Color is one aspect of design that can have far reaching and sometimes unintentional effects on a viewer. Colors have numerous associations within North American culture alone, and can mean something radically different to Japanese or Middle Eastern nations.

It is important to understand how color associations vary from culture to culture, and within different possible audiences, when working on design of one’s interior.

Understanding color can be a tricky challenge and many color meanings can almost seem contradictory. When working with color, it’s important to remember about context and how color is used with other elements such as: overall space planning as well as artificial/natural light sources and their locations.

Here an overall “rainbow” of basic hues and what meanings people of different cultures may infer from them.

Color and Cultures


Designer also has to take into account generalizations on the meanings of color for the market and color combinations for it. Substantial research and background knowledge about the client are the key notes in designing with color.