How To Pick Colour Schemes With Confidence

22nd Jun 2022
How To Pick Colour Schemes With Confidence

When it comes to picking a colour scheme for an interior design project, there are so many choices that it can seem like an overwhelming prospect. After all, we are likely to be living with the consequences of our decision every day for a long time to come, and fear of making the wrong choice can be paralysing, leading us to put off making that change.

So how can you know what will show your house off at its best, and create an environment that the whole family will enjoy? Until recently, the use of colour and pattern in interior design has strongly been influenced by the Scandi neutral minimalist aesthetic. However, that is now starting to change, and trends are turning brighter and bolder.

That is not to say strong colours and bold patterns are now obligatory for a well-dressed home; the emphasis should be very much on choosing what is right for you. However, it is a shame to stick with safe and traditional choices through a lack of confidence, when you could create something much more personal and inspiring.

Here are some tips to help you out if are having trouble with this aspect of interior design.

Start with the fabrics and furniture

It can feel instinctive to think about the walls first, because they are the largest surface area. However, paint or wallcoverings are easier to change than fabrics, so it is best to start with selecting curtains, furniture, and carpets first. For example, you could browse curtain designs to see if there are any prints that you really like, and take this as your starting point.

If you find a patterned curtained fabric that really appeals, then you can match an accent colour from the design in your choice of rugs, cushions, lampshades, and so on to create a sense of harmony throughout the room. If the pattern is bold and bright, then this may mean that your choice of wallpaper, paint, upholstery, and so on, will be more muted.

Create a mood board

If there is no need to rush your decisions, you could create a mood board, either on line or physically, of design ideas that catch your eye. It’s a great way to let an unusual idea grow on you, that you might have dismissed as not quite for you at first glance. Anything you don’t like can easily be removed later, so let your imagination roam free and be brave!

There’s a whole world of inspiration out there on sites such as Pinterest, which allow you to sign up for free, and curate your personal collection from thousands of current and classic interior design trends.

If you really want to put an individual spin on your décor, you could try researching different eras and design movements, such as Art Deco, Arts and Crafts prints, Edwardian country cottage, 1960s psychedelia, and so on. Try out each style in a range of colours, from calm neutrals to bright jewel greens and blues, and rich russet reds and yellows.

Retro and vintage styles remain popular, and you can just mix and match certain element that appeal, rather than completely overhaul the whole house in a particular aesthetic, which may be a little overwhelming unless you really love it!

Have the right balance of colour values

Once you have decided on a colour that you like, try and ensure that you have a range of different values within the hue to prevent it from becoming too overwhelming. For example, if you like the current fashion for green, mix up deeper or stronger hues of green with softer or lighter hues.

If you have chosen a soft mint green shade for the curtains, and also want green walls, go for one or two shades darker to provide contrast. This also applies the other way around, if you have chosen curtains which are predominately a strong green hue, go for a softer tone for the walls.

Consider how much natural light the room has

The play of light can have a big effect on how a colour scheme will feel. A north facing room which receives less sunlight than other rooms may benefit from a warmer colour scheme, such as terracotta and cream. Sunnier rooms can stand cooler colours, although it is important to consider what time of day the room will be predominately used at.

The size of the room may also affect your choice of colour. Strong dark colours will make a larger room feel more compact and homely, while fresh light colours can make a small room feel bigger.

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