Bringing Color to Contemporary Art and Interior Design

Color is one of the most powerful tools in the world of art and design. From the clothes we wear to the spaces we live in, color holds the power to influence our mood, evoke emotions, and make bold statements. As Vasily Kandinsky wrote, “Color is a means of exerting direct influence upon the soul. Color is a keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano, with its many strings.”

EUPHONIC COLOUR NO. 6 by Angela Johal, Acrylic polymer on canvas 60×40 in, Sold

When it comes to art and interior design, it’s easy to gravitate toward neutral colors such as beige, gray, and white. While these colors may provide a classic look, they often leave a room feeling dull and uninspiring. In contemporary art and interior design, color often marks an integral part of artistic expression. As a buyer, collector, or interior designer, it’s important to understand how color plays a role in contemporary art and interior design to create striking, inviting spaces.

The use of color is not only a means of creating a beautiful piece but also to generate certain emotions and meanings. Bold and bright colors are often used to create excitement and intense feelings, while muted and subdued tones are used to evoke more subtle emotions. Artists use a color palette to create a specific mood and meaning in their artwork. For instance, bold red hues might be utilized to signify passion and intensity, while shades of blue evoke calm and tranquility.

Similarly, in interior design, color plays a significant role in creating desired outcomes. Color has the power to transform interior spaces, create ambiance, add warmth, and make a space feel larger or smaller. The right color tones can make a significant impact by highlighting a room’s architecture or illuminating a dark corner.

Noted artist and designer Samuel Ross, uses color to create a specific mood for his clients. “Color plays a huge role in determining the energy of a space. If you want a room to feel energetic and lively, you might opt for colors like red and orange. If you want a room to feel calm and relaxed, you may choose shades of blue and green.” Samuel advises that when incorporating bold colors into a room, it’s all about finding balance. “You don’t want one color to overpower the room, so it’s important to incorporate pops of color throughout the space to tie everything together.”

While Pantone, Benjamin Moore, Dunn-Edwards, and Sherwin Williams all tout their “Color of the Year” (Viva Magenta, Raspberry Blush, Terra Rosa, and Redend Point respectively for 2023, in case you were wondering), dictating color is not solely the purview of the experts or color theorists. As Coco Chanel once advised, “The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.” The same can be said for a room. Color can define or bring out a room’s character and doesn’t need to be bound to current fashions or trends. Fashions come and go, but the power of color to evoke feelings and shape space is eternal.

MYSTIC AURA IN RED by Anthony Liggins, Wood block and acrylic sculpture 47x32x6 in, $10,500

That said, one trend in interior design is the use of vibrant and bold colors to create a contrast against neutral bases or backgrounds. For instance, a room painted entirely in white can be enlivened with bold and vibrant fuchsias, cerulean, greens, or bright yellows of an artwork. It is essential to strike a balance between the neutral base of the room and the bold colors, so the space doesn’t look too overwhelming or cluttered.

Color is an essential tool used by artists and designers to create beautiful contemporary pieces of art and the spaces in which they reside, enriching our lives with stunning hues. Incorporating color into your room could make a significant impact on the ambiance, evoking emotions, creating meaning, and curating spaces that are aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Whether you choose bold, bright colors or subtle and subdued tones, the right color can help elevate your artistic and design expression.



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