interiors for professional empowerment

Associative method applied to colors, the COLORE magazine

  • Associative method applied to colors, the COLORE magazine
  • Associative method applied to colors, the COLORE magazine
Date: 2012

Lifecoachdesign is a new approach to interior design, aimed at creating spaces which are capable of supporting people to move towards the achievement of predetermined goals. Thus, the environment becomes a coach which encourages us to plan and undertake actions that can lead us to success.

The fields of study related to this design methodology have recognized the need to deeply research on the influence of various parameters present in living spaces.

At the beginning of 2012, continuing with the finalization of the Lifecoachdesign method, the Davsar-Design Srl has launched the first phase of research dedicated to color.  The work described below consists of one part of the entire research, dedicated to the associations between colors and the important areas of life. The purpose was to study how a color, which has been chosen in an associative way, can affect the mood and emotions of a person.

The group was made up of 14 people, men and women aged 23 to 50 years.

The research was carried out in four phases:

1. Individual interviews which lasted about one hour  each in order to highlight and evaluate the eight most important areas of life and choose one for development.  For each area, we asked to give a ranking value (ranging from 1 to 10) that would represent the satisfaction level in that particular moment, and explain what to them would be considered a 10, and associate with that feeling a color, using the sample Pantone Fashion and Home collection consisting of 2100 colors printed on paper.

2. The codes of the selected colors were used to create 14 individual chromatic maps which were printed on A3 size paper. The color corresponding to the area of development was printed on the larger side of the page (half), next to which the other 8 colored areas were placed, with a random order.

3. The maps were distributed among the participants with the request to post them some where at home or in their offices for two weeks. The participants  were also asked to spend 10 minutes a day watching the colors with a relaxed or neutral state of mind.

4. At the end of the time allotted the participants were asked to re-evaluate their “balance wheel” according to the first phase and to answer the following 3 questions explaining their experiences:

  • What kind of emotions/stimuli did you feel watching the colors?
  • If you had the opportunity to apply these colors to your home/office would you do so?
  • How do you intend to use this experience in the future?


Among the participants:

  • Those who confirmed the wish to apply the selected colors, (all of the  colors or part of them), at home or in the workplace: 100%
  • Those who felt positive emotions / stimuli watching their own chromatic map: 78%
  • Those who confirmed that they became more aware of which are the priorities in their lives: 86%

At the end of the experiment, all the people who felt disharmony along with the chosen colors or did not feel the colors as “their colors” reassigned a lower score to the current level of satisfaction for certain areas of their own “balance wheel”.

  • The changes in terms of level of satisfaction according to the area of development: 57% (35% increased and 22% decreased)
  • No change in the area of development: 43%
  • The changes on all the 8 areas (both increased and decreased): 65%
  • The parameters remained the same on all 8 areas: 35%

As it could be noted from the attached color charts, the chromatic range which corresponds to the satisfaction and positivity is different from person to person.  This might lead to think of the colors in a less generalized and more focused manner.

Listed below are some comments from the participants.

– The stimuli were numerous, also due to the fact that looking at the colors reminded me of pleasant memories/images, therefore the final feeling was always positive.  In general the colors transmitted a sense of tranquility, harmony and energy which helped deal with the various challenges of the day.

– I can surely say that the colors I’ve chosen (without too much reasoning, rather almost by impulse) are absolutely “MY” colors!

– Considering that my chart was deliberately placed by me in my store, (place where I spend the whole day) I’ve dedicated to it a lot of time, and every time my eyes dropped on the colors, the sensations were the following: lightness – freshness – serenity – warmth and a whole series of positive vibrations!

– I reached the conclusion that I chose “pleasant” colors, none of them were too abrupt and aggressive; overall, I am satisfied with my choice.

– Initially they seemed a bit “weird” colors and “incompatible” with each other, now I do not mind, actually on the contrary, I find that they are not bad together.

– For me, the most important outcome after this experience has been to notice that, in most of the areas of the “balance wheel”, my level of satisfaction has decreased. I think the new levels of satisfaction, however, are more realistic than the previous ones. I have the feeling of looking at things in a more authentic way, of having removed veils and masks.  This result might appear negative. Instead, it is as if this exercise has brought me back to reality, allowing me to feel stronger, sincere and free to evaluate my life in a more objective way.  Today, after this experience, is easier for me to accept that there are parts of my life that just are not progressing and that I need to intervene and “spin the wheel”. It is not that I did not take actions before, actually I have and I have acted a lot….. But I had calibrated them on a false level of satisfaction – for example, a supposed 7 instead of a real 5 – perhaps the actions have been poorly targeted and somehow ineffective compared to the actions that would have been necessary and which I am now considering with a renewed courage and awareness.

– The greatest emotion was to feel disharmony between various colors and later a sensation of anesthesia watching the green, the big pantone.  There are two colors in particular, peach and light gray that are bothering me … especially the peach.  I am worried by the fact that this is the predominant color in my studio and in my website, which are also the two “most critical” areas in my life at the moment.  According to the stimuli, the most impelling is that of making clarity and taking decisions.

