Colour Consulting Institutional

As with painting commercial properties, when painting for institutional customers, the question of colour is still prevalent. Colour Consultants can play an important role here. When painting Toronto institutional projects, COMPASE recommends using colour consultants. 
 Sylvia O’ Brien  is the creative director of Colour Theory. We interviewed Sylvia recently,  this is part one, of a 2 part interview.
Sylvia is explaining how the clients needs and the intended use of space affects the choice of colour when paintiung in institutions:

Institutional Painting

There are 3 major groups to contend with in a health care facility…Patient, staff & visitor. For this type of project we orchestrate the colour palette to support all, but in different ways. Colour usage at the emergency waiting room is very different than  the front desk or the recovery areas & private rooms.
Certain colours act as a tonic to our bodies. Colour can help aid healing, lift spirits, settle nerves, & direct traffic . It can also allow a surgeon deeper concentration & less eyestrain… or calm an emotional family member. 

Correct colour use can enhance the absorption of information & facilitate the thinking process. This applies to the classroom as well as the transitional areas in an educational facility. Even within the classroom itself, variety in colour has proven to support the learning process & reduce eyestrain & fatigue.
I always keep in mind, not just what the students are seeing, but also what the instructor will be experiencing. 

In general, children under the age of 8 prefer the warm side of the palette. Room function must be taken into consideration. Is it a room in which they’ll play & nap? If so the surrounding colours must support both activities. Variety in colour is important for creative stimulation, so transition areas & lunch areas present an opportunity to bring variety to the mix. 

I like to recommend a cleaner, less complicated colour palette for the elderly. Vision compromised by cataracts, glaucoma & macular degeneration can seem to have a ‘greying’ effect over surrounding colour.
Depression is another factor than can be lessened by correct use of colour. I avoid large areas of white on a project like this as it creates an institutional feeling & creates eyestrain.
So, there is a brief outline on the things to consider . Of course there are no ‘ultimate ‘ answers as each project is unique!
Sylvia O’Brien / Colour Theory