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Color Planning for Interiors: An Integrated Approach to Color in Designed Spaces



Color Planning for Interiors: An Integrated Approach to Color in Designed Spaces

Margaret Portillo

ISBN: 978-1-118-00487-6 September 2010 224 Pages

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Evidence-based approach to color planning lets you discover the impact of color on people and space.

You'll learn to systematically develop innovative, holistic color solutions in interior design with this book's evidence-based approach to color planning. The author sets forth a color planning framework that integrates multiple criteria, enabling you to fully consider the complex role that color plays in interior design.

Color Planning for Interiors is based on the findings from a national study that the author conducted, which identified five categories of color criteria:

  • Color as Composition

  • Color Preferences

  • Color as Communication

  • Color Pragmatics

  • Color for Engagement

The author interviewed noted designers and colorists about the projects that best represented their approach to color. As a result, you'll discover how leaders in the field examine color from compositional, symbolic, behavioral, preferential, and pragmatic perspectives in order to arrive at a carefully considered solution. Moreover, you'll see how designers and architects apply this knowledge to a broad range of interior spaces, including workplaces, restaurants, retail settings, healthcare facilities, and private residences.

Complementing theory and research, real-life examples are presented from interior design projects that consider color in relation to light, materiality, and interior architecture. In addition, full-color diagrams, photographs, and design renderings illustrate concepts throughout the book to help you understand how to select and work with color.

From the fundamental principles of color theory to innovative applications, all aspects of designing interiors with color are examined, making this book ideal for all professionals and students in interior design who want to develop the full potential of their color palettes.

Related Resources

Chapter 1: Introduction to Color Planning.

Creative Process.

Color Language.

Color in Context.

Color Planning Framework.


Chapter 2: Challenges to Color Planning.





Toward Innovation.


Chapter 3: Art & Science of Color Planning.

Principles of Color Perception.

Visual System + Light + Object.

Measuring Color vision.

Color Constancy.

Color Systems.

Additive & Subtractive.

Artist’s Wheel.




Research Notes.

Chapter 4: Criterion One: Color as Composition.

Color Illusions.


Optical Mixing.

Simultaneous Contrast.


Bezold Effect.


Color Progression + Transition.

Color Planning for Shaping Space.


Chapter 5: Criterion Two: Color as Communication.

Origins of Color Associations.

Color Associations and Building Type.

Color Strategy + Brand Identity.

Cross-Cultural Marketing with Color.

Challenging Negative Color Associations.

Evolution of Color Meaning .

Color Planning for Communication.


Research Notes.

Chapter 6: Criterion Three: Color for Engagement.



Color Temperature Perception.

Color + Flavor Perception + Consumption.

Color + Space + Depth.

Color Planning for Human Response.


Research Notes.

Chapter 7: Criteria Four: Color Preferences.

Individual Preferences.

Group Preferences.

Historical Preferences.

Stories behind Color Names.

Color Forecasting + Cycles of Preference.

Color Planning for Creating the New.


Research Notes.

Chapter 8: Criteria Five: Color Pragmatics: Functional Side of Color.

Color + Lighting Conditions.

Color + Materiality.

Color + Adaptive Reuse.

Color + Sustainability.

Color + Digital Media.

Planning for Pragmatics.


Research Notes.

Chapter 9: Criteria in Concert.








Lessons from Color Planning Narratives.


Chapter 10: Directions in Color Planning.

Color as Process.

Color as Product.

Color as Environment.

Research Challenges.


Appendix: For Further On Line Study.

Understanding color: Theories, systems, schemes.

Seeing color: Perception, vision, color deficiencies, synesthesia.

Measuring color: Artist’s Wheel, Munsell, Pantone .

Color illusions: Metamerism, optical Illusions.

Color communication: Cross-cultural meaning, marketing, branding.

Color pragmatics: Interior applications, print and digital Media.

Scholars and Innovators: Albers, Itten, Swirnoff.

Professional color organizations: ISCC, CAUS, CMG.