Picking wall colour can be an excruciating exercise for some and one of the most difficult elements in design to get right. So many factors have to be considered, for example the quantities you’re using, what levels of lightness or darkness you have in a room and what colours are suitable to be used together. Today, I’ll try to lighten the load with a few pointers:
1. THE LIGHT FACTOR
Light is one of the most important factors when considering a wall colour. Don’t ever try to select a paint colour off a sample at the paint shop, especially under harsh lighting! Order a large paint sample online (no smaller than A4) and put it against the wall in the room you’re planning to paint, for at least 24 hours. At least then you’ll have a good idea on what the paint will look like in artificial light, daylight, as well as in the evening. If still uncertain, you’ve got our number! 😉
2. BALANCE, NOT JUST FOR GYMNASTS
If your room is feeling cluttered and busy, it’s most likely that you’re using too many colours in the wrong quantities. There aren’t any hard and fast rules for the amount of colours you can splash around in a room, but try this one before going haywire: start with one or 2 primary colours and balance it with a few secondary colours. Remember to use a few neutrals as well and as soon as you feel the room starting to feel a bit claustrophobic, it’s time to pair back. Getting to know the colour wheel will help greatly in these decisions, but a quick call to the professionals (mwah) will be even better 😉
3. SEARCHING FOR YOUR “FOREVER’ COLOUR
We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get that perfect colour for a room and end up repainting the walls in the colour it’s always been, for simplicity’s sake. Remember that after you’ve done your research about different colours, you have to trust yourself that you’ve made the right decision and can always start with one room to see how you’re feeling about the new look. Our lives and fashion continually change, so our rooms need to change with it. At the end of the day, it’s only paint!
4. YOUR EYES NEED REST TOO!
It’s easy to go overboard once you fall in love with a colour. You want to be able to see it everywhere, on your walls, in ornaments, rugs and cushions! This can create too many focal points of screaming colours, so try to create pockets of resting places for your eyes. Offset your colours with “blank spaces” i.e. applying lots of neutral elements to your room.
5. USING COLOUR IN ONE HUE ONLY
So you decided your perfect colour is blue and you want to use it as an accent wall in it’s purest form. When applying colour to a large area, be careful that it’s a colour that would draw you in, not let you jump back in fear and nausea. For a more subtle look, try using tints (white added) or shades (black added) for a more dramatic or uplifting appearance. Leave the stronger hues for your child’s next birthday party.
6. MATCHING EVERYTHING
I fondly remember the mauve walls in our spare bedroom in my mother’s house, paired with maroon floral curtains which matched the duvet cover precisely. Matching all your colours can have the opposite effect you’re aiming for – it could make you rooms feel unlived in and bland. Try steering away from safe colours and install that kitchen with bright yellow doors if it makes you happy. A punch of colour repeated throughout the house will create great appeal and uplift the dullness of everything matching perfectly.
7. COHESION, GET YOUR ROOMS TO TALK TO EACH OTHER
If that’s your thing and you can live with it, you could have a different colour palette in every room of your house! Although that could create a rather hectic atmosphere, there are ways to make each room individually appealing by having them “talk” to each other without matching everything precisely. You might need your colour wheel for this exercise, so keep it handy. It’s best to have a few colours complementing each other from one room to the next, especially if you have a view of the adjoining room. This way, the colours aren’t matching, but create a lovely flow from room to room.
For more expert colour advice, read our blog, How to decorate with Red, or Get the Knack for Decorating with Black.
Cheerio ’til next time!