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How do I choose colours for my home?

I get asked this question a lot and if I’m totally honest with you I just tend to go with my gut, and a bit of trial and error. I’ve slowly over the years got more confident with colour but I totally appreciate for most of us, it can be quite daunting knowing where to start! So I thought I’d a do a quick guide to things you can try at home when it comes to decorating with colour.

So what do the experts do when they design a room?

Have you heard of the colour wheel? It’s basically an easy way to work out what works with what and it’s been used by interior designers for years.

So here is the theory bit.

The classic colour wheel is made up of 12 hues. If you look at it you will see half of the colours are “cool“ colours and the other half has “warm“ hues. You’ve then got your primary, secondary and tertiary colours as you work away from the primary. Remember this from school?

What are you talking about?

So Primary Colours are Red, Blue and Yellow. Secondary Colours are Green, Orange and Purple. Tertiary colours are a mix of primary with a secondary so could be Amber (mix of yellow and orange) or Magenta (mix of Purple and Red). You keeping up?

How do I use the wheel?

So here are some options you could consider when using a colour wheel to help design your room scheme.

1. Choose one colour

Choose a colour and then work with that in different shades and tones. Everything should work around your chosen colour. you can also bring neutrals into the mix such as white to break it up. For example, see below how they have used different shades and tones of purple in a room to create a real dramatic effect. This is called monocromatico decor. Try saying that after a few gin and tonics!

Image - Unknown source

2. Choose two colours next to each other on the wheel

If you choose two or more colours that sit side by side on the colour wheel you get harmonious colours. For example, I have done this a lot with pink and red. I love how they look together! I did this recently in my spare bedroom makeover below.

3. Use opposite colours on the colour wheel

These are called complimentary colours. This is a lovely way to mix warm and cool shades together. I’m still experimenting with this. For example, I really love using pink with green, and using different tones to break it up. I did this in my bedroom below. The green I find so calming and I love it alongside the pink (and a bit of neon of course!)

That’s the basics.

Now I’m sure there are other far more sophisticated things you can do with the colour wheel and I’m no interior designer! But hopefully this gives you a flavour of some of the simple basics that might help you if you don’t know where to start.

I haven’t tended to use a colour wheel when making my decor decisions in my home but I do think the colour wheel is a helpful place to start when you are thinking about decorating a room.

Have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment

My main take away from the renovation of my first home is to have fun with colour. Make a little moodboard with different ideas and see how it looks when you put it together. Experiment with the colours you love. I have found the ones you find in your wardrobe are a good indication of where to start. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes, we have all been there, and often it’s only paint after all!

I’m absolutely fascinated about colour and the power it has on how we feel in our homes. I’m out there trying to learn more so I will share any further wisdom with you all as I come across it.

Hope this helps!

Elise xx

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