Choosing Your Colours

Nothing stamps your personality on your home as much as colour. Choosing the colour palette for your home is the most important part of the decorating process. Yet, many find it the most daunting part when it comes to their home.

We have put together this guide to help you create the colour palette that best suits your style, personality and lifestyle.

You should start by working from a colour wheel. There are primary, secondary and tertiary colours.

Colour wheel for decorating

Primary colours are red, blue and yellow. They are pure colours and cannot be created by combining other colours.

Secondary colours are orange, green and purple. These colours are formed when equal parts of 2 primary colours are combined. For example equal parts yellow and blue make green. This is where we begin the colour selection.

Tertiary colours are a mixture, in varying parts of secondary and primary colours to create different hues, as a result the primary and secondary colours become less vivid. White and black are often added to darken and soften these hues.

Creating Your Colour Scheme

Use the colour wheel above to help you create the colour scheme that best suits your personality. There are four kinds of colour schemes:

Monochromatic: The monochromatic colour scheme uses tone on tone of the same colour with the addition of white or black to lighten or darken the colour. For example, in this scheme blue can become a pale sky blue or a dark midnight blue and all three hues of the same shade are used to create this effect.

Analogous: The analogous scheme uses colours that appear next to each other on the colour wheel. For example yellow will be used with green or orange, or blue will be used with green or purple. This creates a colourful and often soothing palette.

Contrast: The contrast scheme is more dramatic. Here a triad of contrasting colours are used, such as yellow-orange, green-blue and red purple. This introduces more colour and energy into your home’s palette.

Complementary: The complementary scheme is where two opposing colours, such as blue and orange, are used together to create a dramatic, bold and high energy colour scheme.

Colour Considerations

When choosing your colour palette you may want to start with contrasts, something dark paired with something light. If you wish to infuse a little more colour and energy into your room you might consider adding something bright.

If you’re more comfortable with pale walls, look to your furnishings, accessories and rugs for added colour. When picking your colours, especially the bolder ones, makes sure they are crisp and the lines are clean. If your style is more subtle, softer, neutral shades should be considered.

Where to Start with Colour

You should start at the beginning. The beginning could be a central room or a front hall or entryway. Is there a colour, or a set of colours that you’re particularly fond of? Do you tend to prefer blues, yellows, greens? Start with a colour that best suits you.

Then take that colour and look at it several shades and hues lighter and several shades and hues darker. So, for instance, on your colour wheel, you’ve chosen green.

You’ve gone to the paint store and you’ve chosen a dozen or so paint cards that have varying shades of green. You like two shades, one has more of a grey undertone and more has more of a blue undertone. Perhaps select one hue for the dining room and the other for the living room. To make them work together select a neutral that can be used in both rooms for ceiling or trim or both. Some suggest keeping hallways, landings and connecting spaces neutral in tone.

Seperate Downstairs and Upstairs

The downstairs and upstairs are two separate entities and should be treated as such.  It’s best to paint your landing or hallway a soft or neutral colour as often the upstairs is comprised of mostly bedrooms which can often have very differing colours and contrasts.

Childrens’ rooms are often bright and bold, whereas guestrooms and home offices are not. If your master bedroom has a master bathroom attached to it, you need not paint both rooms the same colour, but do consider different tones of the same colour – perhaps paint one room slightly lighter than the other. As the two are connected there should be some semblance of flow.

Choosing your colour palette should be enjoyable. Don’t rush into anything. Visit the paint store, talk to us, bring home colour cards and, most of all, enjoy the experience.