Perception and evaluation of interior space: Experimental study on color and pattern



Color, Pattern, Order, Perception, Interior design


The phenomenon of perception and visual illusion in interior space is a topic that attracts multidisciplinary interest. From the perspective of architecture and design, the complexity of the subject gains momentum, as it is also associated with experiencing the influence of design elements and tools on the quality of indoor environments, which subsequently involves subjective, individual and emotional concepts that play all together an important role as intermediating variables. Aiming to evaluate the experience of interior architectural space, how its properties and visual weight is perceived, a descriptive type of survey research was used to conduct an experimental assessment, with involvement of 93 participants who rated 27 spaces/rooms in eight experiential categories. For the exploratory purposes of this study, a methodology presented by Gerald Franz (2006) was used, who evaluated the perception of space and color, and perceived surface qualities of indoor environments. To achieve an approximative descriptive visual response in this model, the semantic differential was employed as a simple and widely used method. In order to detect the three primary dimensions of emotion as occurring in affective appraisals (pleasure/valence, excitement, and dominance), the combination of pairs of oppositional adjectives with a Likert scale are applied. In addition, ratings of openness and spaciousness were included to detect possible interactions between selected parameters, surface characteristics and experienced space proportions, and ambience.


Berleant, A. (2004). Notes for a cultural aesthetics. Semantic Scholar. (29.08.2022).

Bohm, D., & Peat, D. (1987). Science, order and creativity. Routledge.

Castell, C., Hecht. H., Oberfeld, D. (2020). Wall patterns influence the perception of interior space. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73(I), 29-54.

Chen, X., Liu, Y., Li, S., & Sun, W. (2022). Sensory perception mechanism for preparing the combinations of stimuli operation in the architectural experience. Sustainibility, 14, (7885).

Ćurčić, A. A., Keković, A., Ranđelović, D., & Momčilović, A. (2019). Effects of color in interior design. Contemporary achievements in civil engineering, 867-877.

D’Annunzio, G. (1912). Contemplazioni della morte. Fratelli Treves.

Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. Perigee Trade.

Dodsworth, S. (2009). The fundamentals of interior design. Ava Publishing.

Downs, R. M., & Stea, D. (1973). Image and environment: Cognitive mapping and spatial behavior. Aldine.

Franz, G. (2006). Space, color, and perceived qualities of indoor environments. Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.

Gifford, R. (2002). Environmental psychology: Principles and practices (3rd ed.). Optimal Books.

Gonzales, V. (2001). Beauty and Islam: Aesthetics in Islamic art and architecture. I. B. Tauris Publishers.

Gonzales, V. (2003). Ahambra and James Turrell’s “space that sees”: A comparison of aesthetic phenomenology. Muqarnas, 20, 253-278.

Gordon, G. (2003). Interior lighting for designers. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Güneş, E., & Olguntürk, N. (2020). Color-emotion associations in interiors. Color Research and Application, 45(1), 129-141.

Hall, E. (1969). The hidden dimension. Doubleday.

Kilmer, R., & Kilmer, W. (2014). Designing interiors. Wiley.

Levinson, S. C. (2003). Space in language and cognition. Cambridge University Press.

Levinson, S., & Wilkins, D. (2006). Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge University Press.

Li, G. (2019). The dynamics of architectural form: Space, emotion and memory. Art and Design Review, 7(4), 187-205.

Lorand, R. (2000). Aesthetic order a philosophy of order, beauty and art. Taylor & Francis.

Love, M., & Grimley, C. (2007). Color, space, and style: All the details interior designers need to know but can never find. Rockport Publishers.

Mehrabian, A., & Russell, J. (1974). An approach to environmental psychology. MIT Press.

Meyer, F. S. (1957). Handbook of ornament. Dover Publications.

Morphy, H., & Perkins, M. (2009). The anthropology of art. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Newman, O. (1996). Creating defensible space. Diane Publishing.

Pallasmaa, J. (2014). Space, place and atmosphere. Emotion and peripherical perception in architectural experience. Lebenswelt, 4(1), 230-245.

Qiong, O. (2017). A brief introduction to perception. Studies in Literature and Language, 15(4), 18-28.

Riley, C. A. (1996). Color codes: Modern theories of color in philosophy, painting and architecture, literature, music and psychology. University Press of New England.

Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., & Jain, N. C. (1981). Understanding intercultural communication. Wadsworth Pub. Co.

Savavibool, N., & Moorapun, C. (2017). Effects of colour, area, and height on space perception. Enviromental Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 351-359.

Shemesh, A., Leisman, G., Bare, M., & Grobmana, Y. (2022). The emotional influence of different geometries in virtual spaces: A neurocognitive examination. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 81, 101802.

Smith, P. F. (2003). The dynamics of delight: Architecture and aesthetics. Routledge.

Stamps, A. (2005). Isovists, enclosure, and permeability theory. Environment and Planning B Planning and Design, 32(5), 735-762.

Yildirim, K., & Hidayetoglu, M. L., Capanoglu, A. (2011). Effects of interior colors on mood and preference: Comparisons of two living rooms. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 112(2), 509-524.

Zumthor, P. (2006). Atmospheres-Architectural environments-Surrounding objects. Birkhäuser.