How to use colour around your home
There are more colours out there than many of us can imagine. It makes it a bit intimidating to pick out the right ones to bring into your home, and you might feel like you do not have the décor know-how to make it work. But colour is for everyone, and it’s easier than you might think to introduce it to whichever room you choose.
Whether you’re looking to add a little flavour to make parts of your room pop or are after a complete palette overhaul in your home, read on for plenty of tips to help no matter what you’re looking to change.
The rule of thumb for colour
At every step of this process be sure to consider the 60-30-10 decorating rule – your primary colour should make up 60% of the room, 30% for your secondary colour, and then 10% for your accent colour.
This principle is a great guideline for picking your colours out and divvying them up around your room. For instance, your floors will want to be your primary or secondary colour, as they will take up a good portion of your room, whereas you can save the accent colour for any accessories you want to add in.
Getting the most out of coloured floors
Let’s start from the ground up. If you’re looking at completely redecorating a room then finding a floor to promote your colours of choice should be your first step. Making your floor the primary colour helps to create a nice contrast when paired with your furniture and when using a secondary colour for your walls, especially a neutral tone like grey. In larger rooms you might want to consider a brighter colour for your floor, perhaps as your secondary colour, to help lighten the space.
You’ll find a wide range of colour choices for your floor in carpets, with everything from classic greys to the more vibrant blue used to create the Harbour Home trend. Finding an eye-catching carpet can help you set the mood in a room, whether you want to whip up something bright, colourful, and modern or are looking to set up something cosy and luxurious to enjoy instead. Our Shop by Colour feature can help you narrow your search down to the perfect shade.
Another great option to help colour in your home is sheet vinyl, particularly those with a pattern. The flair of the designs and use of multiple colours effortlessly lends itself to enhancing how your colours are dispersed, seamlessly weaving your palette across your room in a far more natural manner.
An option you may not have realised you have is to paint your floor yourself, which is viable with unfinished engineered wood flooring. You can create all kinds of gorgeous and vibrant patterns this way, making room for truly bespoke uses of colour. Learn more about this in our “How to make your unfinished flooring your own” article.
Making use of feature walls
A great way to add in an accent colour or make your secondary choice more prominent is through a feature wall. Try and pick a wall with no obstructions, such as doors and windows, and then treat it as the focal point of the room. For instance, if you have a feature wall in a bedroom, make it the wall you back your bed on to. You can introduce far wilder and more outlandish colours this way, such as berry pink and flaming orange, without rendering your room cartoonish.
Feature walls are also a great way to balance darker colours in a room that needs light bouncing around it or is overrun with white walls. An earthy tone for a feature wall like sage green would look great in such an instance and would open the door to using it elsewhere in the room, such as with curtains, rugs, and cushions.
Maximise the colour of your furniture
In an ideal world, all the furniture in your room will follow the same colourway, though since you’ll never be able to get your fabrics and wood-effect pieces to match down to a shade you should try playing with their look.
Big wooden pieces of furniture, such as wardrobes, bookcases, and tables, always look sleek in classic browns and modern whites and blacks. You can then create a contrasting look with your sofas, chairs, stools, and bedding to highlight more diverse colours. Perhaps try adding in a multi-toned and patterned piece that’s both conversational and an exquisite pivot for balancing the colours present in your room?
The more DIY inclined might instead try putting these different colours on their wooden furniture by upcycling old pieces. Thanks to the wide range of wood and furniture paints readily available, it’s easy to align the colour scheme of your furniture in any room. You could completely contrast the colour of your walls and flooring using just your furniture with this method, effortlessly enhancing colour without making too big of a change.
Accessorising with your colours
If you’ve redecorated from the ground up, then this is going to be your final step. However, if you’re just trying to give your room a little lift without overhauling every part of it, then accessorising is the simplest and most effective method.
When we talk about accessories, we mean anything from rugs, curtains, and cushions to lampshades, mirrors, and picture frames. These simple additions can make an instant impact on your colour scheme at very little cost. And having this much choice for your accessories, you really have room to play with how you pick your colours out through this medium.
Using fabrics to help a vibrant accent colour pop against dark and neutral tones in walls and furniture is a classic look, but subverting this principle could lead you down a road to something truly original. If you’re looking to layer your accessories on top of existing décor, consider using seasonal colours for items you can easily trade out to stay on top of trends for any season.
Some parting thoughts
Keep in mind the 60-30-10 rule is by no means a mandate, merely a piece of guidance to help budding interior designers create a balance in their work. There’s no reason you cannot add in a fourth colour, work with only two, or expand into different shades of the colours you have picked out.
Also, not every colour is for everyone! The popularity of mustard yellow might go over your head so don’t feel it’s the only accent you can use in a predominantly grey room. Whatever colour you fancy, when used right, can produce phenomenal effects.