Why and how to bring your beautiful colourful ceiling design to life

20 March 2020

When discussing the use of colours as a design element in architecture, Le Corbusier, the Swiss-French architect and designer that pioneered modern architecture, said that it was as powerful as the ground plan or section of a building.

DE, Winterberg, Service & Citizens' Train station Winterberg, Bahnhof, Rockfon Color-all, A-edge, 1250x625, Concrete colour, Chicago Metallic 2890, Dipl.-Ing. Helga Köster-Saure Architektin

Hotel des deux Girafes et Restaurant Bellay, Paris

How does Colour affect us?

Our response to colour is total because it influences us both physiologically and psychologically. Because of its powerful effect on us, it can play positively on our wellbeing by triggering reactions that affect our behaviour. This phenomenon is also extended to colourful ceiling design as well. Over the past 100 years, there has been a lot of empirical data and scientific papers supporting the idea that the built environment plays an essential role in human behaviour, especially when looking at the sensory-perception of colour. Colours communicate information visually that influences us. For example, red has shown to increase our heart rate and blue has shown to decrease it. The feelings that colours carry is fundamental when designing a space to support a specific atmosphere or function.

Le Corbusier said "Colour is… an incredibly effective triggering tool. Colour is a factor of our existence." We can't forget the important role of colour in our life. 


Colour is… an incredibly effective triggering tool. Colour is a factor of our existence.

Le Corbusier

Colourful interior design is a universal language

Farber Birren (1900-1988) was a pioneer in examining the impact of colour on human perception. Surprisingly, while symbolism does develop through personal or cultural experience, some colours are universally homogeneous. To list a few examples; blue is generally associated with the sky, yellow with the sun and red with blood.

Everyone can relate to the experience of having a unique encounter when observing a specific piece of artwork or a poignant photo. It is also true for many of us that we’ve associated colours to a mood, a feeling or even our memories. This captures how colours are an international language.

Choosing the right colours for your ceiling design

Colour selection is frequently left to the end of the architectural design process, made peripheral to the structure of the building. This is rather unfortunate because choosing the right colours for your space means the difference between a perfect marriage of function and effect. While it can be a daunting assignment, working from a colour palette can help you choose coordinated colour schemes to meet your goal. For example, black tiles could appear ominous or even oppressive at times, but they can also be very cool and hip. It all depends on the environment. In the end, a beautifully designed space is like any stunning work of art. 

Create your own piece of artwork

Let’s have a look at common traits associated with some exciting colours and its effect when used to create a modern and colourful ceiling.


Mono Acoustic TE

Roland Garros Players’ Restaurant, Paris - Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic

Atmosphere: Orange doesn’t have many of the same negative undertones as red. It creates an excited or inspiring atmosphere that demands attention without being overbearing. Orange is an inviting and friendly colour that isn’t “too” in-your-face. 

On the ceiling: Eye-catching or excited


SDU Det Teknologiske fakultet,DK,Odense,C. F. Møller A/S,Bygningsstyrelsen,Svend Christensen,ROCKFON Color All,X-edge,600x600,white

SDU Det Teknologiske fakultet,Odense

Atmosphere: Cheerful and bright, yellow is often considered the happiest of colours. Often associated with the sun, lighter hues of yellow give a peaceful feeling, where darker yellows can be perceived as more traditional.

On the ceiling: Glowing, bright and thought-provoking


Rabobank, Heinenoord, The Netherlands, Rockfon Color-all, A-edge, 600x600

Rabobank, Heinenoord, The Netherlands - Rockfon Color-all, A-edge

Atmosphere: Calm seems to be the right descriptive here. Blue can reduce both a person’s blood pressure and the number of heartbeats per minute. Lighter shades of blue can be very energising and welcoming, darker shades tend to communicate strength.

On the ceiling: Cool, spiritual or regal


DK, Copenhagen, Kalvebod fælled skole, Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter, School, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, grey
Rockfon Color-all, X-edge, 600x600, grey

Kalvebod Fælled Skole - Rockfon Mono Acoustic, Grey and Color-all, X-edge

Atmosphere: Serene and refined, grey can create a shadowy, neutral and calm feeling. Light greys are a great substitute for white and dark greys are great as an alternative to black. Despite being perceived as traditional or conservative, grey can be fun and modern too. 

