Using Colour Zoning Effectively

Colour Zoning

While colour selection is key in any interior design, colour zoning can be equally important.

Colour zoning involves separating an area into zones, delineating each zone with an appropriate colour. The various zones of colour should improve a room’s functionality, visual impact and ambience.

Colour Zoning

These three elements go hand in hand to create effective colour zoning.

How to Use Colour Zoning

Colour zoning is popular in commercial spaces to define separate areas. Shops often have different-coloured walls to separate female and male products. Restaurants with a bar or café plus a formal dining area often zone the separate areas using different colours.

Colour Zoning

Many home interiors use colour zoning, particularly in open planned areas, to define certain areas.

Colour zoning in homes helps to create different feelings for residents and guests as they move from one room to another. A popular socialising area may have bright and lively colours while a dining room might have a more subtle, pale tone for peaceful dining.

Colour Zoning

Exteriors can also feature colour zoning. The front façade of the house may be one colour while an outdoor living area or back of the house may be more vibrantly coloured.

Effectively using colour zoning may seem easier than it is. As with any attempt at colour matching, choosing the wrong colours can often be overwhelming, over the top, or cause clashing.

Colour Zoning

Just as important as the use of space and furniture placement and adequate lighting, colour zoning is integral to the overall feel of the home. Careful thought needs to be put into getting the most out of a space and getting the most out of  colour choices.

Choosing colours is only the beginning. Generally colour zoning should include up to three colours. Most interior designers tend to follow the 60-30-10 rule which refers to a neutral colour throughout the majority of the space with accent colours on selected areas.

Colour Zoning

The architecture of the space will help determine what could be highlighted or segregated. Zoning is often used to complement various decorative elements of a room or simply create personalised spaces.

Colour Palettes to Create an Ambiance

Warm and friendly colours such as greens, yellows and neutrals help to create an inviting room and a calm, comfortable ambiance. For a lively interior, colours that inspire and invigorate the senses such as blues, reds and oranges are more effective.

For a romantic ambiance in the bedroom or the dining room, colour zoning should include rich colours such as violet and red mixed with neutrals. A playful feeling can be felt in a room by using vibrant, primary colours or polar opposite colours on opposing walls for a funky, youthful feel.

Some prefer a room where they can sit in silence and read a book, practice yoga, or meditate. Pastels help to create a peaceful, relaxing ambiance, with soft, creamy colours, or pastel shades of green, blue or purple all having a calming effect.

Colour Schemes for Zoning

The monochrome colour scheme unifies a space and stays with one colour, yet uses different tones, tints and shades of the chosen colour. This creates a sophisticated, stylish, clean looking space.

Using complementary colours in colour zoning involves choosing two colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel.

Colour zoning with neighbouring colours refers to making the main colour burst by selecting two of its neighbouring colours to accent it.

The equal sided triangle theory makes use of a three-colour scheme from the where the points of an equilateral triangle land on the colour wheel for a balanced, unique palette.