home Decor & Design Interior Design Tips – A Basic Guide to Using Colour Successfully

Interior Design Tips – A Basic Guide to Using Colour Successfully

Choosing a colour scheme successfully can be hard. No longer is it a simple task of choosing between colour samples, instead we have to consider fabric texture, fixtures, fittings and whether or not to paint your internal doors a matching or contrasting colour. Simple decisions can make a big difference to the outcome of your room. The tips work well whether you are updating your home to give it a freshness or staging your house ready to sell.

Interior Design Tips

Colour basics

Let’s start off with the basics of colour. We have our primary colours: red, blue and yellow and when mixed together they become orange, green and violet, also known as the secondary colours. All these can be seen on a colour wheel which also includes six transitional colours made by mixing a primary colour with a secondary.

Using a colour wheel

Looking at a colour wheel is the best way to see which colours go together and the others that don’t. Colours that appear opposite each other in a colour wheel generally complement each other e.g. red and green, yellow and purple or blue and orange. However, the range of shades and tints of these colours means you can have an even wider range of different combinations from baby pinks and light greens to light blue and wooden browns.

On the other hand, if these colour arrangements seem a bit too predictable, there are many other combinations you can experiment with to suit your taste. One example of another colour scheme you could try is known as an ‘adjacent colour scheme’, where you use the neighbouring colours along the colouring wheel, e.g. red, red/purple.

These different colours have an amazing way of transforming your room, but it is important that the colours you’ve chosen compliment the style of the room.

Tricks of the trade

This is where your fittings and furniture need to be considered. If your room has a low ceiling for instance, and you want to give the effect of it being higher, choosing a cooler colour will give the illusion of space. Warm colours like red, orange or yellow will make the ceiling look lower, making a tall ceiling feel cosy and intimate.

Try to avoid having warm colours on both the ceiling and floor unless for very large rooms as this can become stifling, a dark carpet or floor would look much more balanced with a light coloured ceiling. Wooden floors are the most adaptable to any colour scheme as wood gives a neutral appearance and at the same time helps the floor space appear larger.

Other important fixtures to consider in your room are your doors. Small internal doors are best painted light colours in order for them to open up the room, preventing it from feeling too closed in.

Depending on the type of wood, leaving these doors unpainted can have the same effect; oak internal doors are naturally light in colour and so allow the room to still feel airy without the need to paint over them.

Fixtures and fittings

Remember that dark colours do the reverse and pull the fixtures towards you, so it is best to save those darker shades for larger doors.

Choosing a colour scheme definitely isn’t easy, but with enough experimenting and know-how at least the experience can be more enjoyable and a lot more successful.