In the past we discussed examples of colour schemes for an interior design of an office. Each office type may require personalization, depending on the type of business using it. The design options are vast and finding the right colours may seem challenging at times.

In order to simplify the decision making process, when choosing a colour palette, we would like to discuss a simple exercise. The goal of the exercise is to generate, in a simplified way, visual references to consider in use of interior design. For the purpose of this exercise we will be discussing choosing a colour palette for a beauty salon or spa design. The method is to take words associated to your project and respond to these words instinctively. In this example, the words beauty/spa/beauty salon could be responded to consecutively.

What comes to mind when thinking of the word BEAUTY? Responses could be: clean, soft, cosmetics, natural, delicate, air, white, pink.

Once we have our responses, we want to see our words as images. Seeing images of these words will spark off ideas. This may be enough to generate and at the same time to narrow down our colour palette choices.

Looking closer at our responses is important. Let’s have a look at the word cosmetics for instance. As an example, you can quickly browse through cosmetic design in order to determine what colours are often in use there. As soon as you will look at skin care cosmetic packaging, you will probably notice that most of these are kept in delicate colour palettes. Most will be kept in white or soft light colours with addition of white. Text and logo will often be in black, silver or gold. This is with the exemption of fragrance which is usually designed in darker colours. The reason why skin care cosmetic packaging is kept in soft, bright colours is to portray the feeling of clean skin and freshness.

Each word in the above list of responses to the word BEAUTY can be analysed separately in the same way. The colours should then be physically matched with each other to determine what works best. This needs to be done while keeping in mind the purpose of the building you are trying to choose colour palette for.

Let us take for instance, the word air. In an image, air may be introduced in various ways. It could be an image of sky, clouds, or delicate swirls of transparent wind etc. We then have couple of simple colours as a response; white, pink. And we have words such as natural, soft, clean, delicate which will all generate different visual references. At this point, if in doubts, you can simply generate computer search on each of those words and see what colours will dominate the search.

The whole process can be repeated as a response to the word SPA and so on.

Simplicity is our best friend when we want to narrow down our colour options. Visual references will work best. We want to choose few references which match our business idea best, and remember different types of colour schemes at the same time (monochromatic, complimentary, triadic, etc.).

Additional advice would be to always double check if your choices of colours are suitable to the purpose of the space you are designing for. What will your clients be doing in those places? What would you expect a place like that look like?

Cool and soothing colours will portray feelings of cleanliness and freshness. Clients want to relax there and in order to help with that, it is worth considering addition of a warm colour as well. Warm colours create feelings of cosiness and help us to relax. Thinking of SPA for instance, warm colours added could be natural colours of sand, wood or plants. Warm light can also help with adding cosiness to the space.

Your idea can be adapted. As soon as you sharpen and minimize your idea, you will have in your hand your personal guide. This guide is your chosen colours. You can look at this guide whenever in doubt while choosing elements of final decoration and detail.

Good luck during the designing process.