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Music & Colour: Synaesthesia

Music and colour go hand in hand, after all, they are both good friends of art. But did you know how much one affects the other? Combined, music and colour can have a huge impact on the way a room feels. It could be a nightclub, an office or a shop. If the music and colours don’t work together, it can put people off a room quicker than expected. By using music to influence your interior design, you can create beautiful things.

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If you’ve ever visited a high street coffee shop, you’ll notice the décor is often dark but makes you feel warm and at home. Sofas, gentle colour schemes and more create this effect. You’ll also notice the music. If you’ve ever visited a coffee shop with no music, you’ll notice the difference. Suddenly it’s not the same calm, warm environment. Chains like Starbucks even have their own mixes – that’s how important it is.

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An empty nightclub with no music can feel vacuous – like it’s missing something. It’s more than just filling the venue with your patrons favourite music, you must think about gaps between live acts and more.

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On the other hand, some colours can make you feel or hear music. Certain tones make a room feel like there should be, and is music there. You’ll often find this feeling when you come across fluorescent or luminous paints. Something about these paints makes you think about busy environments, music venues and even safety. You may find yourself humming a tune or thinking of safety warnings – just because of these bright colours.

Consider this, the police use red and blue sirens to warn you they are trying to get somewhere important. Even without the sirens, many of us will hear the sirens as we associate the colours with the sound. Equally, we all know that red nearly always means a warning.

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Certain folk report seeing physical colours when they see music. Those who see different colours when they hear different tones, have Synaesthesia. Often these people are creative, and create beautiful things that make us feel more emotion.

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Take inspiration from this, by influencing your designs and colour schemes, by picking colours that remind you of appropriate sounds. It can be as simple as remembering that deep blues will remind us of the ocean and neon, fluorescent colours will make us think of something exciting.

If you’re not decorating just for safety, think about combining all the senses to give a truly 360-experience to any interior design. If the music matches the colour, and the colour makes you think of the right music, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

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