How to choose colours? Part one…

The first obstacle most people encounter on their decorating journey is colour.

What colour wallpaper do I want? What colour paint should I go for? How to choose colours full stop?!
Is this you? Don’t worry – I’ve got you. 

How to choose colours – a beginners guide…

1. Pick up a colour wheel.

Look at the colours on the wheel, do any pairings jump out at you? Side by side, or complementary combinations? Try to visualise one as your main colour and the other for your highlight/accessories
Can you picture living with them in your space? If you find a combo you like, head to Pinterest or your favourite search engine and see if it works in situ.
Let your wheel take you on a colour adventure! (ahem sorry).

how to choose colours

2. What don’t you like?

And I mean what colours make you violently angry or conjure up awful associations. Be honest with yourself. Don’t just say ‘I hate green’ because there are so many shades of green, and it’s unlikely that they ALL offend you. Once you’ve eliminated some shades and/or colours, look at what you’ve got left and start there.

3. If you have no colour direction at all, then let the room decide.

Yes let the room decide! Which room are you tackling? Where is the room in your home? Does it face north, south, east or west? Why do you need to know this?! Well – in the UK a north or east facing room gets morning light, which is blue. So you can ‘warm it up’ with red or yellow colours. Cooler colours like blue will make the room ‘feel colder’. 
South and west facing rooms get afternoon sun, which is redder. So you can use blue or green colours without making it feel chilly.

The size of your space can also help you pick your colour. Warm colours (the red to yellow-green half of the colour wheel) ‘advance into’ a room, so will help make a room feel smaller or cosier. Cool colours (the red-violet to green half of the wheel) ‘recede’, so they give the impression of a larger space.

So if your:

  • ceiling is high, you can ‘lower’ it by painting it a warm colour
  • hallway is long and narrow, paint the end wall a warm colour as this will trick the eyes by bringing the wall ‘closer’ and balance the hallway
  • room is small, make it seem larger by painting it cool colours
  • room is stark or very bright and you want a snug feeling, paint it in warm colours

These are only guidelines to help you if you’re a little bit stuck, so if you love blue and want to use it, go ahead and do it! It’s your home, you can do whatever you want!

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