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How To Introduce Colour For A Unique Home

How To Introduce Colour For A Unique Home

Are you seeking ways to introduce colour to your home? This can be a scary experience for novice renovators or redecorators. However, why not create a more unique home by using colour like a pro. Here’s how.

There is a revolution on the way. Interior designers are encouraging their clients to be bold and embrace colour. YES, we want you to introduce colour to your home.

If you read interior design magazines, you will have noticed the plethora of white, black, grey, charcoal and wood grain décor around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Homeowners love the neutral and often minimalist décor of contemporary homes.

However, I am also constantly asked about how to introduce colour. People are confused about colour so the default position is neutral – white, beige, grey being the predominant hues.

To Introduce Colour Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Colourful

There is a difference between ‘colour’ and ‘colourful’. Some people embrace a riot of colours with clashing prints, bold colours that are opposite on the colour wheel and have a maximalist aesthetic. That’s fine for confident decorators and unique artists. However, it’s possible to add colour without feeling like you live in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

When advising clients on their décor, I look at the walls, floors and ceilings first. These tend to be in neutral palette territory except for the occasional dramatic wall. When deciding upon the colours of your walls, floors and ceiling, it’s important to consider how much natural light comes into the space.

You may also like to read my article on ‘The Ten Commandments of Colour‘ published on this blog.

Rooms on the cold side of the house should be painted in warmer colours. Whereas rooms with lots of natural sunlight can be painted in cooler colours. Please also bear in mind that there will be furniture, rugs, window treatments, art works and accessories in the room. These elements are all inter-related.

Should I Add Colour With A Feature Wall?

By all means, choose a neutral tone you love and run with it. The trick is to add colour and texture so the room isn’t cold and clinical. Could you add a feature wall in a deeper tone of the same colour or choose a fabulous wallpaper?

Some of my clients fear that a feature wall will turn their home into a ‘show home’ while others embrace that idea. Personally, I love a good feature wall. A feature wall should be the first wall you see when you enter a room but unencumbered with doors and windows. The bigger the free space the better.

However, a feature wall could also be somewhere surprising, like under the stairs. Paint colour is one thing, but adding wallpaper will elevate your home to another realm. I LOVE wallpaper because there is endless choice. Plus, modern wallpapers are much easier to apply and remove than ever before.

How To Introduce Colour in Furnishings + Accessories

I generally suggest clients choose a non-patterned fabric, or leather, for the bigger furniture like sofas. Add colour with textured, patterned and clashing colours in cushions, throws, lampshades and window treatments.

A rug will anchor furniture and define space. However, a rug is not viewed at eye level; it’s on the floor. So choose a bold and/or patterned rug to add personality and texture to your space.

Add colour, interest and surprise with art works on the wall or a dramatic floor lamp. Perhaps paint a piece of old furniture and add coloured handles or bright upholstery.

Small Space Colour Bursts

Small spaces respond well to dramatic colour bursts. So if you have a small toilet or powder room, consider a bold paint or wallpaper. Bring to life space under the stairs or a pantry door by painting them in a bold glossy colour. Red perhaps?

Image courtesy of Whitehall Homes

The great thing about paint is that it’s easy to replace if you really don’t like it. However, you’ll probably love bursts of colour and texture by choosing at least one surprising cushion or an outrageous art print.

Be bold. Add colour. Live with what you love.

The Ten Commandments of Colour

The Ten Commandments of Colour

One of the hardest interior design elements with which homeowners grapple is in the area of colour. Most people don’t want to live with a riot of colour.

However, most people don’t want to live with cool and boring interiors either. So where is the balance? Right here.

See some unexpected colour combinations that will excite and inspire you on our Colour Combo Pinterest board

#1 The 60/30/10 Rule

As a guide for beginners, divide your colours into 60% primary or dominant colour, 30% a secondary colour and 10% an accent color. This enables you to use colour without a room appearing unbalanced.

#2 Embrace Emotions

Tap in to the emotional connection you have with a space. Cool colours are calming and warm colours are more active. What colours truly appeal to you? Find a connection and be confident with your choices.

#3 Complementary Colours for Vibrancy

These are the colours opposite each other on a colour wheel – yellow + purple, red + green, blue + orange – they are strong yet they work together.

So if you love one, try bringing in the other one but at different levels – one dominant and the other secondary. Use black as the accent colour to tone it all down.

Plush Design Interiors

#4 Analogous Colours

These are good neighbours on the colour wheel. They are similar so they look good together providing a cohesive and casual feel. They can be bold or pastel, thing yellow with green or blue with violet. You choose the intensity.

#5 Bright Colours

Small room? Choose a bright colour and paint the floor and walls in the same colour. The connection between wall and floor is blurred giving the illusion of a bigger space.

#6 Colour Combinations

Cool colours recede and warm colours come towards you. To make a small room seem bigger, use cool colours. To make a large room feel cosier, use warm colours.

Image courtesy of Jessie Prince and The Designory

#7 Add Black

When using bright or bold colours, black will inject some sophistication. When using pastel colours, black will stop a room feeling too childish (unless it’s a child’s room)

#8 Warm Up / Cool Down

Create warmth with red, orange and yellow (although not too much in a bedroom) and cool a room down with greens and blues to create a fresh palette.

#9 Neutrals Are Good Too

You can create impact with neutrals but they don’t have to be white and beige. Consider warm golds, rich caramels, and relaxing pastels in green, pink, blue, mint and grey.

Plush Design Interiors

#10 Memories

Use colours from your past as inspiration. Live with what you love. Embrace colour that’s meaningful.

Grab HEAPS of cool ideas with colour and paint on our Pinterest board dedicated to Paint .