Color preferences for four different types of spaces

Theo van der Voordt, Iris Bakker, J de Boon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Studies on color preferences for different types of spaces are scarce and show ambiguous results. This paper aims to present data about preferred colors for two work environments: the office and a meeting room, and two residential spaces: the living room and the bedroom. The authors also explore whether people with different personal characteristics of gender, age, education and type of person have different color preferences. Design/methodology/approach: The data were collected by means of a questionnaire that was distributed among 1,077 Dutch people. Findings: The color white was most frequently mentioned as the preferred color, by 32-44 per cent of all male respondents and 28-38 per cent of all female respondents, dependent on type of space. The choice “no color preference” rated high as well: by 11-22 per cent of men and 7-22 per cent of women. Preferred colors showed to be significantly different for different types of spaces, males and females, different age groups, level of education and type of person. Research limitations/implications: The research took place in the Netherlands, so only Dutch color preferences have been collected. Due to the many influencing factors, only a selection of the conceptual model could be empirically tested. Practical implications: Information about color preferences for different types of spaces can support clients, end users and (interior) architects to create environments that people like, which may influence peoples’ well-being in a positive way. It is suggested to apply colors in the built environment more like nature shows. Originality/value: Until now, no information was available about color preferences for different types of spaces in connection with different types of personalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-169
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Color
  • Color preferences
  • Consciousness
  • Personal characteristics
  • Space
  • White


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