More On Architectural Masonry Restoration

Poulticing for Removing Graffiti and Stains

Stains and graffiti, that have penetrated inside of the masonry, are often most effectively removed through a poultice being used. A poultice is comprised of clay powder (such as fulleris earth or kaolin, or even shredded paper towels or paper) or an absorbent material, mixed together with a liquid (remover or solvent) in order to form a paste that is then applied to a stain. The poultice needs to be kept moist and then left on the stain for as long as needed in order to draw the stain out from the masonry. As the paste dries, it will absorb the staining materials so it isn’t redeposited onto the masonry surface again.

wall graffiti removal

Some paint removers and commercial cleaning products are specially formulated as either a gel or paste that clings to a vertical surface and stays moist for longer to prolong the chemical’s action on the stain. There are also pre-mixed poultices that are available as a powder or past that only need the appropriate liquid to be added. The masonry needs to be pre-wet before an alkaline cleaning agent is applied, but not when a solvent is used. After the stain is removed, the masonry needs to be thoroughly rinsed.

Mechanical and Abrasive Cleaning

In general, it is not appropriate to use abrasive cleaning methods on historic masonry buildings. The reason is that they are abrasive. Sanding discs, grinders, and grit blaster all operate through abrading the paint or dirt off of the masonry surface, instead of reacting with the masonry and dirt. That is how chemical and water methods work. Abrasives do not differentiate between the masonry and dirt, so they also can remove the masonry’s outer surface, and result in the masonry being permanently damaged. Polished surfaces, detailed carvings, soft stone, architectural terra-cotta, and brick are all especially susceptible to aesthetic and physical damage that abrasive methods can cause. Architectural terra-cotta and brick are fired products that have a glazed, smooth surface that can be removed by grinding or abrasive blasting. Masonry that is cleaned abrasively is damaged both physically and aesthetically, and it will have a rough surface that has a tendency to hold dirt. The roughness will also make it more difficult to clean the masonry in the future. Abrasive cleaning processes also can increase the chance of subsurface cracking on the masonry. Abrasion of the masonry’s carved details will cause the sharp corners to be rounded and other delicate features can be lost. Abrasion of a polished surface will remove the stone’s polished finish.

Mortar joints, particularly those that contain lime mortar, may also be eroded by mechanical or abrasive cleaning. In certain cases, the damage might be visual, like increased joint shadows or losing joint detail. Since mortar joints make up a high percentage of the masonry surface (in a brick wall up to 20 percent), it can result in losing a large percentage of historic fabric. When mortar joints erode, it might also allow increased water penetration, and that will likely result in repointing being necessary.

Read also: Cleaning Methods For Historical Architecture

Abrasive Blasting

Blasting using abrasive grit or some other abrasive material is the abrasive method that is most frequently used. Sandblasting is associated most commonly with abrasive cleaning. Some of the materials that are used for abrasive cleaning include finely ground silica, glass beads, glass powder, ground garnet, powdered walnut as well as other types of ground nut shells, aluminum oxide, grain hulls, plastic particles or even tiny sponge pieces. Although abrasive blasting isn’t an appropriate cleaning method to use on historical masonry, it may be used safely for cleaning certain materials. Quite often finely-powdered walnut shells are used to clean monumental bronze sculptures. Carved, finely detailed stone features and delicate museum objects with micro-abrasive units are also cleaned by skilled conservators using aluminum oxide.

Typhoon Sand Blaster …

There are a number of current abrasive blasting approaches that use materials that are not normally considered to be abrasive and are not associated commonly with traditional methods of abrasive grit cleaning. There are certain abrasive cleaning processes – one wet, one dry – that use finely-ground glass powder to remove or “erase” surface soiling and dirt only, but not stains or paint. Another patented process is cleaning using baking soda. Some communities use baking soda blasting to quickly remove graffiti. However, it shouldn’t be used to clean historic masonry since it can abrade it easily and may permanently etch graffiti in the stone. Also, it may leave behind salts in the stone that are potentially damaging that cannot be removed. A majority of abrasive grits can be used either wet or dry, although dry grit has a tendency to be used more often.

Pelletized dry ice or icy particles (CO2 or carbon dioxide), is another medium that is used for abrasive cleaning. It is too abrasive to use on a majority of historic masonry. However, it can have some practical application to remove asphaltic coatings or mastics from certain substrates.

