Interior Stylist and Editor of The Life Creative, Chris Carroll, teaches us how to use colour to take a space from drab to fab!
Colour is undoubtably the easiest way to add interest to your home. You can make a room feel lively, soothing, warm, cold, moody and more - all depending on the colours you choose to use in it. And yet, so many of us are wary of splashing bold shades around our humble abodes.
Below I’m going to share some tips when it comes to putting colour into a room. And how different tones can dramatically effect the vibe of a space.
Warm versus Cool Colours
When decorating a room, one of the first things you need to think about is how you want it to feel.
If you want your room to feel warm, cosy and enveloping, use warm colours in the space like orange, yellow, pink and red (seen here in this stunning Misaki set). But if you’re after something clean, crisp, cool and fresh, you want to gravitate toward colder tones like blues, greens and purples.
Of course, the more colour you use, the stronger the room will feel. If you don’t want to go too hard too soon, use a neutral base (of beiges, whites, browns or greys) and then drizzle smaller colour moments over the top, to see how the tones will play in your space.
Turning Down the Tone
Introducing colour on a small scale is a wise idea if you’re a bit risk-averse and only want to dip your toe in the water.
In this instance, it’s sensible to bring in colourful accessories like cushions and throws and place them atop your neutral bed or sofa.
The best way to keep the overall look calm is to think about the tone of the colour you bring in.
Turning down the tone of a colour is a great way to add interest without it feeling overbearing.
If you consider yourself more colour confident and want to get a bit daring, a punchy moment in an otherwise calm space is a smart move.
If you have a black and white bedroom or living room, for example, why not bring in a sunny yellow? The vibrancy in a sunny Berkeley cushion will pop dramatically against a subdued backdrop, making the space feel bright and visually stimulating.
A room shouldn’t have more than one or two focal points, though, so use colour as the wow moment and ensure you only display it in a few areas in the space.
Contrary to popular belief, ‘monochrome’ does not mean black and white. It means the exploration of the different tones of one particular colour.
A monochromatic blue room (like the one above) would range in colour from sky blue, to turquoise, to royal blue, to indigo, and right through to navy. It’s an incredibly calming approach to colour and makes a room feel interesting but still soothing.
Of course, monochrome rooms are often splashed with neutral colours, like white through greys and then to black, which is why many people think ‘monochromatic’ means black and white.
Truth be told, you can use a monochromatic approach in a room using any colourway you like. Just keep in mind that it will feel cooler or warmer depending on the shades you choose to explore.
One of the best ways to create a space that ticks all the boxes when it comes to colour is to consider balance and contrast. This means using both warm and cool colours in the one room.
You might want to mix pink (warm) with blue (cool) against a white or beige base, or a deep purple (cool) with zesty yellow (warm) for a look that’s equally impressive.
The best way to make this work is to choose contrasting colours in different tones. For example, if you’re going to use a blue, opt for a deep indigo. Then, pair it with a lighter pink tone like a gorgeous blush. This will make the space have more depth and balance than if you chose both a dark pink and a dark blue.
It’s all about Experimenting
Colour theory is a huge topic to cover (I could go on and on about it for days), but hopefully this has given you some pointers on how to best approach introducing colour at home.
It’s all about experimenting anyway, and fortune favours the brave. So don’t be afraid to grab some bold hue and have a play with it yourself at home!