How do you choose colours for the walls and for the kitchen?

Coloris et matériaux

Interview with Massimo Caiazzo, colour expert

A leading expert is on hand to answer our questions: Massimo Caiazzo, Vice Chairman of the International Association of Color Consultants (IACC) in Italy, the oldest association of colour professionals. This is what the "king of colour" told us.

Good light is fundamental in the perception of an environment’s total volume

Widespread light increases it, while weak light decreases it.

What advice would you give someone who has to choose a colour scheme for their own home?

First of all, you need to carefully consider room exposure, bearing in mind the variations in natural light that occur over the course of every day and with the changing seasons. Ideally you would try to combine shades with varying degrees of temperature.
A balanced relationship between colour and light (natural and artificial) is a crucial factor in designing harmonious rooms which make everyday life easier.
Good light is also fundamental in the perception of an environment’s total volume: widespread light increases it, while weak light decreases it.
Colour climate of a room appears more balanced if the colour of the floor supporting us is darker than the colour of the walls surrounding us.

What is the best colour to use on the kitchen walls?
Our senses, although independent, are not completely disassociated from each other: think about the situations when a touch, smell or flavour causes another sensory reaction (seeing fruit is akin to tasting it).
As Johannes Itten demonstrates in one of a number of experiments, the colour of a room may interfere with that of a food, and may therefore affect the perception of how it tastes.
Better not to go overboard with colours which have too many associations, such as rose pink (sweet-tasting due to the antonomasia involved), lime green or shades in the violet spectrum (which in olfactory terms evoke the scent of flowers); nor is it advisable to use dark colours in contrasting shades with similar saturation and brightness, such as bottle green and chestnut brown, which are reminiscent of bitter flavours (not always ideal in the kitchen).
What if the kitchen is part of the living room (open-plan)?

A colour should always be applied in relation to the other shades used in a space.
This means it is not enough to simply choose a colour based on the samples; a test should be carried out (covering a square area of approx. 50 cm) on the wall to which it will be applied.
As a general rule, in an open-plan environment, I would recommend light and bright shades as they create the most suitable atmosphere for all times of day.
It is certainly best to avoid colours which are too dark, as these absorb a lot of light and make us consume more electricity, creating an oppressive colour climate.

What are the ideal shades to complement a classic kitchen?

Generally speaking, warm pastel shades are associated with pleasant sensations linked to food.
Butter, cinnamon, beige and ivory colours are particularly suitable.
The combination of ultra-light periwinkle and ivory influences our perception of times gone by and is therefore particularly suitable for areas in which food and drink is prepared and consumed.

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