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Spinning The Colour Wheel: A Lexicon Of Colour Symbols And Associations For Interior Designers

This article draws on interviews with several top Interior Designers in London who appreciate not only the sensory and visual meaning of colour, but also the symbolic links behind certain hues and tones. We will briefly explore just a few of London's trendiest colour fashions and explain their associations in the context of interior design.

At the far end of the colour spectrum, black is associated with death and illness, except in certain Asian cultures. Indeed, many top London interior design boutiques are very multicultural and regularly design Asia-inspired residences or office spaces. Black generally does not reflect much light, and as such it can represent melancholy or hopelessness. On the more positive side, the colour black also is associated with masculinity, and its historic usage in combat vehicles and war equipment has only reinforced this sentiment. Interior designers are often careful about using this colour because it can be overwhelming in smaller London residences.

The opposite of black is, of course, the colour white. In the interior design world and far beyond, white is associated with freshness, health and radiance. It is often seen at marriages, Christenings, and a multitude of celebratory religious festivals such as Passover. London interior designers will often use this colour to reference joyful events and create a feeling of radiant good cheer.

Red is a fascinating colour in terms of symbolism. Outside the interior design world, it is first and foremost associated with blood. This in turn has links with military campaigns, flags, shields and family crests. Interior designers are aware of its connections with heritage, history, excitement, risk and executions. However, the colour red also symbolises vibrant and triumphant freshness. It is linked with strawberries, cherries, redcurrants and roses. Some of London's most prestigious interior designers will regularly use red to reference outdoor gardens through either subtle floral designs or more flashy red-inspired colour combinations.

Finally, we will complete this colour lexicon by focusing on pink. Pink is the product of red and white together, and as such it is strongly linked with femininity. In London, the capital's most celebrated interior designers often use pink as a highlight colour to create either a subtle emphasis or a daring juxtaposition. Some of the most innovative interior design boutiques in the city will create stunning designs that rely upon feminine pink contrasted alongside masculine black or similarly rich, earthy colours.

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