Use of Colour

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Posted
Until recently, the minimalist chic interiors of modern design with pristine white walls, pale floors and a limited tonal palette, sat uncomfortably with any serious injections of colour. This is no longer; colour is back in pretty much every shade and hue imaginable. Colour has a new sophistication with more descript and mature tones than the standard primary colours you would find in a child’s paint pot. Think rich aubergine, exotic burnt umber, zesty lime and evocative cerise. Or think retro, with more subtle shades such as lemon, blush pink and lilac. Designers have taken inspiration for their palettes from far and wide enabling us to personalise the use of colour to suit our taste and maintain the functionality of a room. This article aims to guide you through the basics of effectively applying colour to your home.

The Basics

Before any colour is applied, great consideration should be taken in to the choice of colours as this will directly affect the mood of the room. Cool colours, such as blue, blue-greys and violets are soothing and create spaciousness but should be used in areas of plenty of natural light to avoid them feeling chilly. Warm colours such as reds and oranges are exciting, passionate and high energy but can also enclose a space so use with caution. More complex than using just one colour; a colour scheme uses a selection of colours that work well together. Generally speaking, there are three simple ways to ensure your scheme will work by choosing complementary, harmonious or monochromatic colours from the colour wheel.

Applying Colour

Once decided on your palette you then have to choose how and where to apply the colour to the room. Two simple and effective ways of injecting colour in to your living space are as an accent or background. As an accent, you can display either one shade in a prominent way or scatter a number of different colours using cushions, fabric, light shades and other decorative objects to create detail. This option is ideal for smaller, darker spaces and maintains a room’s versatility as cushions and accessories can be easily changed. Background colour helps create atmosphere and consequently be sure to choose a shade which creates the desired mood for the room. As a halfway point between accent and background, ‘feature walls’ give an instant lift to a room without being as dominant as painting every wall yet generally more impacting than colour as an accent. This approach is ideal for open plan or multi use spaces where colour can be used to draw the eye or define areas of activity. For more information on colour theory, colour scheme options and the various ways in which you can apply colour whether it be paint, wallpaper, fabric or accessories please use the links below.

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