If someone should do an aerial view of the Caribbean islands they would all appear to look very much alike. There would be varied shades of green contrasted by varied shades of blue, yet upon closer look, it would be revealed that there is not only bursts of colors from blossoming and blooming trees and flowers but beautiful, colorful homes, busy streets and calm beaches bathed in the soft blue sea.
Why do Caribbean people or people who live in the tropics love to paint their homes in such bright colors?
Well there are several answers to that question. One reason is that bright colors get your attention right away. Most of the Caribbean towns are vacation spots, making the vibrant display great for photographs and leaves a vivid memory in the minds of tourists.
Some tourists may find it a little extreme but most of them would tell you that it is beautiful and quite a change from their neighborhood.
Oranjestand, the capital of Aruba, is famous for buildings with alternating pastel colors of pink, lemon yellow and sky blue. The island of Curacao is also famous for its colors with Dutch architecture similar to Aruba and with electric blue, mustard yellow, pink, orange colors.
It is said that back in the 1800s, the Governor General Albert Kikkert thought that his migraines were cause by the sunlight from the gleaming white buildings around him. So he ordered that all of the buildings in the center of town be paint any color but white. That is exactly what was done, thus the rainbow colored landscape.
How about the fact that colors can change your mood. The bright colors are rather cheery.
Red is often associated with being fiery and warm, vibrant, and intense. Some say that red is an exciting and an aggressive color, but on Valentine’s Day it brings feelings of love and comfort. Red is often an attention getter.
Blue is often considered in conjunction with the blue waters of the Caribbean or the blue skies. It is viewed as calming and relaxing.
Yellow is associated with the sun. It brings to mind a hot sunny day but the color is definitely cooling. Yellow is also an attention getter. According to one Internet site, “it can also be abrasive when overused. It can appear warm and bright, yet it can also lead to visual fatigue.”
My favorite color orange. It is a combination of red and yellow. I love orange because it is a bright color and it goes well with my complexion. Orange is said to be a strong, energetic color. It is also said to be happy, and uplifting.
Finally pink. The feminine color. The girly, girly color. Pink is usually relaxing. It is that tentative color between red and white. Light pink is a little dreary while bright pink or fuchsia is hot and fiery like red.
This analysis may give you some insight into why Caribbean people choose these colors for their homes but one of the most practical answers to why Caribbean people paint their homes in such bright colors is scientific. It is a heat refractor.
Certain colors reflects the sun’s heat meaning that rather than being absorbed into the building and heating up the interior, it reflects back and the interior stays cool during those really hot days. Black absorbs the most heat. A black house does not reflect light it soaks up the light and therefore generates heat.
Think of when you are wearing black clothing on a 90 degree day and beads of sweat start to accumulate on your forehead. Well, that is how it works with a house.
White objects reflect all types of light and so white absorbs the least amount of heat. A white landscape can be rather blinding and so the locals settle on other colors from the color spectrum.
So next time you are in the Caribbean, take lots of pictures and enjoy the colorful scenery.