Colors don’t need any special introduction. Colors establish an aesthetic connection between objects and set the mood. Colors must be chosen based on the psychology and the mindset of the dweller. For example, red is an excellent choice for dining room as it encourages appetite and green for bedroom as it is the color of tranquility and health. Each color has three distinct characteristics namely Hue, Value and Intensity, and an interior designer must be well aware of these characteristics to perform various permutations and combinations. Colors are broadly classified into Primary and Secondary colors and also sub-categorized into Tertiary, Complementary, Analogous and Monochromatic colors.

Designer Cheat sheet:

Hue = colour, meaning actual pigment or colour of the light. Can be used interchangeably with “colour”

Intensity = how dark or light the colour is

Value= how much light, dark, or grey there is in the colour. Though “tone” is used as a general term meaning value, Technically Tints mean adding white, Tones are adding grey, and shades are adding black.

As a general rule, 

Warm hues come forward, Cool hues recede.

Dark hues come forward, cool hues recede.

Look at the space in day and night – the tone of the colour will change depending on the colour of the light at different times of the day. 


The principles of scale and proportion ensure that objects placed in a space look like they belong to each other. Be it the size, dimension, shape or color of the objects, a harmony should be established between them and a proportion has to be maintained. For example, a high ceiling environment implies that high rise furniture should be preferred over low rise furniture like ottomans. Also, under stuffed pillows would make a big sofa look empty and under accessorized, thus disrupting the harmony and proportion that is supposed to exist.

Designer cheat sheet:

Scale is about the space in relation to a human being, but also the elements in the space as they relate to one another.

In a grand foyer, tiny furniture pieces, doors, or diminutive prints will seem inadequate and will negate the feeling intended by the architect. Common areas are increasingly important as condo suites shrink, and so the impression made in the lobby is an important one. Glass partitions between the foyer and party room or lounge for example will give the idea there is much more living space in the building .

When designing a space, determine how you want people to feel in it first. Think of Alice in Wonderland and how the extremes in largeness or smallness were unsettling in different ways.