Whether you are green with envy, looking green or you practice green living, the colour has always been with us and its use in interior design has evolved over the years. Although most people in the West equate green with saving the world, you may be surprised to discover that others associate the colour with wealth, health and even religion.
Understanding the history and meaning behind the colours and products we interact with can help give our design decisions context.
The Origins of Green
Green is the colour of life! When we think about the colour green, cleanliness, wellness and nature often come to mind.
But why are plants green?
When sunlight shines down on plants, its cells contain a pigment called chloroplasts that absorb blue and red light from the spectrum with the exception of green, giving plants their colour.
For years, researchers have been trying to figure out why plants absorb every colour except green. They believe that if they were to devour the entire spectrum, plants would appear black to the human eye.
Green Triggers Creativity
According to a study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the colour green sparks imagination and creative thinking. The strength of the colour makes it a better fit to accessorize a room. For example, in a living room, a green chair would be used as an accent piece, as opposed to dominating the décor.
According to Dr. Stephanie Lichtenfeld, “Green may serve as a cue that evokes the motivation to strive for improvement and task mastery, which in turn may facilitate growth.” One way to cope with its potency is by experimenting with its different shades. There are many green hues that are similar to one another, but may trigger an entirely different reaction from a colour with a slight contrast. When attempting to bring a fresh new feeling of inspiration within your home, don’t be afraid to add a dose of green!
Why Some Companies Love Green
Colour and marketing go hand-in-hand. Corporations have invested millions of dollars in marketing, trying to find a consistent formula that will attract customers to their products and services. A simple Google search reveals that the most successful corporations all have a specific reason for choosing the colour(s) that make up their logo.
Companies who may be trying to illicit a clean and eco-friendly persona use green as part of their brands. They count on green to help consumers make the connection between Mother Nature and relaxation. Many believe that our connection to nature brings about a feeling of positive energy and balance to help escape some of the stress that we experience.
Technology Loves Green
Have you ever wondered why green is used in night vision goggles? Our eyes are more sensitive to colours found in the middle of the spectrum such as green and yellow. In fact, some people who are colourblind can see faint shades of green.
Our sensitivity to green may also explain why green is such a popular colour worldwide. International surveys have shown that more often than not, green ranks second only to blue in regards to our favourite colours.
How Green Is Your Value?
In the 1860s, a Canadian named, Thomas Sterry Hunt, developed and patented anti-counterfeiting ink. An American bought the patent because counterfeiting bank notes ran rampant in the USA at the time. For over a century, American bank notes remained green due to the strength and durability of the ink and its resistance to chemical and physical changes, but it never lived up to being the cure for counterfeiting.
Sticking to the topic of money, there were psychological reasons for using the colour green on gaming tables. In an intimidating environment like a casino, the sight of green is a calming presence. Also, its association with “go” in relation to stoplights subconsciously makes gamblers more likely to spend. So patrons, please beware!
Whether you use green to convey your “green” views or are simply in love with the colour, you can rest assured that it will inject a feeling of life wherever it’s applied!