In our increasingly stressful world, our home needs to be a sanctuary for rest and healing. As part of our Holistic Interior Design series, we asked Colour Therapy Expert, best-selling Author and Founder of the Holistic Interior Design Institute Suzy Chiazzari to share some guidance. Suzy shares her wisdom on what we need to consider when choosing colour for our home…
Holistic Interior Design
- As the Founder of The Holistic Design Institute, a best-selling Author, leading Holistic Interior Designer and Colour Therapy Consultant, could you tell us a bit about your business and what first sparked your interest in colour therapy?
I started painting when I was a young child after experiencing the awe-inspiring effects of coloured light shining through stained glass windows. This love of colour has stayed with me throughout my life. After completing a B.E degree in Visual Arts and subsequent training in Interior Design.
I started my own design consulantancy in London in the 1980’s specialising in healing interiors. I was intrigued by the feedback I received from some clients who told me that the colours I used in my projects had a profound effect on their moods and behaviour. It was this that led me to study Colour Therapy with the Institute of Complementary Medicine in London.
I founded the Holistic Design and Colour Institute in 1992 with the aim of promoting a more environmentally responsible practice with regards to colour and materials used in interior design, in order to meet the needs of a stressful and fast-changing world.
Thereafter, I wrote several books to support these ideas. Currently much of my time is spent promoting colour and holistic design through the media, but I take on one or two colour and design projects a year. My distance learning schools offer specialist courses using colour and design as a Healing Art. As the demand for healthy and mood-enhancing colours in homes and work spaces increases, more architects, designers and colour professionals want to incorporate a more holistic approach. Over the years the Institute has welcomed an increasing number of students from all over the world.
- For anyone who hasn’t heard of Colour Therapy, can you explain what it is?
Colour Therapy is based on the principles of psychology and research into colour and light, that investigates our individual and universal relationship with colour, but also how specific hues affect our physiological, mental and emotional state.
Healing with Colour
- What are the health benefits of Colour Therapy?
Colour Therapists use specific colours and combinations that can promote a sense of harmony and well-being that are tailored to your personal needs. Colour is a symbolic language and therapists use colour related diagnostic tests to identify problem areas in your life, before they recommend colours to address these issues. Being exposed to certain colours can have many health benefits including increasing energy levels, promoting relaxation and restorative sleep, as well as addressing many chronic ailments like headaches or skin problems.
Choosing Colour For Wellbeing
- When choosing colour for our homes, what should we consider?
Most people are unaware of how much the colours in their surroundings affect their moods and behaviour. It is very important to choose colours in your home wisely. Pick the wrong colours and you may not feel happy in your home or want to spend much time there.
‘While you may want to surround yourself with colours you like, some combinations create the wrong atmosphere and can make you feel irritable and uncomfortable‘– Suzy Chiazzari on Choosing Colour
When choosing colours for our homes therefore, you need to take into consideration your own colour preferences. Also, the orientation and size of the room and the mood you wish to create. Adding specific accent colours can also add emotional and mental support, to help address any special health needs you may have.
- Are there any colours we should be avoiding or looking for when it comes to using colour to aid our wellbeing?
Every colour has an effect on interior space, depending on where and how they are used.
‘Light colour schemes reflect more natural light into your eyes that harmonise your biorhythms and body clock and enhance mood’– Suzy Chiazzari on Choosing Colour
Warm colours are more energising and stimulating, so make you more active, alert and sociable. However, an all red room while creating a cocooning effect, can also become oppressive and mentally disturbing.
‘Cooler shades of blue and green slow down our metabolism, so are better suited to areas where you want to relax and chill out’– Suzy Chiazzari on Colour Therapy
Recently there has been a fashion for indigo and black walls that create a protective space, but living in dark rooms can lead to depression as we often see.
Choosing colour for our home is a way to improve healing and rest. Thank you to Suzy for sharing her wisdom and giving us some guidance for introducing colour into our environment.