‘Déjà vu 0469’
How we make our colour choices depends of our cultural heritage, preferences, taste, mood, time of life, family members etc. There are an endless number of subjective factors.
The findings (please see references of websites below) strongly suggest that our perception of color is controlled much more by our brains than by our eyes.
These experiments (references below) show that color is defined by our individual experience in the world, and since we all share the same world, we arrive at the same definition of colors.
The evidence suggests that colour perception is almost like a reflex; an inherited understanding, not one that is learned. Due to structural abnormalities in the brain autistic people
often have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information including visual information. People with autism often detect colours with higher intensity.
They are more sensitive to their surrounding so the world appears extraordinarily sharp to them. For example individuals with autism have been noted to only eat white
foods or to never play with toys of a certain color.
In order to avoid strong visual stimuli it is important to opt for subdued, muted, broken colours. It is not advisable to go for pure, vivid and acidic colours.
Earthy colours are probably the most suitable. They not only help to create a restful atmosphere but they work far better with the Irish light. Therefore it is a
good idea to look at a palette derived from nature which our eyes are conditioned to see. Go for more broken colours dirty-whites, mauves, olive greens, blue-greys, burnt oranges.
If there is luminous colour that is admired greatly by a person and you must use it in order to facilitate personal likes, do so, but use it on a chair, a piece of furniture
or a picture frame. Alternatively you can go for a more saturated version of a colour.
Make sure that all your colours will blend from one to another. Sidestep coordination as this can appear soulless. Go for “lived-in elegance”. Use the same type of thought
process as to create a painting, to put together an outfit or to prepare a 5 course meal. Each step has to be thought out in order to come together as a whole.
Picture your house as a painting, an outfit or a dinner; it has to work as one. This means that you should try to use a similar rhythm of colour to keep the same look.
First of all think if the colour suits the room and then ask if it links in with the rest?
The trick is not to forget to view the house as a whole this will give a more balanced scheme. Have one theme going through the house, one palette of colors,
but vary the darkness and lightness of the colour. Give each room its own character. Make sure not to overuse a particular colour as this can result in a bland scheme.
Ask yourself, what is the function of the room, what is it used for and more importantly who is using the room?
Deeper hues give a sense of calm, keep us grounded. Sometimes pale colours can look drab, washed out and lifeless. It is hard to go wrong with earthy hues because
of their gentle appearance.
You may use stronger and bolder hues to define space, e.g. dining room areas, kitchen, and hallways. Colour can aid in navigation from one area to the other.
Colour can help to lead the way or perhaps paint a ceiling if somebody is spending more time in bed.
It is not that the colours themselves have a meaning; it is that we have culturally assigned meanings to them. Colour perception varies among different cultures
and even within one culture- for instance Valentine Day’s and ‘Stop!’ signs. Many cultural differences exist on perceived color personality, meaning, and preference.
Lighting is another element to consider as it influences colour. Autistic people can have increased light sensitivity and in some cases severe sensitivity to
fluorescent lighting and flashing light. Incandescent light is the preferred option.
Green is a nourishing colour that gives a sense of stability and endurance. Green is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions. Green’s appearance is relaxing;
it soothes us physically and therefore cools the blood. Memorise the serene feeling after a walk into park? This brings harmony to the body, animates the nerves and creates
symmetry between the head and heart.
This can be especially true for people with autism who seem to be more affected by their environments than neurotypical people.
Green is also the color of growth, the color of spring, of renewal and rebirth. Green is a rejuvenating color and is often described as a natural peacemaker due to its many
associations with relaxing aspects of nature that our eyes are accustomed to see. Green is a colour of Islam, which literally means “Peace” and is often used on front doors.
Green interiors form a tranquil atmosphere where you are connecting with nature by bringing the outside in. It is hard to go wrong with green; be it a bathroom, office,
dental surgery, or school. Green has got a wide field of areas within which it can be integrated.