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Creating a colour scheme for your home

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The question I get asked all the time:

“where do I start when choosing colours for my home?”

Colour should be used with purpose, whether to enhance, blend or compliment. Focusing on the space and it’s intended use helps you begin your research.

You will naturally lean towards a colour grouping that you feel comfortable with but try thinking about other sources for inspiration, look at your interests and influences as a starting point.

For example:

To start my colour story, I look at what influences me. With a tendency to be nostalgic, I am drawn to memories, whether it's the cornflower blue lavender in my parents garden or a beautiful Dusky pink and green bedroom in a house I've visited. Using colour combined with pattern or texture helps to create depth and tone to a scheme. 

The colour wheel is a helpful tool to use. There are easy patterns to follow that can help how you pick your colour palette.

Annie Sloan's design of the colour wheel has a wonderful schematic choice of colours to pick from.

A monochromatic scheme - Using one colour in varying shades and tones, by adding other white or black to lighten or darken.

A blended colour scheme - Colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel, similar shades that can work well together. This palette forms a harmonious scheme and is an easy scheme to follow.

A complementary colour scheme - When you choose two colours directly opposite each other on the wheel. A common choice is red and green, it creates a strong contrast, but also sits well together.

A triadic colour scheme - Using three colours evenly spaced around the colour wheel. These schemes offer contrast but can also be used to create one dominant colour with the other two as accents. By adding shade and tones you can calm or increase the contrast.

Tones, hues and shades - This is when you add a lighter or darker colour and creates shades of one colour.

Cold and warm colours - Look at the colour wheel and draw a line between the blues and greens, colder colours, reds and yellows, warmer colours. 

Bright and bold colours - You can use a bold colour as a background for a piece of furniture making it stand out.  Dark grey or Peacock blue are fabulous for a backdrop to make a colour pop. Some other good combinations are: Dark Grey- Yellow, Navy-yellow, Dark grey– red, Peacock blue – red, Teal - yellow.

Look at the colour trends for 2020 for inspiration, try Dulux colour of the year and Pantone as guidance. All current interior magazines like Living etc and Elle decoration will have current interior colour trend features, but remember these should be used a guidance, the lighting of a room can change a colour dramatically.

Paint samples are a great way to try a colour in the space. Buy a roll of lining paper to paint the samples on, tape to your walls and watch the colours change during the day. this is a good way to get the tone you like.

I often use Fired Earth paints, I love the pigments and the range of colours available. They have many retail locations to choose paints, tiles or bathroom..

I also love to use Earthborn paints, they are environmental, they have a beautiful chalky feel and a huge range of colours. Earthborn are stocked in Davies in Bath who hold a large range of their products.

Try to keep your colours to a group of 3-4. You can use these colours as a reference throughout your project. Have them with you when choosing other items for the room. Whether it’s in patterns, textures, sofas, paintings or furniture.

With your chosen story in mind you can begin to form your colour scheme this will be the main source for inspiration you use to create a mood board, with colour, pattern or texture.

Have fun creating your colour story.


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