The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Colour Scheme at Home

Moving on from last week's ultimate guide to mood boards. The next step in the design process is choosing your colour scheme. I am currently doing a lot of research and studying of colour psychology; it determines how the different hues of colour affect human behaviour. Colour definitely has an impact on people's emotions and perceptions, certain colours make people feel calm versus other colours that make them feel energised. This is not the same for every individual. Therefore choosing the right colour scheme for your home is extremely personal and will have an impact on how you live within your home.

There are plenty of ways you can choose a colour scheme for your home that works for you. I personally like to encourage clients to follow the following process. That way they tend to choose a colour scheme not only that they like, but already feels like a comfortable choice they can live with. I will also set out clear instructions of how many colours should be used and how much.

Look in your wardrobe and see what colour dominates your clothes, generally the colours we like to wear make us happy and can work in our homes too. Therefore if you have a black and white wardrobe then you may prefer monochrome interiors. If your wardrobe is colourful then a more vibrant colour pallet should work for you. Grab a couple of pieces of clothing that you love or a blanket or throw that you love the colour of and drape it over your sofa and see what you think, leave it for a few hours and come back to it. If you like the colour and can see how it might work in the space, it is worth exploring those colours for fabric options when buying soft furnishings.

I bought a White Company bed throw a year or so ago, I absolutely loved the colour but the blue hue didn’t go with the cream and beige interior of my home. So when I finally was able to persuade the Mr to decorate, I knew I wanted to use the colour of the throw as inspiration for the lounge.

If you think you have a clear idea of the colour you like, say grey for instance which is a really popular choice at present. Try to pair it with no more than two additional colours in your room, you can vary the grey in tone and hue, but when adding a completely new colour, say royal blue, stick to just three.

Once you have your three colours, I advise you follow the 60, 30, 10 rule. You use 60% of your main colour for interiors such as wall colour, furniture finishes, flooring etc. 30% for your secondary colour for your soft furnishings like your sofa, curtains, cushions and rug and finally your 10% colour for decorative items, woodwork, lighting etc. You can obviously mix the items you use such as your wall colour can be the same as your cushions as long as your sofa is one of your different colours, but try and keep the percentage of use for those colours within the 60, 30, 10 rule.

An example of this process is my lounge. I have used grey, blue and white as my three colours. The 60% colour is grey which I use on the wall, carpet, table hardware, the grain in my fireplace and the metal on my photo frames and decorative items on the shelves. For my secondary colour I use different shades/hues of blue on my sofa, cabinets, art, candles and books etc on the shelf. Finally for my 10% colour I use white, these are pops of colour subtlety woven into my styling items and fireplace.

There you have it the design process for choosing a colour scheme for your home.

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