As the sun starts to make more of an appearance and the days get brighter, you may be looking for ways to make your home brighter too. Spring is the perfect time to inject style and colour into your home, and a new bright palette will keep your décor looking cheerful all through summer. Colours are also a great way to influence the mood of your home in general, and each room specifically. Combining a great colour scheme with clever accessories such as rugs can create interesting focal points. With a little colour psychology and some stylish design tips, you can create fun and vibrant entertaining spaces or calm and soothing retreats.
General colour tips
Using colour in your home can be a daunting prospect. The wrong tones can seem harsh and irritating, and colours that aren’t paired properly are likely to clash. The trick to injecting colour into your home is to use neutral tones that both highlight and soothe brighter shades. This balance of colour will allow you to safely use even the most vibrant of colours to create a unique and contemporary space.
When it comes to mixing colours it’s always important to understand the design basics. This means the various colour harmonies that all interior designers use when creating a truly stylish room. If you’re not sure what the different colour harmonies entail, here’s a quick rundown. Use with a colour wheel to find your perfect colour scheme.
This colour scheme simply uses one colour but in various tones or shades, and usually requires a lot of texture and pattern to avoid the space looking bland.
Colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel are considered complementary. This colour scheme produces bold and vibrant colourings, and can therefore be a bit tricky to manage. Use in small doses with a neutral colour palette to help highlight accessories and features in your room, and make sure one colour is more dominant than the other.
Analogous or harmonious
The analogous colour scheme is also known simply as the harmonious colour scheme. This colour scheme uses three colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. These colour schemes are often found naturally, for example, the red, orange and yellow of a sunset. As they are closely related and naturally occurring, this is a safe colour scheme to use and can create soothing and relaxing spaces.
This colour scheme uses three colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. Letting one colour dominate ensures this colour scheme stays balanced and harmonious while still being vibrant. Using three colours in this way is a good start to introducing colour into your home.
This colour scheme uses one base colour with two complementary colours from the opposite side of the wheel. This produces a colour scheme even more harmonious than the triad colour theme as it is easy to balance with one main colour. This makes this theme perfect for beginners or those more nervous of using colour but still keen to use a bold colour scheme.
Rectangle and square
Both colour schemes use four instead of three colours. The rectangle uses two pairs of complementary colours, while the square simply uses four colours evenly spaced on the wheel. Both are trickier to pull off and should use one main dominant colour. You’ll also need to watch out for the balance between warm and cool tones.
Invite the right colour into your home
As well as your own personal taste, you should also think carefully about each individual room when it comes time to picking your colour schemes. While some rooms in your house are strictly for relaxing, such as your bedroom or bathroom, others are almost exclusively for entertaining and socialising. As colours can have a huge impact on our moods and feelings, it’s important to pick colours carefully to suit the mood you want to create in each room.
Of all the colours red has two very distinctive associations – anger and passion. Used incorrectly red can be a harsh and aggressive colour. Balanced with other colours and a soothing décor red can make a great statement colour, but always be wary when using red as the main colour in any of the trickier colour schemes.
Red can actually help to stimulate appetite as it enhances metabolism and has passionate and energising associations. Studies have even shown red can increase respiration rate. This makes red a good stimulant for parties and entertaining spaces. We recommend using it in the dining room as the main colour while using other neutral colours to help soothe any negative energy. Avoid using the bedroom though, as this colour will seem too aggressive for such a peaceful space.
This bold colour is combined of both red and yellow, giving more energy to the positive associations of yellow. Orange can also help to stimulate appetite like red but is more fun and social. This makes orange an enthusiastic and optimistic colour. Take advantage of the cheerful positive energy of orange and use in the dining room or kitchen.
Different shades of orange can also have very different meanings; while bolder shades work well as accents in the kitchen, darker shades may work best in the living room. Pair with brown for a retro 70s look or go bold and contemporary by pairing with turquoise. Avoid using in the bathroom or bedroom where you want to just unwind and relax; use in the living area if you socialise and entertain a lot.
Yellow is an energising and vibrant colour that can help introduce some happiness and colour into your home, making it suitable for living areas and kitchens. It can also be warm and welcoming, perfect for hallways where you may greet guests. With that being said, you should use yellow sparingly as too much can be overwhelming. Cushions can be a good option to help inject some subtle flashes of yellow. You also need to use the right shade of yellow for you as the wrong shades can be irritating and cause anxiety.
Avoid using in the bedroom as yellow is a psychological primary colour and has a strong impact on emotion. Waking up to this colour every day over time will eventually make you irritable and annoyed. You’ll find yellow in all sorts of trendy colour schemes, paired stylishly with white or grey. For a bolder colour scheme, you can also pair with purple, as its psychological properties can help tone down a room with too much yellow.
Green symbolises growth and invokes calming natural emotions to help invite both nature and colour into your home. It often symbolises health and wellbeing, and can be both calming and energising. As with all colours, the shade is important as harsh or overly bright tones can have more negative connotations. For green, stick to calmer raw shades that you would see in nature or soothing pastel tones. Harsh bright greens can have a slimy feel and are more likely to bring negative energies into the home.
Green is a great organic colour and as such works well in pretty much any room. We recommend creating a little slice of spring in your living room or bedroom with a green feature wall, soft green bed linen and plenty of accessories. As a colour scheme, yellow is always a great complementary colour. Finish up with plenty of indoor foliage for a balanced and invigorating décor.
Blue is a calming and tranquil colour and is like green in that we consider it a natural everyday colour seen in both the sky and sea. As with orange, various shades of blue can invoke different moods and feelings. Lighter sky blues are both creative and calming, perfect for peaceful meditative spaces. Alternatively, darker blues have been shown to help with creativity and productivity and are associated with intelligence.
Blue, therefore, makes a perfect colour for the bedroom in almost any shade but especially in lighter and brighter tones. Darker blues, on the other hand, work best in office spaces or more serious, studious areas of your home. Most people also feature blue in their bathroom and bath linen to reflect the relaxing tranquillity of the space. Avoid using blue in the dining area as it can repress appetite and might be a bit too soothing for these social areas.
Be a little bit extravagant and incorporate purple into your design. Purple has long symbolised royalty and combines the passion of red with the stability of blue. The result is a colour that represents nobility, power, luxury and ambition. Purple also symbolises creativity, wisdom and magic. Because of this diversity purple works well in most rooms of the house and makes a great complementary colour to brighten up more calm colour schemes.
Purple can have calming effects while also being uplifting and stimulating creativity. We recommend using purple in the living area or even the bedroom, especially in conjunction with various blue shades. As with any colour try not to go overboard. Instead, use the colour to highlight certain accessories and features in the room. For example, you could use a stylish purple rug to complement a feature wall. This way you can safely and stylishly invite this majestic colour into your home.
Inject some colour into your home
If you can’t wait to get started on brightening up your home with some bold colours, take a look at our home furnishings. Cushion covers and rugs are a simple and affordable way of adding some additional colour to your decor without all the fuss of painting walls.