Colour is a huge subject area and some people spend years studying colour, the psychology of different colours and its impact in particular environments. Now, I’m not going to overwhelm you with being too scientific but there are certain things you need to bear in mind when decorating with colour.
A little colour goes a long way
Adding colour to a room is the quickest and most cost-effective way to change how it both looks and feels. If you’re starting with a completely blank canvas choose your big-ticket items first; your sofa, flooring and window-dressings then choose the wall colour. Remember that a particular colour can quickly and inexpensively be changed. But do try before you buy.
Light has a major impact on colour and the same colour in a room will look different at different times of the day and on different walls. Sample pots will allow you to see these changes and I always tell clients, when choosing a particular colour for a room, to arm themselves with 4 sheets of plain paper, paint each of the sheets right up to the edges and put them on each of the walls. Not only will you be able to see how light affects the colour but you will also be able to see any undertones that hadn’t previously been visible. Doing this also avoids that patchwork effect we feel compelled to use on our walls when choosing colours! And yes I have been guilty of this and doesn’t it take a few coats to cover up??
So what are undertones? This is precisely the mistake my friend had made. If you look at the various shades of beige you may be able to see other colours in them; some may look slightly pink, others may have a green or yellow hue. This is due to the ‘base’ colours used to mix them and sometimes they are only visibly under certain lights.
My friend’s kitchen had looked great under artificial light the evening she had decorated it. The following morning those purple undertones were visible. She hadn’t had time to try before she bought but made sure she did before re-decorating!
Adding a ‘pop’
If adding colour to your walls is still something you don’t feel comfortable with, pops of colour can be painlessly added in your accessories. Choose one or two accent colours and think about cushions, lamps and vases to add visual interest. Add a bold rug to a neutral carpet and incorporate smaller accessories in similar colours to tie the scheme together.
Setting a mood
Colour, when used correctly, can change a bland space into something spectacular. Warm shades in a room feel welcoming and calming spa-like colours work well in bathrooms. Dining rooms lend themselves to bolder colours and some decadent feature wallpaper will give your bedroom a chic boutique hotel feel.
These may be a big ‘no no’ for Kirsty Allsop but there’s no law to say you can’t have a beautiful feature wall in either your favourite colour or by adding some fabulous wallpaper. Pair it with some striking accessories, dare to be different and think about what you want to say about yourself and your home.