Some of the processes are promoted as not causing damage to historic masonry buildings and environmentally safe. However, it needs to be kept in mind that they are abrasives and “clean” through removing part of the masonry surface, despite being just a tiny portion. The very fact that these are abrasive treatments needs to always be considered whenever a project for cleaning masonry is being planned. As a general rule, historic masonry buildings should not be cleaned using abrasive methods. In certain limited circumstances, gentle, highly-controlled abrasive cleaning might be appropriate on hard-to-clean, certain areas on a historic masonry building if conducted under the careful supervision of an experienced, professional conservator. However, an entire masonry building should never be cleaned using abrasive cleaning.

See also: Assessing Cleaning Treatments For Historic Buildings

Sanding Disks and Grinders

Grinding a masonry surface suing sanding disks and mechanical grinders is another abrasive cleaning method that should not be used on a historic masonry building. Disks and grinders, like abrasive blasting, doesn’t really clean masonry. Instead, it abrasively removes and grinds away, and therefore, damages the actual masonry surface instead of just removing soiling material.

Cleaning Methods For Historical Architecture

Cleaning Methods For Historical Architecture

Materials and Cleaning Methods

There are three main groups that masonry cleaning methods are usually divided into: abrasive, chemical, and water.

Water methods work to soften the soiling materials and dirt and then rinse the deposits away from a masonry surface. When chemical cleaning agents are used they react with paint, soiling material or dirt to remove them, and then water is used to rinse the masonry surface off. Abrasive methods include using sanding discs and grinders, and blasting with grit, which all mechanically remove paint, soiling material, or dirt (and some of the masonry surfaces as well, usually). Often a water rinse is used following an abrasive cleaning. Laser cleaning, although we will not be discussing in detail here, is another technique that conservators sometimes use for cleaning small historic masonry areas. However, it is expensive, so for a majority of historic masonry cleaning projects, it is usually not practical.

See also: Assessing Cleaning Treatments For Historic Buildings

texture-water-washAlthough it might seem to go against common sense, you should carry out masonry cleaning projects by starting at the bottom and then working your way up to the top of the building, while keeping all of the surfaces wet that are underneath the area that is being cleaned. The reason for using this type of approach is based on the fact that cleaning effluent or dirty water dripping from cleaning above will leave streaks on dirty surfaces but won’t streak a clean surface if it is kept wet and then rinsed often.

Water Cleaning

In general, the gentlest possible methods are water cleaning methods. They can safely be used to remove dirt from all kinds of historic masonry. Essentially there are four types of water-based methods: hot-pressurized water or steam cleaning; water washing with a non-ionic detergent supplement; pressure water washing; and soaking. After water cleaning is complete, it is frequently necessary to follow up by rinsing with water to wash the loosened soiling material off of the masonry.

*It might not be appropriate to use water cleaning methods on some masonry that is badly deteriorated since the water might exacerbate the deterioration, or on alabaster or gypsum, which in water are very soluble.

Chemical Cleaning

In general, chemical cleaners that are in proprietary product form, are another type of material that is used frequently for cleaning historic masonry. They can remove paint, other coatings, dirt, graffiti, as well as plant and metallic stains. Chemical cleaners that are used for removing soiling and dirt include organic compounds, alkalies, and acids. Of course, acidic cleaners should not be used on any acid sensitive masonry. Paint removers are based on organic solvents or other types of chemicals and are alkaline.

Chemical Cleaners for Removing Dirt

Both acidic and alkaline cleaning treatments include using water. Both of these types of cleaner are likely to also contain surfactant (or wetting agents), for facilitating the chemical reaction for removing dirt. Usually, the masonry is wet down first for both kinds of cleaners, and the chemical cleaner is then brushed on the surface or spray at very low pressure. The cleaner is then left on the masonry for whatever amount of time that the product manufacturer recommends, or, preferably, is determined through testing, and then is rinse off using a moderate or low-pressure cold water wash, or sometimes hot water is used.

It might be necessary to apply more than one application of cleaner, and it is a good practice to always test the recommendation of the product manufacturer regarding dwell times and dilution rates. Since every cleaning situation is unique, dwell times and dilution rates can vary greatly. The masonry surface can be lightly scrubbed with synthetic or natural bristle brushes before being rinsed. After it is rinsed, there should be pH strips applied to the surface to completely neutralize the masonry.

Acid-based cleaning products can be used on non-acid sensitivity masonry, and in general will include: concrete, cast stone, architectural unglazed terracotta, unglazed brick, slate, most sandstone, and granite. A majority of commercial acidic cleaners are primarily composed of hydrofluoric acid and often contains some phosphoric acid in order to prevent the development of rust-like stains on the masonry after it is cleaned. Acid cleaners are then applied to pre-wet masonry. The masonry needs to be kept wet while the acid is at “work” and then use a water wash to remove it.

