Colour choices that emphasise the uniqueness and individuality of your home.

When deciding the overall colour scheme for a particular room don’t be tempted to choose the  colour for walls, backgrounds, ceiling, doors first. There is such an abundance of colours, textures and shades to choose from, and paint is relatively inexpensive and can be matched to almost any imaginable colour you eventually decide on. Instead begin your colour search with those elements that are not so flexible. Look at the fixed elements like furniture, tiling, wallpapers and fabrics. Base your paint colours on these.

1. Looking for inspiration for your colour scheme.

Become inspired by the colours in something you love or an image or photo you have seen. This could be your favourite painting that you would like to give special prominence to in the room, or a large rug, or a favourite sofa. Photos from magazines or online photos can also offer new possibilities beyond your usual preferences. Colour combinations in fabrics that appeal to you can also inspire your choices. Apply the specific shades you like to your decorating choices. Notice the proportions of each shade to recreate a balanced colour scheme which is similar to the one you like.

2.  Colour Value is worth considering.

The value of a colour refers to the darkness or lightness of a hue. Take this into consideration when choosing your colours. Try to choose one light colour, one dark colour and one bright colour for each room. This mix of values can help to keep a multi hue palette from being too overwhelming or chaotic. The colour that will be the dominant hue in the room is down to your own personal preference. “Go for what you’re comfortable with”, would probably be the advice of most interior designers.  

3.  Planning the overall colour scheme of your home.

If you’re undecided , or in some way lacking in confidence around the use of colour, a good idea is to draw a plan of your home and map it out first. Any undesirable choices will simply end up in the waste basket with no harm done. Being more relaxed allows you to be more creative and play around with trying something new. 

Make a list of what will be in each room , for instance furniture, carpets, rugs, and other flooring, and colour of walls, etc. Represent the colours inspired by these items. Evaluate the rooms for their positive and negative characteristics and list these also. From the positive and more appealing traits find some focal points to emphasise in particular. 

It’s also worth considering how one room or space flows into the next, and what can be glimpsed from one area into another, through dividing doors left open sometimes or an archway linking different areas. Think about the different moods you would like to evoke in the various rooms, and also the general ambiance  of the home itself.

 Plan the home one room at a time but with sensitivity to the overall effect you wish to create and the ambiance that reflects the individual qualities you want your home to embody. An easy way to create a whole home palette is simply to use one colour in different proportions in all rooms. For example as a wall colour in one room and to pick out or accentuate detail in another.

4.  The effect of light on colour.

It’s worth observing and considering the play of light , both natural and artificial around the home. As colour is a reflection of light, your colour scheme will be affected by both the type and the amount of light in a room. You can play around with placing of lamps and recessed fixtures and see how , as well as the natural light through windows , patio doors, skylights etc they affect the colour in paint , fabrics, furniture, and indeed all surfaces.

It is generally considered that daylight is the perfect light source. This is because it has almost the same intensity over the whole of the visible spectrum of colours. From sunrise to sunset the sun’s rays travel through varying amounts of atmosphere and so the natural light changes. When you want to decide a colour scheme for a particular room, it’s worth spending some time in the space throughout the day observing and noting how the shifting light affects it. For example a room with only a northerly aspect will get less daylight than other rooms in the home. You could use a palette of the warmer colours there to brighten it up and use lamps and lights there for more hours of the day.

When choosing lighting remember that incandescent lamps emit a redder and warmer light than sunlight, while fluorescent lamps create a bluer cooler light in general. If choosing colours for a room that is mostly used before sunrise or after sunset, make your choice of colours only under the lighting used in that room. Always bear in mind that any colour with white in it will reflect the colours that surround it. For example, if you have a white wall will take on the reflections from ceiling colour  and floorings and even furnishings.

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