Understanding responses to materials and colors in interiors

Begum Ulusoy, Nilgün Olguntürk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates the free associations of materials and colors in the context of interior architecture. Materials and colors rarely appear alone in interiors; therefore, in the scope of this study, the researchers explored material pairs and color pairs in addition to single materials and single colors. To elicit free associations from these interior design elements, 192 randomly selected volunteers participated in an experiment using a group of material (fabric, timber, plasterboard) and color (red, green, white) models under controlled conditions. The results contribute to an increased understanding of the associations between the concepts of materials and colors in interiors. While, each model was associated with sensory descriptors, only some models were associated with symbolic or affective descriptors. Single materials were related to different descriptors in interiors on their own, but when they were paired they were associated with fewer affective descriptors. The results showed that color pairs were always associated with all types of descriptors with an exception of red and green color pair, which was not mentioned with affective descriptors. The study findings are expected to be beneficial for interior architects, architects, product designers and researchers who want to shape and investigate a user's experience of interiors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


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