On the ceiling: Sophisticated and distinguished


Colours to compliment your design

Markthal is a bustling market space that features one of the world’s largest artwork canvases, the Horn of Plenty, by Dutch artist Arno Coenen. To complement the interior design, the MVRDV was looking for a minimal expression in the other areas of the market. Charcoal grey Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic was chosen for its acoustic performance and seamless appearance.


Image: Markthal, Rotterdam - Rockfon Mono Acoustic

Markthal, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, MVRDV, Pennings Akoestiek, ROCKFON Mono Acoustic, Dark grey

Colour panels win an award

Nominated as “School building of the year in 2018”, Kalvebod Fælled Skole school has been recognized as a school of the future because it has rooms for active kids, combined with its acoustic ceiling. Rockfon Mono Acoustic was chosen for its acoustic properties and its smooth and homogeneous surface.


Image: Kalvebod Fælled Skole - Rockfon Mono Acoustic

DK, Copenhagen, Kalvebod fælled skole, Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter, School, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, grey

Black ceiling complements the trendy industrial design

Les 2 Girafes is a swanky and fashionable hotel and restaurant in the 11tharrondissement of Paris. Covered in hard surfaces, with glass walls, tile flooring and concrete walls, the black tiles of the Rockfon Mono Acoustic ceiling complement the trendy industrial design while simultaneously offering the best experience to the hotels and restaurants customers


Image: Hotel des deux Girafes et Restaurant Bellay, Paris - Rockfon Mono Acoustic

FR, Hotel des deux Girafes et Restaurant Bellay, Paris, Leisure, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, TE edge, 1200x600, Black, Reception

A white ceiling resembling the sky

The modern Oodi Library in Helsinki offers a unique white ceiling design that attracts visitors and book lovers from all over the world. Its essential lightness and matt colour can give a feeling of openness and freedom.  Reading a book, meeting with friends or simply relaxing becomes a new experience thanks to the exceptional view and light diffusion offered by this famous library. The unique expression is created with a 4,450 sqm acoustic ceiling. Rockfon Mono Acoustic was chosen for its acoustic properties and its smooth and homogeneous surface. 


Image: Oodi Library, Helsinki - Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic

FI, Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Helsinki, ALA Architects, Leisure, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, TE-edge, 1200x1200, White, Library

How to use colours to change the atmosphere and the size of a room

Knowing which colours work best for a space is key to creating the right atmosphere. Using very dark colours in a small place, without any natural light, could create an overbearing or cramped feeling. However, the same colours in a space with a similar dimension that has plentiful lighting would create a real sense of intimacy and cosiness. There is no "one size fits all" rule when designing with colours. There are so many options to choose from. You can have matching colours on both the walls and ceilings or you can choose to mix and match darker tones or bright colours.

For instance, if you are designing a studio, you might want to pick colours that will inspire creativity every morning. On the other hand, if you are working with a small space, it could be preferable to choose a lighter hue, maximising the area and giving a small room a substantial feel.

What about large rooms? In big rooms, you have more freedom to play with colours. You might want to choose colours that will make other design elements in the space pop.

Asymmetrical rooms can be united using white tiles like our Rockfon Blanka® or Rockfon Mono Acoustic ceiling solutions. Choosing a matt-white ceiling can bring an extra benefit to your room because of its natural light diffusion and light reflection properties. Proper lighting enhances a space's style, changes its atmosphere and feeling, brightening the mood.

In love with contrast or mixing and matching? Having a darker colour on your ceiling will add a bold and industrial atmosphere to your space. It's perfect for creating an exclusive cocktail bar or a particular area in a restaurant. Black acoustic ceiling tiles are a great addition to a vibrant dance floor or a small theatre, where white tiles could be that missing piece for a relaxing yoga classroom, and grey tiles might be that ideal finish for that modern working space.

The possibilities are endless. You decide how to bring your modern interior design to life using beautiful ceiling and coloured acoustic tiles and panels.

Planning a colourful project - with Rockfon Color-All you can create your unique space according to your needs and feelings.