On acid-sensitive masonry, an alkaline should be used, including on polished granite, architectural glazed terracotta, glazed brick, calcareous sandstone, unpolished and polished marble, and limestone. (Sometimes alkaline cleaners can also be used on non-acid sensitive masonry materials – after they have been tested first- but might not be as effective as they are when used on acid-sensitive masonry). There are two products that alkaline products are primarily made of: an alkali, like ammonium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide; and a non-ionic surfactant or detergent. Alkaline products, like acidic cleaners, are normally applied to pre-wet masonry, and then allowed to dwell, and finally, water is used to rinse it off. (A longer dwell time might be needed with alkaline cleaners compared to acidic cleaners). There are two extra steps that are needed following the initial rinse to remove an alkaline cleaner. First, a slightly acidic wash is given to the masonry – often using acetic acid in order to neutralize it, and it is then rinsed with water again.

Chemical Cleaners for Removing Paint, Other Coatings, Graffiti and Stains

brick and motar wall deteriorationRemoving paint, as well as some other types of coatings, graffiti, and stains are best achieved with cleaning compounds such as organic solvent paint removers, or alkaline paint removers. To remove paint layers from masonry surfaces normally involves applying the chemical cleaner using either a sprayer, roller, or brush, and then followed up with a water wash. Like with any form of chemical cleaning, any manufacturer’s recommendations on application procedure should be tested first before starting on the work.

Usually, alkaline paint removers have the same composition that other types of alkaline cleaners do, and contain trisodium phosphate, ammonium hydroxide, or potassium. They are used for removing acrylic, latex, or oil paints, and effectively remove multiple paint layers. Alkaline cleaners might also remove certain water-repellent acrylic coatings. Like with other types of alkaline cleaners, a final water rinse and acidic neutralizing wash are usually needed after an alkaline paint remover has been used.

Organic solvent paint remover formulations vary and might include various combinations of solvents, which can include toluene, xylene, acetone, methanol, and methylene chloride.

Other Cleaners and Paint Removers

Other cleaning compounds that may be used for removing some painted graffiti and paint from historic masonry can include paint removers that are based on petroleum-based compounds or N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). Removing stains, whether it is biological (fungal and plant) or metallic (copper or iron), or industrial (tar, grease, soot, and smoke) in origin, will depend on matching the kind of remover carefully to the specific type of stain. Removing stains successfully from historic masonry will frequently require applying a number of different types of removes before finding the right one. Removing paint layers off of a masonry surface usually will be achieved through applying the remover using a sprayer, roller, or brush followed up with a thorough water wash.

Assessing Cleaning Treatments For Historic Buildings

Assessing Cleaning Treatments For Historic Buildings

One of the major causes of damage to historical buildings is improper cleaning and coating services. One or the other may be appropriate in some specific situations, however, both treatments may cause serious damages and even destruction to a historical building if they’re not done properly. Historic masonry includes brick, stone, architectural Terra-cotta, concrete and concrete blocks, cast stone and more. Often, it’s cleaned in an effort to improve the appearance of the building, however, this is where damage may occur. If not done properly, it may actually cause more harm than good according to historical records.

It would be wise choice, when selecting a commercial cleaning company in Vaughan, do do any commercial cleaning including exterior cleaning. There are hundreds of companies in the area but only a few who know what their doing when it comes to historical restoration.

The goal of this article is to offer important information regarding the variety of proper cleaning methods and materials to ensure that the exterior of a historical building is properly cleaned and maintained. It’s vital to the integrity of the building to ensure that the proper and most appropriate method of cleaning is undertaken. It’s important to understand the difference between water-repellent and waterproof when considering the purpose of each. The suitability of the various applications for historic masonry as well as the potential consequences of using inappropriate methods are fully discussed and investigated in this article.

historical downtown Toronto buildings

With the intent of understanding how sensitive historic masonry can be and what makes it extra special, this article is intended for historic building and property managers who are working alongside architects and architectural conservators as well as contractors in an effort to restore such buildings to their original state. While specifically intended for historical buildings, it’s also very applicable to any masonry building. This article expands on the Preservation Briefs 1: Cleaning and Waterproof Coatings of Masonry Buildings. It’s not intended as a cleaning manual nor as a guide for preparation specifics. Instead, it’s intended as general information that is to raise awareness of the factors that are involved in choosing the proper cleaning methodology and the proper water-repellent treatments for all historical and non-historical masonry buildings.

