The festive season, with the onset of the New Year, is an excellent period to refresh surroundings, whether you are looking to sell, you’ve just bought a property, or to give some rooms a lift. With the coming year’s fashion colours, designs and styles confirmed, these provide excellent input for planning and confirming your ideas. We do recommend, however, that you don’t throw caution to the wind by blindly following what is fashionable; rather, look to what you can live with and find soothing in your daily environment, then use current fashion themes to provide the accents and boldness to highlight your space and portray your adventurous expression.
INFLUENCE OF FASHION DESIGNERS
Our inspiration comes from seasonal changes and keeping up to date with on-trend international influences on fashion colours, designs and themes. Decorative interior colours and patterns are intimately linked to seasonal changes depicted by the fashion houses. The offerings from our high street home stores means we are provided with a range of fashionable seasonal coloured fixtures, fittings, accessories and decorations. Utilising these little luxuries in time-appropriate seasonal colours is a great way to bring these colours into your home and update your interior space without undertaking a major seasonal refurbishment project.
THE COLOUR WHEEL
In order to confirm what colours you would like to choose and what else can provide harmony in the individual rooms in your home, it’s important to know the spectrum of what is available, so using a colour wheel is helpful for this.
The colour wheel is a circular illustrative organisation of colour hues, which shows the relationships between primary colours, secondary colours, tertiary colours. It is based around the following colours:
- Primary colours: red, yellow and blue. They are termed ‘primary’ because they cannot be made by mixing any other colours, though all other colours are derived from these.
- Secondary colours: green, orange and purple. Primary colours are mixed to produce these colours.
- Tertiary colours: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green are made by mixing a primary and a secondary colour. The name of the colour is hyphenated, with the dominant hue named first.
Colour theory advocates the use of a maximum of 3 colours together for a logical structure. However, it depends on what combination creates colour harmony and balance in your visual experience and satisfies your personal colour association. As well, to an extent, this notion of using only 3 colours together is surpassed by fashion designers and influencers.
Careful consideration needs to be given to mixing paint colours otherwise you can end up with shades that look muddied. A colour wheel can help you to become familiar with where different colours fit in, as well as make you aware of the colours which sit next to each other, along with those which are directly opposite your chosen colour.
We keep a colour wheel on hand whilst decorating or staging a property. It helps us to identify colours which will be appropriate for use, as well as the associated tones and shades that can increase our colour palette for the particular property.
USE OF COLOURS
The overall interior design and the colours you use can make or break the image you are attempting to portray with your property.
Consider what the in-trend colours are for the season or the year. While magnolia paint may be widely used all year around, it’s exciting to use up-to-date colours. These can also provide talking points for your visitors. A few years ago, hues of orange and pink were the in-trend colour combinations used across the fashion industry, from clothing and shoes to home décor, including paints, soft furnishings, wallpapers and murals.
Your choice of colour will also depend on the purpose of your renovation: whether you are painting your property to sell, rent out or live in. Pale neutral colours are best when you are selling as this creates a light environment which can be accented with any other colours the buyers will introduce. Slightly darker neutral walls (combined with dark carpets) are popular for rentals so that wear and tear is less conspicuous. When you are painting your home to live in, along with any family members, try to obtain a consensus (where possible) to ensure everyone is happy living with the colours that have been chosen for your home.
The purpose and location of the room should be top of mind when deciding on which colours you choose. Questions like who will use the room, what will it be used for, and when is it likely to be used, can help your decision making regarding the colour and shade. Ascertaining were the room is located in the house and the direction it faces, whether the room gets a lot of sun or is dark, if it’s large with high ceilings and filled with natural light or small and compact, will children or adults use it, and if it’s for use all day or just in the evenings, will help to develop your senses for the habitat and purpose of the room, leading you to colours and combinations that would be best suited. So, if you are renovating a room you will use as a study every day to develop new food ideas, you will be looking for stimulating colours to inspire you, whereas a small child’s or elderly relative’s bedroom will suit soft and calm colours to encourage a restful night’s sleep. In the properties we have renovated, even though open-plan living has become popular in the UK, we tend to paint adjacent rooms in different colours to delineate and separate the rooms so that it’s use is clearly defined.
You can paint, wallpaper or put a mural on a wall in any or each of the rooms in your home to create a feature walls and give each room a uniqueness. We like to have bold colours and bright wallpaper on bedroom walls that the headboard is placed against so that we can see the wall when we enter the room, but the remaining walls are painted in light or dark neutral, or calm colours, so that sleep is undisturbed.
Each colour is not just that in its entirety, it has different tones, tints and hues that you can use. Blue can go from a soft baby blue to a heavyweight dark navy, with several other shades in between. Look around at the colours of the items in your home and to help you to select the right colours and tones that you would like your walls painted in. Dulux offers a paint matching service whereby you can scan any item and the Dulux app will match the shade, so you can then buy that specific paint colour for use in your home.
If you think a colour is too bold for your walls but would like to use it, apply accent colours to the walls and match articles in the room in that colour, e.g. soft furnishings such as cushion covers, quilts, curtains and rugs, or paintings, objects d’art or a platter on a coffee table.
We use test pots and paint a square foot of cardboard or heavy paper and move it around to different walls in the room and house at different times of the day and in different lights as well. Later, when we are shortlisting our choices, we paint the test pot colour directly on the different walls to make sure we absolutely love it before making a final decision. In our first property we used 24 test pots, all in different shades of cream, before concluding that the initial test pot we purchased was our first choice!
Natural and artificial lighting will alter the colour you see, so look at your experimental test pot painted walls at different times of the day and night before you finalise your choice of colour. Matt paint absorbs light, whereas gloss paint reflects light and illuminates the space around it. We had a large purpose-built bookshelf along an entire wall, where we painted the back wall in a velvet touch burgundy and the shelves in white. The room looked luxurious and moody, turning it into a space where people said they felt cocooned.
If you are using wooden or wood-coloured flooring (whether it’s laminate, vinyl, hardwood or tiles), use your colour wheel and a swatch of the flooring colour to match it to your choice of wall colour. We used real wood flooring in a property and due to our painter’s time constraints, we had the walls painted before the floor was installed.
In order to show both the floor and the warm, cream-toned walls at their best, it took us seventeen different coats of wood stain to get the flooring to the colour that we were happy with. We absolutely loved the floor and the colour we ended up with and understand that, to this day, it’s still going strong with the current owners.
COLOURS FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL SPACE
If you are changing your own home, always use colours and shades that you can relate to personally and directly. This means using colours which make you feel positive and happy, showing you have a connection and a good gut feel about them. These colours, with your sense of belonging and feelings of comfort, will pre-pave your experience in your home in the same way. Using colours that you already love means you will then be happy coming home and living ‘in’ those shades; you can always use feature wall paint colours, wallpapers, murals and soft furnishings to provide accents and highlights.