the colour brown, green is usually associated with nature, it can symbolise peace and can make a person feel relaxed. Green is also associated with luck as well as providing a soothing feeling but green can also be related to the feeling of envy and jealousy.

Blue is the colour of the sky, water, loyalty and tranquillity - it is an incredibly 'safe' colour. However it can also symbolise depression - "a case of the blues".

Purple can be considered the colour of wealth and respect and royalty in the olden days used to wear a lot of this colour. If there was a colour to sum up the word 'luxury' then purple would be the perfect fit.  On the other hand, it could give the impression of arrogance if used wrongly. The great strength of purple is that it can be combined successfully with so many other shades and colours,
which in a busy and eclectic environment can make it an ideal choice.

The good news is, with so many carpet and carpet tile colours and shades to choose from, there shouldn't really be anything to prevent you make the ideal choice for you. Decide what you want you want the space to convey and to achieve, and select your colours accordingly. By using a bit of imagination, there's often an opportunity for adding a bit of a 'twist', just to give a space some added personality.

If you're looking to find the perfect office carpet then visit the Birch Carpets website - or use our 'b creative' tool to mix & match carpet and wall colours -

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