Color planning is when the hard work of new commercial construction gets some gorgeous skin over good bones. Color is fun to plan and more than any other design element sets the tone of the space. For commercial spaces in particular, planning the color is affected by the multi-use purpose of the space, by the lighting, by the amount of furniture and fixtures, and also by the cultural makeup of the target population who will be using the space.
Color has cultural meaning, and designers will use the multicultural makeup of a population to design color schemes that will work well for both the tone of the business and the people using the space.
When planning a color scheme, designers use a 60-30-10 formula: 60% a dominant color, 30% a secondary color, and 10% accent. Another factor in planning is the degree of cool or warmth of the primary color. Most commonly, a cool neutral is the dominant color for a commercial interior space, with warmer, brighter colors for secondary and accent colors. If the business plans to update or replace furniture at regular intervals, such as waiting room chairs, accent colors can be updated at that time.
Commercial space color schemes that are currently popular include neutral grays- warm pewters rather than concrete- with accents of rich plum and muted, earthy greens. Several warm harvest colors, such as harvest yellow and earthy clay red are popular accent colors, and are well accepted across cultures. Cool pale grays and greens are soothing to the eye, with a deep plum accent, and several gorgeous warm pale neutrals, such as a morning blue and pale dogwood, can give a more intimate feel to private spaces.