The dos and don’ts of decorating with colour

Colour is a key element of interior design – and it’s an exciting tool that brings your home to life. But it pays to follow some simple rules.

Colour is a key element of interior design – and it's an exciting tool that brings your home to life. But it pays to follow some simple rules.

Colour is the single unifying factor throughout our homes – after all, you'll find colour in every room. By mastering the basics of decorating with colour you'll have a home with flair and a special character that reflects your personality.

The must-dos

Select a neutral base colour– this is the tone that will appear on the majority of walls within your home. Lighter tones create a sense of light, space and flow, and sticking to a base palette of off-whites, creams or beiges makes it easy to give your home a seasonal makeover by switching the colours used in accessories like cushions, throw or rugs.

As an additional tip, skip straight whites on interior walls. White is great for hospitals but way too clinical for homes.Don't forget to keep a record of the base shade of paint used. This makes it a lot easier to touch up walls in high traffic areas further down the track.

Add contrast – different colour elements create a splash of vibrance to each room. A completely beige living area for instance is dull and bland. Add energy and interest with accessories in bold blacks, dark greys, and even shiny whites or metallics.

Be adventurous with small items – Love bright greens or brilliant yellows? Strong colours can be overwhelming in large quantities so aim to add these ‘shock' shades to your home in small, easily replaced items like vases, rugs, lamps or artworks. It's far easier to replace one or two brightly coloured accessories than to repaint an entire room.

The definite don'ts

Skip the urge to paint each room a distinctly different colour – your home could end up feeling like a colour wheel. To create a different character in each room try adding a feature wall of bold colour, or use trimmings like curtains and drapes to change the mood of each room.

Don't be a slave to fashion - tones of orange may be in vogue for winter but committing in a big way to this season's trendy colour scheme can quickly date your home. That may not be a problem when it comes to a few scatter cushions but it's a more costly issue when it comes to your bathroom tiles or kitchen splashback. Follow your personal style rather than the latest here-today-gone-tomorrow fad.

The non-negotiable

Enjoy taking the time to find the colour palette that is right for you and your home. It's an evolution that can be highly rewarding.

When the overall colour scheme is in place, match it with accessories that have meaning – a wonderful vase you found on holidays, or the quirky artwork you picked up at a local market. These are the personal touches that make your home uniquely yours.

Posted in: Lifestyle