Choosing Colour

Example of how different colour's create the mood. Picture from Pinterest
Example of how different colour’s create the mood. Picture from Pinterest

The first hopeful signs of Spring are appearing, daffodils, lambs and occasionally a brief glimpse of sunshine. After spending winter hibernating the first flourish of spring heralds a new sign of life in us too. Spring is a popular time of the year to start decorating. Homeware shops and companies launch their new ranges, inspiring and enticing us to improve our homes.Where do we start? Invariably we start with choosing colour’s. Pouring over paint charts with numerous choices,this is the most difficult decorating decision, if not opting for pure white or magnolia.

Kitchens – We tend to spend more time in the kitchen than other rooms in the house. The kitchen has become the ‘hub’ of most homes where we prepare food, eat, entertain and sometimes work. Colours need to reflect and inspire these activities. A way to create a sense of calm is to use neutrals from the same group of colour’s, greys, blues, and off whites.For example off white cabinets, walls in warm grey and tiles or work top in a deep slate grey or blue grey. By painting the central island or table legs a bold colour it will create the effect of everything around it being larger and lighter. Paint the chairs an accent colour, or in a toning colour.

Colour has been used to define areas, and add depth to the scheme.
Colour has been used to define areas, and add depth to the scheme.

Living Rooms – This must be a comfortable and welcoming space throughout the seasons. Mostly used in the evenings, so check out how your paint colour is effected by both natural and artificial light. Classic colour’s for living rooms are warm stone, as it works well with most other colour’s. It is easy to live with and doesn’t overpower the room. Putty is subtly warming. Off white is versatile and more interesting than pure white.To add interest and a  focal wall, paint one wall a darker shade of the main colour. Or paint a darker colour in an alcove behind shelves. This provides a strong back drop for displays. Or paint the chimney breast, including the sides a different colour, as this adds depth to a room. Don’t forget the colour’s of the adjacent rooms. If a dark colour appears next to a light one it creates a fragmented feel. This can be softened however, by painting the woodwork in a shade of white.

One wall has been painted a darker shade which acts as a contrast.
One wall has been painted a darker shade which acts as a contrast.

Bedrooms – Whether you are going for Romantic, Pretty, Stylish or Simple, this is an intimate space to escape to at the end of a busy day. The colour palette can be light and uplifting to create a fresh morning feel, or warm and snug for the evening. To create a focal point behind the bed, either paint the wall an accent colour or hang wallpaper, which also anchors the scheme. For a peaceful ambiance choose gentle colour’s of nature, soft blues, greens, earthy greys and heather. Painting fitted wardrobes the same colour as the walls creates an illusion of being less intrusive in the room.

Calming, restful colour's in a bedroom.
Calming, restful colour’s in a bedroom.

Bathrooms – Bathrooms are often small and lacking in natural light. The simplest way is to paint the woodwork in a stronger tone of colour to the lighter coloured walls. Try painting the ceiling in a brighter shade of colour. If a darker colour is used on the ceiling it will appear to be lower. Likewise if a lighter colour from the walls is used the ceiling recedes. If you have a small dark bathroom embrace it’s short comings and paint it a strong colour to create a sense of drama. Painting it all in a pure white can look dull, unless bright coloured accessories are introduce,  such as towels. Add texture too with a bath mat and salvaged mirror. Paint the bath panel in a darker tone creates a focal point. Classic colour’s for bathrooms are blues, greens, greys and putty.

Paint the bath sides to create a focal point.
Paint the bath sides to create a focal point. Picture from Pinterest.

Still not sure which shade or tone of your chosen colour? Buy sample pots and paint A4 paper with your chosen colour’s. Stick it to the walls and notice how the light changes the colour during the day and evening, and how it reflects the room size. By painting paper rather than the wall avoids the possibility of the colour’s ‘bleeding’ through your final paint. remember it is much easier to match your paint to the fabric than the other way round. So if changing any soft furnishings choose these first.

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