Preparing For The Cleaning

Reasons For Cleaning

cleaned masonry stone wall example

First and foremost, it’s vital to determine whether or not the masonry is in need of cleaning. The main objective of cleaning any historical masonry is to consider why it needs to be cleaned. There are many serious reasons to clean a historical building. 1. To improve the appearance of the building by removal of any dirt or soil or debris. 2. To remove any non-historic paint on the masonry. 3. To halt any deterioration of the masonry or make appropriate repairs. and 4. To check the condition of the masonry to ensure its integrity.

The nature of soil and debris on the building must be identified in order to select the proper method to remove it from the building in the most gentle way possible. This method should be the least damaging method to the building. A good example would be that soot and smoke must be removed with a different cleaning agent than that of metallic or oil stains. There are other issues to consider when cleaning including biological growth like molds and mildews and organic matters like tendrils that are left on the masonry after such things as ivy have been removed from the masonry.

Consider The Historic Appearance Of The Building

cracked paint on wooden wall surface

For paint removal, it’s vital to ensure that the paint is historically appropriate for such masonry. It’s also important to determine why the building was painted in the first place. Was it painted to conceal deterioration? Or, was it painted to protect softer brick or masonry? It may also have been painted as it was fashionable at the time to paint masonry. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to have an understanding of the reason that it was painted to understand the proper method of removal. If, for example, it was painted to stop deterioration, it may need to be removed differently than if it were painted to keep up with the fashion of the era. If the paint has been on the building for a long period of time, it may also require a different removal method than if it was only painted in the past decade.

Consider The Practicality Of Cleaning Vs. Paint Removal

It’s important to understand that gypsum or sulphate crusts may have melded together with the masonry and improper cleaning could net the result of removing the surface of the stone. In such instances, it may not be the right decision to clean the masonry. The removal of the paint may be seriously damaging to the masonry. It may be wiser to leave the paint on such masonry rather than destroy the original mason work. Older paint layers may build up to the extent that removing it may seriously damage the brickwork. Other times, it may be necessary to remove the paint so that newer paint will adhere properly to the brickwork.

Study The Masonry

While not always necessary, sometimes, it can benefit to research the type of paint and the specific colors old stone wall masonryused prior to attempting to remove the paint. By analyzing the very nature of the soil and dirt as well as the paint, it can be determined the best means of removal or if it needs to be removed at all. Professional consultants, as well as architectural conservators or conservation scientists or even preservation architects, can all be great assets to such a task. Consider historical district commissions or even preservation organizations as sources of information when making this determination.

Understanding The Building Materials

The actual construction of the building should be considered when determining the cleaning process. Inappropriate cleaning can have a disastrous effect on masonry as well as the other materials that make up the building. Masonry and other materials must be properly identified in order to properly determine the right method of cleaning. Distinguishing one kind of stone from another such as sandstone vs. limestone is important to the integrity of the cleaning process. What appears to be a natural stone may not be actual stone but rather concrete or cast stone and terra cotta may have been used in with natural stones. This is especially true for trim and upper stories of buildings so that they would stand out from a distance. Other important features may also appear such as decorative cornices, window hoods, entablatures, and others. They may be metal and not masonry at all.

Identify Any Prior Treatments

Previous treatments on the building and surroundings must all be researched as well. Maintenance records, as well as any other detailed information, should all be obtained in an effort to ensure the integrity of the building. If specific areas aren’t coming clean it’s important to do a closer inspection and note whether or not the discoloration is from dirt, from a water-repellent, or some other coating that has darkened over the course of time. Removing discoloration successfully may require different cleaning agents. Salts used to de-ice nearby sidewalks may have discoloured the building over the course of time. The cleaning may also attract the salts to the surfaces where they will appear to be efflorescence or powdery white substances on the building. This may require further treatment of the cleaning process in an effort to properly remove them. Always make proper allowances for tending to such potential setbacks when preparing to clean any historic building. Even if the building is only one type of masonry, different areas may require different cleaning solutions due to damage, environmental factors, and paint types used therein.

