Selecting a colour palette for your home can be one of the most daunting design tasks you take on for your home. Whether you're getting ready to paint your first home, or revamping your current decor, one of the most important elements of your design is choosing the right colours. Many people make the mistake of randomly choosing one colour for the walls and trying to make everything else work around it, whereas if you choose a colour palette, you will be giving yourself a lot more flexibility.
Think about the overall look you want to achieve for each room before you begin - do you want a living room that is warm and cosy, or modern and vibrant? A bedroom that is tranquil and simplistic, or romantic and vintage-style? Take inspiration from interiors magazines, blogs, Pinterest and other social media channels, fashion shows and even the outdoors, and then collate your favourite looks into a mood board. From these, you will probably begin to identify a stand-out colour theme.
Choose a room and think about how you want to feel in there. Don't be put off, it's not a hard thing to do at all! Start with one room at a time, and resist the temptation to select a paint colour first. It might seem like the obvious first step but paint is one of the least expensive items you will use for your home design and can easily be changed! Why not start your colour search with room elements that are less flexible, such as furniture, fabrics, tile, or wallpaper. An interesting piece of art or textile may give you inspiration, and by matching your wall colour to an element of your soft furnishings, you will have a truly cohesive look.
Choosing Your Colour Palette
The colours you choose are completely up to you! Colour choices are highly subjective, and when it comes to decorating your home, you need to do what feels right to you. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
A colour palette is the group of colours that you choose for your design. This is usually a group of between three and five colours. There are three different types of colour palettes:
Monochromatic: Different shades or hues of a specific colour
Analogous: Three colours that are next to each other in the colour wheel, and a mid-tone between each.
Complementary: This is where you combine colours that are the opposite of each other on the colour wheel, which are generally seen as the most complementary colours. For this, you would choose just two colours from the colour wheel and then use varying shades of each as a compliment.
You don't need to go too crazy here - a simple rule of thumb to go by is to choose one dark colour, one light colour and one bright colour. Depending on the size of the room you are designing, the amount of natural light and how bold or neutral you want to go, you can choose the base colour from your palette and your design accents will grow from there.
Testing your Colour Palette
Bring home some paint samples from your narrowed down selection. Sample cards, even the big ones, can be deceptive. Try painting your own swatches onto a piece of card. This will allow you to assess each colour in the room it's meant for and check that the colours work together. Look at them in the space at different times of the day so you can see how they are affected by the light. The best method is to paint each colour onto A4 paper or card so that you can move it around the room and see how it will appear. This will also work better than painting a sample directly onto your wall as the base colour that is already there may change the result (unless of course, it's already white).
Light is incredibly important when choosing a colour for your room, and you’ll need to consider which direction the room faces and whether it has a lot of natural light. Natural light can completely change how a colour appears on your walls and the same colour can often appear quite different from room to room, at different times of the day and even depending on the time of year. Think about how much time you spend in each room and at what time of day - if you are most likely to spend your evenings in the sitting room and your kitchen gets the best light in the morning, take note of how the colour sample looks at those times.
A Little Colour Theory
Not only are colours important on a practical level but every colour conveys a different emotion. For example, orange and yellow tones convey fun and warmth. Green conveys relaxation. Pinks and purples are fun and youthful colours.
This is where you get to have some fun! Many people choose a lighter or more neutral shade for their walls and add brighter and bolder colours in the furnishings or accessories. It's a fantastic way to update your interior design without getting the paintbrush out. Bear your colour palette in mind and choose textiles such as curtains, cushions, and rugs in complementary shades; add a pop of colour in the form of wall art and create extra light with large mirrors and beautiful lanterns.
You've thought carefully and chosen your colour palette; now it's time to commit to the colour and go for it. Don’t be afraid to use your chosen colours in different ways like painting an accent wall or up styling furniture. Find textiles in complementing colours and patterns that will create a beautifully cohesive look. Our friends at Albany Home Decor Specialists can help you choose the right paint and wallpaper colours for your home, and even have a colour matching service so you can create the perfect colour from a swatch of fabric.
We'd love to hear about your favourite colours - how did you choose what colours to go with your home? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know about your colour palettes!