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Colour psychology in retirement homes

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posted on 08.12.2021, 20:30 by Sebastian, Dalisha

As the population of New Zealand ages demand and popularity of retirement homes is increasing. This thesis argues that interior spaces of retirement homes can become more interesting and stimulating through the use of colour, and that a simple colour redesign of the common shared areas could achieve great benefits for the users. The main aim of this study is to explore how to create healing and comforting environment in retirement homes using colour as the main design driver. Based on the literature review it was possible to establish four key design colour strategies of healing; Views of nature, natural light, soothing colours and colours promoting interaction. Based on these, a series of design experiments were undertaken, developing a new set of approaches of how colour can be used in the interior design. Some of the design explorations were not focused on a particular site, but some considered the limitations of a possible site. The study succeeded in redesigning the selected site through a creative application of the four key design strategies of healing, but also supported development of a set of findings on how to use colour strategies more effectively in retirement homes. One of the key findings of this study is that the use of bright and saturated colour could prevent adverse effect of sensory deprivation associated with aging. This could have broader applications in interior architecture.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Pelosi, Antony; Petrovic, Emina