Choose The Right Cleaners

limestone wallIt’s very important to test the various cleaning methods and materials in an effort to choose the proper cleaning products that will do the least amount of damage to the building. Acidic cleaners can be potentially damaging to any acid-sensitive stones like limestone or marble. This can result in etching and dissolution of such stones. Other types of masonry may also suffer potential damage due to cleaning solutions that are incompatible to the particular type of masonry. There are various types of sandstone that require different solutions to retain their integrity. These will vary by geological location and should be carefully considered prior to cleaning. Even when the stones are properly identified, there may be unexpected impurities that can alter the results. Iron may react in a negative fashion with particular cleaning agents and sometimes, sandstone will have iron particles in the stone itself that may affect the overall results. Thus, having a complete understanding of the cleaning agents and how they will react with specific stones and agents is vital to retaining the integrity of the building.

Other materials may also be affected by specific cleaning agents. Many chemicals, for example, may be corrosive on paint and glass. Areas of the building that are more vulnerable may have serious deterioration that can be affected by these cleaning agents. Embedded ends of iron window bars, for example, may not be readily seen but may cause a serious chemical reaction that can affect the overall outcome of the project. Study the construction and ensure that there won’t be any surprises. Each project is a unique, one of a kind, project.

Use Lighting for Highlighting Your Interior Paint

Use Lighting for Highlighting Your Interior Paint

You can completely transform a room with just a couple of swipes of paint. You can also make it appear darker or lighter, smaller or larger.

Paint can help to change a room’s feeling and tone. It may affect mood and productivity. Paint has more tricks than a musician in Las Vegas. 

If the magician is the paint, then the lovely assistant is the lighting. Light is a component that is key but is overlooked quite often when it comes to the way that interior paint colors appear to the human eye. 

So, whether it is artificial light, natural light, or lighting accessories that come with both, it is critical to use lighting in order to get the most from your paint selections.


Use Natural Light to Your Full Advantage


Even before you select the interior paint to use in a room, think about what your natural light situation is. A north-facing room gets the least amount of natural sunlight throughout the day. Use bold, warm colors for warming up the room.

South-facing rooms receive the most light over the course of the whole day, so think about going with cooler, softer colors to that you don’t overwhelm the room.

East-facing rooms receive the most light during the morning, so choose the color of your paint based on

natural lighting

whether you will be using it during the morning when there is plenty of natural light or during the afternoon when there isn’t any.

Finally, west-facing rooms get the most light during the afternoon and evening. So, if you will be using the


room later on in the day, then opt for softer colors to help balance the light out. If you will be using the room a great deal during the morning, then use bolder colors to help brighten up the room since it will not have a lot of natural light.

Be aware that the natural light rules that we are discussing are not written in stone. So if you are determined


to use a specific color but it isn’t ideal for the natural light situation that you have, don’t hesitate to break tradition. So, if you open to trying different color options, think about using one that will work the best with the natural light that is available to you.


Choose the Right Kind of Light Bulb  

If you have an existing color of paint that you are working with, think about using artificial light to enhance its appearance. Incandescent bulbs are best to use with yellows, oranges, and reds. Fluorescents, on the other hand, complement greens and blues. Natural light is mimicked better by natural lights better than others, so think about using those if you have a selected a paint color that is based on the room’s light exposure.

The temperature of a light bulb is relevant as well to your lighting selections. Depending on the temperature that you select, you can cool down or warm up the paint colors. A 4,000 Kelvin temperature bulb will cool down a room, while 2,700 Kelvin temperature one will warm it up.

How Color Is Affected by Light Bulbs

The kind of bulb that is used can also change a room’s colors.

Incandescents: The yellow-amber, warm light of these bulbs make yellows, oranges, and reds more vivid, and also mute greens and blues. 

Fluorescents: This cool and flat light enriches greens and blues.

Halogens: These are white lights that resemble natural light and help to make all colors appear more vivid. If you use halogen it will make the switch less jarring going from daylight over to artificial light.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs): This type of light can produce light that is either bluish-white, warm white or neutral.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs): Cooler or warmer LEDs, or “smart” LED bulbs can be purchased whose color can be wirelessly controlled. You can point to the sky’s color in a picture and make your home’s light bulb this same color.  


Pay Close Attention to Accessories

Keep in mind that the lighting accessories that are inside of your room can affect the appearance of interior paint color also. Window treatments may be used for filtering how much natural light is inside of a room. Pay close attention to how much the ones you choose weigh and consider removing or adding liners you are already using.

When you are using artificial light, keep in mind that the fixture or shade that filters the bulb can have a major impact on the appearance of the interior paint. If you are attempting to brighten up an existing color, think of white shades and fixtures that are made out of airy and light fabrics. If you want to darken a room then go the opposite way, and use heavier, darker fabrics and elements.