– Definitely I would use this shades all over the house, painting some walls depending on the room and its importance … because the perceived emotions are very positive.

– … I think that applying colors to the environment where you live or work to change the approach to life is a great way to help us change perspective in the analysis of our being and of the reactions that we have to the various issues of life.  From now on I will keep in consideration these colors for when there will be an opportunity to change the environment in which I live or work.

– I have always felt joy when I watched them!

– I struggled to stay focused to look at the panel (because I am always hyper-active), even if the feeling that I had was very positive, almost of elevation, meditative, and source of relaxation and joy.

– I was amazed to see all the colors that I had chosen had been arranged on a sheet together, because when I choose them they all seemed so different; while when I saw them placed close to each other, the yellows and reds looked the same. I didn’t think I had chosen a pink because it is a color that I consider childish and which suits me only in certain shades and with particular combinations and instead I found it in the large box! In summary: one story is the representation of the colors in my mind, and another are the objective reality and the perceptual abilities of my eyes to interpret them.

– I felt isolated from reality; the red on the top right corner was a little out of tune.

– I have noticed that two colors are those of the gym!

– Personally, this experience has been useful to me to confirm the importance of colors in the everyday life.  We often forget or do not realize it, but color can make the difference in anything.

– Colors are very present in my working environment, which is where I spend most of my time, and “my” colors are all there, although maybe with slightly different shades.

– No big thrill; Although, I pondered on two things: 1) those are colors that I like and I wondered how come those colors were the ones which resulted from the interview 2)… I probably would have liked to change something … why all that pink?

– Watching the colors of my table gave me two different feelings, on the one hand, the colors related to the objectives that I felt more important to develop acted as a reminder, they reminded me that there are activities that, if followed in the right way, can take me where I want, on the other hand, looking at the colors associated to the parameters where my satisfaction is already very high, I perceived pleasant feelings of extreme comfort.

– Of course that I would place them in an environment where I live! In fact … in some way I already did!!

– The research helped me to raise my awareness on something that I probably already knew, but to which rationally, I did not give particular importance: how important are  the colors that surround me and how much do they influence people’s moods.


“After an initial meeting with Mrs. Davsar and after having received the color charts, I spent about 5-10 minutes daily observing my chart. As a result of the gained experience, with regard to the changes of feelings that I perceived I can say that:

1) First, the fact of dedicating some time to observe the color chart, has allowed me to rest my mind, to look away from the PC’s monitor and to dedicate some time to myself or to my sensations. The colors allowed me to access that part of my brain that controls my imagination and that gave me serenity.

2) With regard to the chosen colors, definitely I would apply the blue especially in the office because it has been the color from which I’ve been influenced the most it transmitted a feeling of inner tranquility to me.

3) With regard to the consequences of this experience in my future life I can say that: when I will have a chance to re-paint the walls of my office the Pantone 14-4313 TPX will be the next color I will use.

Rather, with regard to my individual areas I conclude that:

A-10 Family – the score indicated for my family was already at its peak. This is one of the areas that I care about the most and I have to say that the chosen color has allowed me to think of them every time I looked at it.  This association of ideas has allowed me to feel as if may family was closer to me during working days.  Now every time I will come across this color I will associate it to them.

B-7 Job – The choice of color for the working environment did not affect my feelings very much and I did not have any great benefit.

C-8 Love – Well! What to say about it? After placing the map in my office I received a great news so I would say that the number assigned to the color (8)  has jumped to 10 and has reached the maximum. Therefore, the chosen color certainly acquired a positive value and it will maintain that value for the rest of my life.

D-10 Cinema – in this case the chosen color has manifested like the first time

E-9 Travel – Also in this case the selected color has lead my mind to fantasize about routes of travel not yet gone through, adventures not yet lived, triggering in me the desire that of enjoying the taste of far away lands.

F-6 Fashion – I’ve always liked the color I have chosen but there is a little contrast here, as I would never select a piece of clothing or an accessory of this color, however I believe this color is a symbol of glamour.  Of course, observing the color did change my ranking to a 10 but it made me think of the “glamorous” world of fashion.

G-6 Health – Here we come to the main area both in terms of importance as well as in terms of size of its square.  That is the area in which I am really lacking.  The light blue, which I’ve chosen is the shade that most influenced my days perhaps because of its size, or perhaps as I’ve mentioned before, because it was able to transmit serenity, tranquility and peace.   Light blue reminds me of the spring sky, when everything seems to be reborn and the life blood restart to flow. It made me think that the days are getting longer, the humming of little birds. It cheered me up in the gloomy afternoons.  So I can say that my mood was, without a doubt, positively affected.”


For what concerns the research in general, it should be noted that this was only a first phase, but the achieved results are a stimulus to further analysis.

The next steps, which have already started, will therefore be aimed to a more in depth study carried out by expanding the sample of participants and with a more specific verification not only of the first emotional reactions, but also of those reactions which can be related to the possible push to act and move towards some desired direction.

Article for the COLORE magazine (The Colour Institute Editing)  2012


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