The colour palette for your home is one of the most important decisions you make when styling your home.
From the colour of your walls, furniture, rugs, cushions and decorative accessories, colour affects how your home feels and looks. Whether the design in your house flows or is unbalanced will be influenced by colour.
This guide will help you understand the colour wheel, tips to choosing the right colours for your home and how to style your home with colour,
The basics of colour could help you understand choosing colour for your home and while it may seem boring it’s important to understand before selecting your home colour palette. This will also help you when speaking to paint stores and painters.
The colour wheel guides us on which colours go together and which colours don’t. The colour wheel plays an important part in Interior Design and helps with the selection of a colour palette for your home.
On the colour wheel there are 3 colour classifications – Primary, secondary and tertiary colours.
Primary colours – Red, Blue and Yellow.
Primary colours are the beginning colours. They are the only colours that cannot be made from mixing colours together. All other colours are made by mixing primary colours together.
Secondary Colours – Orange, Green and Purple
Secondary colours are made by mixing primary colours together
Orange – (red & yellow)
Green – (blue & yellow)
Purple – (red & blue)
Secondary colours are opposite primary colors on the colour wheel.
Tertiary Colours – 6 colours on the Colour Wheel.
Tertiary colours are made by mixing primary colours with secondary colours.
Hue – are the truest of a colour, the outer edges of the colour wheel, namely Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colours.
Shade - adding black to a hue gives you a shade of colour. Shade refers to the lightness or darkness of a colour.
Tint: adding white to a hue gives you a Tint
Tone: adding grey (black + white) to a hue gives you a tone. Tone refers to the brightness or deepness of a colour.
Inspiration for your home colour palette can be a piece of art, your favourite colors, a travelling momento or your favourite cushion.
But it is important to understand how to style this colour within your home to create a cohesive balanced look throughout your home.
The colour wheel is divided into 2 with warm and cool hues(colours).
A colour feels warm (red undertones) or cool (blue undertones ). Warm hues are yellow to red and cool hues are green to purple on the colour wheel.
Warm and cool colours affect the mood of your room.
Cool colours bring calm to a space, creating a relaxed mood.
Warm colours are more vibrant.
Natural tones also create a relaxed mood in a room.
Colour also affect the perceived size of a room.
Cool colours make a space feel bigger while warm colours make a space feel smaller.
Light colours make a room feel more spacious than darker colours.
A successful colour palette takes into consideration the proportion of colours used.
Use the 60/30/10% rule to quide you when decorating your home with your selected colour palette.
Dominant Colour – 60% - known as the base colour, used on larger areas such as walls.
Subdominant Colour – 30% - your next prominent colour
Subordinant colour- 10% - Also known as an accent colour. Accent colours can be used to add a bold colour without being overwhelming (cushions, decorative accessories)
Monochromatic colours are various shades and tones of one colour. It is easy to achieve a monochromatic colour palette in your home
It is important to note that this colour scheme can become monotonous so it’s important to add different tones and tints of the same colour.
By adding different textures, prints and patterns with your furniture, cushions and decorative accessories, you create visual depth and interest to your room.
Achromatic means without colour and refers to white, black and grey. Achromatic colours can be both warm and cool.
When decorating with achromatic colours keep to the same temperature (cool or warm) and similar undertones.
Complementary Colours sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. Every colour has one contrasting, complimentary colour which is often used as an accent colour
If you love contrasting colours, choose a complimentary colour palette.
Mixing warm and cool colours is also possible by adding a cool blue with a bold orange. Adding white will help to balance out the space.
Triadic Colours are in a triangle on the colour wheel. Spaced evenly in thirds around the wheel.
Triadic Colours are high contrast colour schemes. They can be bold and bright with blue, red and yellow or more subtle with reduced tones and shades.
If you are having difficulty in choosing a third colour, look to Triadic Colours for inspiration. The third colour can be added with cushions and decorative accessories.
A Tetrad colour scheme is made up of 4 colours equally spaced around the colour wheel. This colour palette consists of 2 sets of complimentary colours.
This colour palette has high contrast and can vibrant. It is important to tone it down and adjust the proportions of colour making one a dominant colour and the rest of the colours accent colours.
Adding a neutral colour, grey or white wall will neutralise the colour palette.
Analogue colours sit next to each other on the colour wheel. They are usually a selection of 2 to 4 colours.
Use a colour wheel to assist you when selecting your colours for an Analogous Colour palette.
Select colours with the same undertone and temperature.
You can choose to use one colour as the main colour and the rest of the colours as accent colours.
Adding different textures and finishes in your fabrics and decorative accessories enriches your colour palette
Adding neutral colours through stone and timber will bring in visual relief if the space feels overwhelming.
When choosing the colour palette for your home look at what you have in your home.
Consider the colour of your flooring if you are not replacing tiles or carpets. Will the colour of your floors work with your chosen colour palette ?
What is the colour of your furniture and artwork?
What is the colour of your favourite items?
Look at magazines, Pinterest and google colour pallete to get inspiration.
Create a mood board to help you visualise the space and get a feel for the colour combinations. Click here for help in Creating your own mood board.
Consider the architecture and finishes in your room. Do you want them to stand out (paint a different colour) or blend in (keep the same colour throughout).
Do you want to make the room seem bigger (Use lighter colours) or more intimate (Darker tones).
Lighter colours on the ceiling makes the ceiling higher while darker shades will lower the ceiling height.
Colour looks different at different times of the day with natural sunlight in your home. Once you have decided on a colour palette, purchase sample pots of the colours and paint the colour onto a section of the walls. If you don’t want to paint directly onto the wall, paint the colours onto a piece of board and place that on the walls. Check the samples throughout out the day to make sure before you purchase your paint tins. Remember to check the colours at night with the artificial lighting.
Choose a colour that you love. There is nothing worse than choosing a colour that you are not happy with and you have to look at it every day.
Use the same colour on all ceilings doors and trims to unify your colour palette throughout your house.
Use the same colour palette throughout your home but vary how you use it from room to room.
The wall colour in one room could be the colour of the bookcase in another. This will help the styling in your home flow from one room to the other.
Consider adding neutrals, blacks and white to enhance your colour palette.
If you prefer a neutral background, there are ways to add a bit of colour with cushions, rugs, throws and decorative accessories. Combine the colours with texture and pattern.
Use your favourite wall art as inspiration. Draw colours from your artwork and introduce them into your room with cushions, rugs and decorative accessories.
Add a natural element of colour with Flowers (fresh or artificial flowers).
A fresh coat of paint can update an old piece of furniture, without spending money on new furniture.
As with any styling in your home, always remember to style with items that you love. Add colours that you love into the colour palette for your house.
Happy Home Decorating
PS; The above pictures have been sourced from Google and Pinterest to give you ideas on selecting colour palettes for your home.
As the owners are unknown we are unable to give credit to the owners.