Playing with colour is one of the main building blocks of my approach to design. Painting a wall, or an entire room, is one of the quickest ways to bring in an element of change and freshness to a particular space. It’s often one of the fundamental elements upon which we can play with other accents, contrasts and splashes of colour – whether by throwing in new curtains or curios, finding rich tapestries, exploring finishes or other accents.
Colour plays an important role in bringing out the energy and life in a space. Whether bright and lively, or muted and sober, every colour carries a specific energy and can affect the space accordingly. Colours bring in a sense of space and mood and evoke reactions in all of us. Wherever we go, we are constantly interacting with, reacting and responding to colour. Within our own spaces, colour is an extension of our personalities. Warm colours, for example, exude an inherent bold brightness that is known to immediately fire up the energy. They are mainly used when the room demands a spark of colour that makes a statement. Cooler colours on the other hand are chosen when the room needs a mellow or a gentler energy. They’re my choice when I want to balance out the colours in a space, or bring the entire effect of a space down a couple of notches. Both have their place, purpose and pros. And let’s not forget the entire spectrum of colours in between that each play a different role, whether at home or at work.
Here are my top tips for working with colour:
Work with base colours
- Choosing a pastelor lighter colour in the palette as your base is a good idea. This gives you a lot more room for play and will open out a wider range of other colours to use as accents. Light doesn’t necessarily mean white or beige. You can venture into the very light yellows, greens, greys, blues or browns too. Within a colour, find a lighter hue that can act as a good base and work up from there. When in doubt, consult a professional!
- Aside from accent walls in contrasting or bright colours, you can also add splashes of colour through small items and artefacts around the room. These, when in stand-out colours, glossy-finishes or deeper textures can add tremendous colour to any room.Plants – green or otherwise – are a great way to throw in an element of colour into a room. Find a suitable space, remember to keep taking the plants out for fresh air and sunlight and they make a delightful lively addition to your room.
Working with dark colours
- Dark, brooding colours can also add life and make a statement to a room. However, they do tend to have the optical effect of making a room look dark and smaller than it is. The thing with dark colours is that they tend to cut the sense ofdepth in any room. So, remember this when you’re choosing a darker hue. Also, avoid using them on full walls to tone down the heaviness. Use them instead in patches, textures, stripes or other creative renditions to bring in the colour minus the weight. Alternatively, you can throw in darker hues by way of curtains, highlights and counter its effect with the right use of light.
Working with bright colours
- First rule, always start small. When it comes to a bright colour, a small splash is a good beginning. If you’re considering painting an entire wall, start with a test patch to get a sense of it. If you’re choosing bright tapestry, linen or curtains, offset them wisely with contrasting colours. Too many bright colours all at once can be overpowering, can create a sense of clutter and ruin the effect you may be going for. Bright colours are great when used well and with thought.
Don’t get stuck with the matchy-matchy game
- One of the easiest ways to break the monotony in a room is to ditch the effort to make everything match. Be adventurous and play with colour. If your sofa is dark, for example, go light around it – explore lighter curtains, cushions and bring in contrasting colours in corners. If the predominant colour is a bright set of curtains for example, contrast it with a rug, bring in a subtle element of sameness in another piece of decor. Don’t be afraid to explore the entire colour palette.
Lighting can change the room
- Remember to pay attention to lighting as it can completely change the way a room looks. The difference can be like day and night, as they say. The brightest, boldest colours look very different in day light, from the way they do under a yellow lamp or an LED bulb. Make sure you’ve considered the lighting in your room and used colours accordingly.
The great thing about working with a professional is that we will keep all of these factors in mind, while giving you the best options to suit your style, personality and need. So whether you want to go dark or bold, we advise you and work with you to choose the right palette, and then bring out the best use from that set of hues. So you can rest assured that the results will be aesthetically beautiful and also optically balanced.