Tips to Achieve the Color That You Want To Have

1. Paint primed drywall squares with samples of colors that you are considering. Then move the squares around the room throughout the day. Apply two coats at least.

2. Evaluate carpet samples during various daylight conditions.

3. Many contractors will not hang lights before painting. However, you can get the approximation of the color by putting a bulb that you will be using in a desk or floor lamp. If you are hyper-sensitive to color or would like to have a really specific look, then ask the electrician to hang up lights, then carefully cover them up during the painting process.

4. Keep in mind that the artificial and natural light that will work well together during specific times of the day, especially during the summer whenever dusk lasts for a long time. Turn artificial lights on ever during the daylight in order to see what your colors are going to look like.

5. Paint sheen affects the color as well. A glossy finish reflects the light and changes how colors look, while flat finishes are not as reflective and enable colors under bright light look truer. 

6. Light-colored walls reflect colors from bold carpets: For example, a bright blue rug may cast a blue tone onto a white wall.

Using Various Colors in Your Home

Using Various Colors in Your Home

Basic colors have many variations. Paler versions that are at times better suited to covering the walls in our homes have the same qualities as bold colors but in a way that’s gentler. If you are decorating an area, it is important to remember both the complementary colors as well as their variations and combine those with your main color of choice using pictures, soft furnishings, etc.

It can be a good idea to consider the room’s aspect. For instance, if you need a calming atmosphere in a room that faces north, which may perhaps be one of the colder ones in your home, it can be a good idea to use warm colors (i.e. variations of red, orange, and red, which are warm colors) to ensure that the room does not feel colder.

color-wheel and color swatches

Using Colors in Your Home

We all have our personal preferences when it comes to the use of color in the home environment. However, specific color choice can help to provide a ‘feeling’ for a space. Below are some suggested uses of colors in the workplace, at home, and in various other environments along with the effects that those colors can produce.

1.            Violet


  • Purifying
  • Helps us give our best and heightens awareness
  • Enhances dignity and purpose
  • Good for prayer and meditation
  • Calming for both mind and body

Suggested Areas Where Violet Can Be Used:

  • Pale violet for bedrooms
  • Entry areas to hospitals and clinics
  • Festival areas
  • Places of worship

2.            Indigo


  • The color of the higher mind and divine knowledge
  • Helps open up a person’s intuition
  • Sedative

Suggested Areas Where Indigo Can Be Used:

  • Treatment rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Not ideal for entertainment areas but for more ‘quiet’ areas
  • It can be used as part of the décor of a study or library since some people find indigo helpful for studying

3.            Blue


  • Healing, relaxing, and calming
  • Not as sedating as indigo
  • The color of communication

Suggested Areas Where Blue Can Be Used:

  • Any rooms except those used for play or physical activity

4.            Green


  • Harmonizing, balancing, and encouraging understanding and tolerance

Suggested Areas Where the Color Green Can Be Used:

  • It can be used for virtually all areas depending on the shade.
  • It should be used in combination with other colors to ensure that the harmony and balance does not become more like complete indecision and inactivity.

5.            Yellow


  • Promotes feelings of confidence
  • Stimulates mental activity
  • It helps us stay alert, which makes it helpful for study

Suggested Areas Where Yellow Can Be Used:

  • Entrance halls
  • Activity rooms
  • Not ideal for bedrooms since it can interfere with sleep because it tends to keep the mind ‘switched on’. Not ideal for areas of possible stress
orange painting

6.            Orange


  • It can stimulate creativity
  • Energizing and warming
  • It is the color of sociability and fun

Suggested Areas Where Orange Can Be Used:

  • Any creative and/or activity area.
  • Not ideal for areas of possible stress or bedrooms

7.            Red


  • Stimulates appetite
  • Energizing and excites the emotions

Suggested Areas Where Red Can Be Used:

  • Any activity area. However, serious thought should be given to the tone and depth of the space where it is to be used since it can make spaces seem smaller and can be oppressive or claustrophobic.
  • If used the right way, however, red along with its variations can make a space feel cozy and warm. It is a popular choice of color in restaurants.

8.            Magenta


  • It is uplifting and helps us gain a feeling of fulfillment and completeness
  • Magenta is the 8th color in the color spectrum, which is a combination of violet and red, which means that it combines our spiritual and earthly self thereby balancing matter and spirit.

Suggested Areas Where the Color Magenta Can Be Used: Chapel halls, lecture rooms.

  • Not ideal for activity rooms or play rooms.

