Bright’s Alright

What’s people’s take on bright colours in offices? Personally, I’m in favour of it, but I understand that some people struggle with it and believe that neutrals are the only proper choice. The receptionist at my office made a faux-retching action at me this morning when I acknowledged the new fushia paint job and coordinated turquoise upholstery in the lobby, and I’m just wondering if her response is closer to the norm than mine.

I guess it depends on the context. A pink wall would have very different effects in, say, a corporate law firm’s offices compared to those of a fashion magazine. That said, I think it could work in either context, provided the design was of sufficient quality and sensitivity to the purpose. Here in Melbourne, office space design is something that’s taken seriously across many fields, and you won’t be thought any less serious for having stylised aesthetic elements incorporated into your work environment.

Presumably, there are different ways in which people respond to colour. Generally speaking, people find large expanses of bright colour somewhere between invigorating and somewhat full-on, but perhaps some people lean more to one or the other side of that, or even have a different response altogether. If done well, I find that it puts a light pep in my step, while perhaps Kirsty at reception finds it distracting or overwhelming in some way.

When it comes to office space  fitouts, Melbourne designers do tend to take the ball and run with it, often to extremes. I’m in favour of that, and there seem to be plenty of others like me – enough that we tend to forget about the Kirstys of the world and expect them to tailor their sensory experience to meet ours. That’s why I’m interested to know if there’s a dominant inclination around this. I suspect there is, and that it’s the one I identify with, as that would explain a lot.