The Psychology of Color for Restaurant, Hotel & Hospitality Design : Introduction

Sara Hospitality | Oct 11, 2023

“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~Wassily Kandinsky

Color has a profound impact on humans, and choosing an inappropriate color for a restaurant or hotel can make or break your business. It is a crucial step in interior design, which can sometimes have an irreversible effect on your decor. Colors are broadly divided into two categories:

Warm Colors - Warm colors revoke warmth as they remind us of the sun, fire, and heat.

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Orange

Cold Colors -  Cold colors give us a relaxing vibe as it reminds us of water, rain, and the ocean. 

  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Green

When choosing a wall, flooring, or outdoor color,  the tip is to understand the use cases of the space/decor in your mind. What exactly is the purpose of the area, and how do you want people to react to that? 

If you are using warm colors, it becomes a high-energy space that radiates power, happiness, optimism, and energy.

If you're using cold colors, it can be considered an excellent place to relax, and wind down and it develops calmness as well as sadness. 

While white and black are considered neutral colors, that's the primary reason that you experience White Walls in some hotel bedrooms, which let the occupant feel neutral about the place. 

Color swatches in outdoor shops, restaurants, cafes, and hotels are chosen very carefully. It might feel that choosing colors is an easy task, but it takes a whole thought procedure that defines the elements and ambiance of the room forever. 


The Color Wheel

Interior designers are equipped with knowledge about colors and an understanding of color blending and combinations. Most importantly, understanding the mood, habits, and psychology of the guest can obtain the desired design and color for the space. Before we dig into the details, it's essential to understand the color wheel and the three primary colors: 

Yellow, red, and Blue

With the combination of the following:

  1. Yellow + Blue = Green
  2. Yellow + Red = Orange
  3. Blue + Red = Purple

Blending primary colors with secondary colors, we obtain tertiary colors. As you can see in the color wheel,  the colors are complementary to each other. Each pair of color wheels complements the other to create a neutral color.  The color associated with the blue and green sides is warm colors while colors in the yellow and orange sides are cool colors. 

Colors have certain energy related to them. It can have various impacts on your visitors, and also decide would they be revisiting your space again or not.

Colors have the power to energize, cheer, concentrate, relax, and even make us remember great memories. Some colors have a negative impact and can make us feel irritated, fatigued, and tired. That's why choosing random colors is a strict NO, as you will never know what kind of vibration is your space giving to the visitors. 

Three tips on choosing the color for your ambiance: 

1. Take photographs of the room view and try adding some colors through digital tools like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and try different mood boards to induce some colors. You can take feedback from your friends and family or a design consultant. 

2. Have a navigation object with you, and notice from where the sun is entering the room, at what time of day, and how it reflects in the room throughout the day. This method will give you a clear understanding of the effects of light on the room and how you can play with the colors. 

3. Measure the room, if the room is big enough, you can use both dark and light colors. Generally, bright colors tend to give a feeling of more space. 

Understand that people generally respond to the color in the same way but don't expect every visitor to act in the same manner. It also depends on the person's nature, sensations, and emotions. Using color psychology won't guarantee that every visitor will have the exact feeling you want to convey,  but it would cater to the majority easily. 

Pro Tip : 

McDonald's. Which color came to your mind? 

Red or Yellow? Yes, you are right. From packaging to the interior, McDonald's uses red and yellow to its fullest potential, which depicts fire and warmth. It targets youth who are always energetic and ready to take on new challenges. 

McDonald's Classic Red Interior

If you liked what you read, visit us at Sara Hospitality or Book a free online consultation for Hospitality Furniture for Hotels, Restaurants, Clubs, Homes, and more. We provide the finest quality yet affordable range of commercial furniture in Atlanta, Georgia, and across the USA. 

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