9.            Turquoise


  • Calming, cool, and good for the immune and nervous systems

Suggested Areas Where Turquoise Can Be Used:

  • All rooms, but it isn’t ideal for activity areas

10.          Pink


  • It nurtures and soothes
  • It encourages unconditional love and helps dissolve anger

Suggested Areas Where the Color Pink Can Be Used:

  • Ideal for a child’s or baby’s bedroom

11.          Black


  • It gives us the space for inner searching and reflection
  • Used with another color, black enhances the second color’s energy

Suggested Areas Where Black Can Be Used:

  • Not ideal as the sole color, but if used with care, it can complement and enhance other colors in just about any situation

12.          White


  • It contains all colors. It illuminates our thoughts thus giving clarity and emphasizes purity

Suggested Areas Where White Can Be Used:

  • Any room, but it may be somewhat intimidating to some. It should be broken up with a different color or pictures/ornaments/plants etc.

Alternative Forms of Architecture

Alternative Forms of Architecture

For decades now, architecture that has an ecological conscience has been snubbed as being either a novelty, nerdy, or hippy. Sustainability was viewed by architecture as being a tedious but worthy legal and technical constraint. A begrudging but compliant profession has adopted tick-box regulations. Sustainable design is not sexy, but it was necessary.

However, an expanding movement of architects all over the world appears to be putting ecology onto the agenda again at the center of a new kind of cultural vanguard.


Becoming some type of architect that design buildings…

The more architect students I talk to, the more that I heard the common complaint among them: “I don’t want to be an architect.” So, despite putting in long studio hours to earn a five-year professional degree, very few peers want to actually become some type of architect that design buildings.

Apart from the regular alternatives of either graphic or interior design, there is an increasing trend in popularity for firms using architectural skills that are well beyond the scope of luxury condominiums being designed for wealthy clients. For current and prospective architects, the following are examples of companies that might not be what you might initially think they do with the degrees, but it gives you an idea of the potential of the various things they can do.

Using spatial knowledge and graphics software to analyze conflict-stricken areas …

Forensic Architecture, a recent shortlisted nominee for the 2918 Turner Prize, is a group that is based at Goldsmiths University of London that uses spatial knowledge and graphics software to analyze conflict-stricken areas. Although many of its members have been trained in architecture, this team only use architectural tools broads as a way to investigate. By stitching together audio recordings, videos, and photographs that are procured from professionals and citizen journalist, this team worked to develop a three-dimensional depiction of the 2014 Israel-Gaza war bombardment. These types of investigations and others have been used to help the United Nations and Amnesty International to visualize and analyze conflict zones.


In that case, architecture is directly engaging with world policy and affairs. Infrastructure can definitely affect urban conditions as well as make contributions to socioeconomic change. To a certain extent, architects are that building housing prototypes and community centres will help to revitalize cities. Many times, these positive intentions result in low measurable impact and high budget projects. That calls for architects to criticize the degree to which they making changes to their environments.

Architecture is a response now to an exigent social situation …

Emergency Architecture & Human Rights, a non-profit organization that is based in Copenhagen, create architecture for individuals in need-based areas according to the Sustainable Development and UN Human Rights Goals. In that situation, architecture is a response now to an exigent social situation. Design is not just appreciated, but instead, it turns into a solution that is in demand.  In contrast to the cycles of the proposals and critiques of current architectural manifestos which discuss extensive solutions for solving housing crises, and architects should perhaps consider changing a single small-scale condition one by one.

Daan Roosegaarde, an architecture-trained innovator, calls his innovator a “social design lab,” creates urban design projects and installations that enhance, change, and alter our views on public spaces. In the hands of Studio Roosegaarde, it is paradigm-changing and investigative, instead of passive products that are subjective to the economy and client whims. Not only can design influence people and the environment directly, but it can also have a purpose for social change and beautification.


That doesn’t suggest by any means that each design has to have a humanitarian or altruistic purpose, but instead to display the extent that architectural thinking has on other types of applications. That recognizes that design solutions don’t need to be limited to only an innovative structural study or material exploration, but instead, how architects see the world can turn into a tool itself.

From Vitruvius through to Brunelleschi, those architects were scientists and artists and leaders and mathematicians whose diverse knowledge now is being traded off by our educational systems who would like to specialize in creating an “Architect.” In our quest to create autonomous buildings, have we forgot to explore the world?  We need architecture communities and schools to develop and recognize projects the go beyond the scope of designing buildings and recognizing skills for becoming multifaceted designers.

