Ever Wondered What Red Means To Eastern Cultures, Or Why Blue Is Oh So Popular Across The Globe?

As keen bean home decorators, colour is such an important tool for us to play with; whether it be through natural white walls, fuchsia furnishings or moody grey couches.

What’s more, colour greatly impacts the overall feeling of any given space, says Justine Wilson, director and principal stylist at Vault Interiors.

Colours help us experience and connect with our surrounding environments – that’s why spas prefer calming white and stone tones, while funky cafes embrace hot pinks and vibrant greens to pump up the energy of their space.

Across the globe, the use of colour at home can also be dramatically different from one culture to the next as different interior colours mean different things.

We were keen to investigate those cultural meanings further, so we asked Justine to share her guide to the key color groups and what they symbolise.


Blue is the most universally popular shade, possibly due to the shared connection of sky and sea which almost all cultures can relate to. Both eastern and western cultures consider it a respectful and dignified colour, promoting reflection and thought. The exception? For native American cultures, it can represent defeat and sadness.


Green has long been considered lucky (especially to the Irish), and is considered a relaxing and prosperous tone, especially for western cultures. It’s also a positive choice in eastern countries, as it can symbolise new hope, new beginnings and regeneration.


Unsurprisingly, red is all about drama and passion. It can be associated with power and control. It’s a particularly important colour, especially to eastern cultures, where it signifies vitality, long life, prosperity, joy and good luck. In India, red means wealth and abundance, while for western cultures, red is often associated with romance and intimacy. Finally, in South Africa, red is associated with mourning and loss.


Pink is considered soft and feminine, and symbolises nurturing and fertility across many cultures.


Purple is thought of as religious, regal or royal, conveying privilege in Japanese and European cultures. Purple is also thought of as a military colour, symbolising honour, especially in the west. Purple is reserved for mourning in Brazil and Thailand.


White to western cultures generally signifies purity, goodness and perfection; in contrast it’s the colour of death and mourning to most Asian cultures.


Black is associated with somber feelings in western and European cultures, however, some eastern cultures consider it symbolic of wealth and good health.

How To Use Colours To Convey Culture

The best way to appeal to many cultures when integrating colour in design, is to use it sparingly and appropriately. “Use colour to highlight the surrounding landscape or natural environment – everyone can relate easily to the natural surrounding landscape – and bringing the outside in can have appeal,” Justine says.

Prefer neutrals on your walls? Justine suggests introducing colour through accents such as cushions, artwork, curtains and rugs.

If you like your space bright, bold and teeming with colour – or have a slight obsession with neon – then you’ll love taking a sneak peek inside stylist Adam Powell’s kaleidoscopic home.

Source: Realestae.com.au http://www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/interior-colours-mean-different-cultures/

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