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How To: Part 1 – Coordinate Colour

The purpose of this article is to introduce you to colour and how you can coordinate colours in your home. We have lots of advice, tips and suggestions for you! The first rule of coordinating colour is to understand the three following combinations:

  • Toning Colours – Also referred to as monochromatic colours, a tonal scheme uses one colour and a selection of different tones within that colour. Have a look at a colour wheel and choose any colour you will see how it goes from a dark tone through to a light tone. When decorating a room, you can use one colour and take two or better three of its tones to coordinate. A good tip is to use the darkest tone for the flooring and the lightest towards the ceiling which makes rooms appear larger.
  • Harmonious Colours – Again, by looking at a colour wheel you can find any one colour’s harmonious matches by choosing those directly next to it on the wheel. For example – the colour blue has both purple and green on either side. You can coordinate colours this way – probably going with two tones of your main colour and one tone from its neighbouring colours. The bolder you want your room to be, take a primary colour with a harmonious colour such as fire engine red and hot pink.
  • Complementary Colours – Another way to coordinate colours is to use the complementary scheme. This time, it is the opposite colour on the wheel that you will be using. Examples include a light yellow with a deep blue or crimson with aqua green. Quite the opposite to the harmonious scheme, coordinating in this way is a more bold approach. From your two chosen colours make one more dominant, equal amounts can cause a headache! For the best result, incorporate some neutrals to the room too.

What the wheel doesn’t show us is our versatile neutral colours – black, grey, white and sometimes inclusive of creams and brown tones. You really can’t go wrong with neutrals as they all go so well together and will compliment most primary, secondary and tertiary colours.

The final step to coordinating colour is to take everything you have learnt and put your own ideas down on what is called a mood board. Go to the paint shop and pick up some samples of colours you are interested in.

Then, locate a fabric warehouse to browse their collection of styles, perhaps making a print out to attach to your mood board or request sample of curtain fabrics. Doing things this way helps you to see how the end effect could look before jumping into the deep end and potentially ending up with a disastrous colour scheme!

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