The Key to Colour

As featured in The Evening Post - Interiors Column

January, 2012

When we renovate our homes, the first thing we usually consider is our colour scheme, and with good reason! We all have favourite colours that we would love to surround ourselves with but I always urge my clients to spend time considering the colours that will work best in your home. A beautiful scheme is all about achieving a sense of balance and colour can be integral to this.

It's worth remembering, however, that the most beautiful design schemes don't just rely on colour to create an atmospheric and attractive room, but also make the most of materials and textures. Colour has a huge impact on the feel of a space and I have seen many a lovely room made to feel crowded by too dark shades or empty and expansive as a result of cold hues.

With this in mind, take into consideration the size and amount of natural light in your room, during the planning phase. It's important to be realistic about your space in order to maximise its potential. If you have a larger room with plenty of natural light you can afford to make bold colour choices and rich, deep shades such as reds or opulent purples will help to make the space feel cosy. In compact areas that are otherwise dark, opt for crisp, clean shades such as light blues or cool greens to help the space feel larger. If using paint a great tip is to use glossy types to reflect light around the room. Matt paints will absorb light which is useful for creating a snug feel.


For the brave, introducing colour through decorative pieces such as a feature wall covered in boldly printed wallpaper is a fantastic way to create a statement. It's easy to get this look wrong, though, so I recommend creating a mood board prior to decorating. This is really simple and great as a guide for what will work together and what won't. Simply combine samples of fabrics, wallpapers and paints that you think you'd like to use but remember that it's really important to ensure that the materials you choose are of the same proportion as they will be in the room. For example, ensure you match a large sample of wallpaper with a small piece of furniture fabric to get an idea of the final look.

Another less daunting way of introducing colour into your home is through a single colour scheme. Though this may sound boring, it's anything but! Using different tones of the same colour and varying the textures used can create depth. The bathroom is a great place to experiment, try teaming mosaic tiles in varying shades of blue with a rich turquoise or aqua paint to complement the look. The use of different materials keeps things modern whilst the tonal disparity is appealing and fresh.

The Key to Colour