The Psychology Of Colour In Interior Design

The Psychology Of Colour In Interior Design

Have you ever thought about why you find some environments more relaxing than others? Research suggests that this has much to do with colours and how they directly impact us emotionally and psychologically. For instance, green stirs up feelings of harmony and balance.

The way in which colour can positively affect state of mind has led to the development of colour therapy. This type of therapy uses colour to improve mental health. There are 7 colours in the spectrum that have each been identified as having a unique energy that correlates directly to the 7 chakras (energy centers) that are found on the body. Colour therapy aims to create a balance between the different colour energies in order to achieve ultimate well-being and optimal health.

bedroom with blue and yellow

What Is So Important About Colour Therapy?

Dulux, one of the largest manufacturers of paint in the world, conducted a study that found that colour not only affects the psychological state of mind but can also have healing abilities for the body. While the findings were attributable to promoting healing in medical fields, it was also found that incorporating colour into the interior design of other industries such as businesses, offices, retail environments, etc. can have a positive influence in stress reduction while improving mental health.

Colour Therapy And Interior Design

There are many elements of Colour Therapy that can be incorporated into interior design such as the use of synthetic and natural light to enhance or reduce colours in art, wallpaper and other design features. Although colour therapy favours natural light as it contains the full spectrum of colour, interior design has the ability to use synthetic light to maximize the benefits of certain colours.

What Are The 7 Colours In The Spectrum That Have Energy Properties?

To truly understand how important colour therapy can be, it is necessary to understand the 7 different forms of energy that are contained in the full colour spectrum:

  • Violet has a purifying energy that is calming but at the same time can enhance consciousness.
  • Indigo sedates the body and the mind in order to arouse intuition.
  • Orange encourages creativity with its warm and invigorating energy.
  • Blue is the colour of peace and tranquility and has relaxing, calming and healing benefits.
  • Green is the colour of harmony and balance that creates a deep sense of tolerance and understanding.
  • Red has a passionate energy that is stimulating and generates emotional excitement.
  • Yellow provides a sense of confidence with an energy that stimulates mental activity such as alertness, focus and concentration.

There are two important factors to take into account when applying colour therapy to interior design. Firstly, the type of environment such as a home or office and secondly the types of energy that a client would like to inspire within that environment. Keeping in mind that the aim of colour therapy is to achieve an energy balance, different colours can be applied to different areas or aspects of a room. A good example of this is using a painting with overwhelming blue and green tones to inspire calm and harmony.

office interior

Light Years 2, are the experts at integrating colour therapy into an interior design concept that is created to suit your business or home. Not only we do specialize in the use of colour but also use light and sound to achieve the ultimate energy balance by creating an environment that enhances health, well-being and lifestyle. Simply set-up an appointment with our team and find out more about how your environment can be tailored to meet your specific colour energy needs or follow our blog for more interior design inspiration.

Creative Color Design Concepts

Creative Color Design Concepts

Nature contains millions of colors in many shades. All in the right place. So there is no reason to limit yourself to a few colors when painting your home, office, retail, hotel or industrial space.

By starting with a minimum palette of 5000+ colors we will bring balanced harmonic color combinations with no testing into your environment. Imagine saving all that time and headache.

With our harmonic interior colors everything in your space will work together without having to change furniture, flooring or fabric colors. Based on 20+ years of actual artistic project experience. Color selections can go from muted shades to energizing jewel tones with many shades in between including metallic’s. Our most popular service is the all encompassing professional color map.

Make it comfortable. Make it happy.

Harmonic color creates healthy, healing and productive spaces.

Our creative color consulting is a balancing process that reduces stress, removes boredom, creates a tranquil, energizing space that is soothing to the mind, body and soul.

Optimum color selections stay fresh. Your house or building is not part of a trend but rather becomes a work of art.

exterior color sample on boat houses

For all environments especially the healing modalities—including spas, resorts, hospitals, retirement centers, medical offices and other institutional buildings. Any space where direct contact with nature is limited and personal health needs to be optimized.

Color consulting services can correct visual deficiencies in wall placement, size and spatial use i.e.: help correct poor design.

All materials color selection makes it easy to specify fabric selections and/ or building materials at the same time.

interior color samples

Guaranteed 1st time results for owners, managers, developers, builders, designers, architects and painting contractors.

Bold retail color applications help display products better thereby promoting sales. Our environmental color selections is a natural way to attract drive by or walk by traffic.

Balance the mood, appearance and energy of your house or building. Professionally colorize buildings fit naturally into their local environments.