By now we know that color has the ability to subconsciously affect our moods – blue tends to calm while red elicits energy. This field of thinking is known as chromatherapy, also known as color therapy, and is the basis for CHROMA, a new scientifically-backed conceptual interior design project by Jean Lin of Colony, the New York-based designers’ co-op. Lin was informed by the principles of chromotherapy to choose specific colors for every room to evoke certain emotions that correlate to the intention of each space.
The model residence at One Prospect Park West in New York feels like a comfortable, cozy version of an art gallery or experiential pop-up. Every room has its own mood and is filled with interesting features that make you want to examine up close. The common denominator is that each space has a chosen color, which is represented by either the backdrop, furnishings, or accessories.
“We dreamt up the concept of CHROMA for an ill-fated group show right before the pandemic. I am hopelessly intrigued by the idea of color as a psychological and emotional tool, combining the physical plane with a psycho-emotional response,” says Lin. “What I love about working with forward-thinking clients such as One Prospect Park West, is that a model apartment can become a showcase for evolved ideas, bridging the worlds of gallery exhibits and interior designed homes.”
As a place to gather and converse, the living room is dedicated to the different colors of reds, including amber, maroon, and terracotta.
While dark colors normally dominate the bedroom, Lin went with an earthy green that feels grounded and tranquil, intended to help aid in sleep and winding down.
The secondary bedroom creates a lighter version of serenity with its soothing grey blues.
Lastly, the yellow room is a spot of sunshine that also stirs up joyful energy. Complementary blues create a harmonious contrast.
Key pieces include: a KWH Bedside Table in the entryway, a custom Colony-designed dining table and Cantilever Bench by Phaedo Design in the Dining Room, a custom braided rug by Grain Design & Colony-designed blown glass table by artist Deborah Czeresko in the Living Room, a Coal Quilt by Meg Callahan in the Primary Room, Hiroko Takeda’s Silk Mohair Band Throw in the Yellow Room, and the Balance Wallpaper by Flat Vernacular in the
We wanted to learn even more about chromotherapy from Lin herself and how she incorporates these principles in her own life. Here’s what she had to share:
How do you incorporate the principles of chromotherapy into your own home?
I have grown into a person who doesn’t shy away from color. My apartment is painted varying shades of mauve and my kitchen is a deep yellow. I wanted my home to feel at once calming and fresh.
The age old question, but I think it applies here in a different context: What’s your favorite color?
My favorite color to use in an interior is light yellow. It’s not the easiest sell to our clients – they are often resistant – but I think it brings so much air, light, and joy into a room when done right.
For the neutral lovers, where can they incorporate color to make a big enough impact that it can enhance their moods?
I love using colored window dressings, throws, pillows, and rugs. Soft goods are great for accents, and you can change them out pretty easily. Another way to work in color is with art! Boldly colorful art makes our hearts beat faster and isn’t that the point?!
Where else do you think chromotherapy should be applied?
Fashion! I strongly recommend dressing based on the mood you are in, or even better, the mood that you want to be.
Photos by Brooke Holm.