Choosing Colour

It’s the weekend! Finally, two days of rest.  It’s also an opportunity to post about some of my favourite things; colours and shopping (Sunday’s post).

Choosing colours for your home should not be a quick decision.  You will need to live with this colour palette for quite some time and jumping into a decision too quickly could you leave you with fad tones instead of lasting pantones that won’t need to be changed with the seasons.


Some things to consider when you are selecting your home’s colour palette:

1.        What feel are you going for in your home?  Warm or cool.  Choosing one or the other doesn’t mean that you will be handcuffed to it; however, deciding how you want your room or your home to feel will help guide you to and away from certain colours.

2.       Monochromatic or a hodgepodge of colour? There are advantages to both ends of the spectrum.  A monochromatic room or home does not mean that you have one colour everywhere.  It means that you have chosen a colour and are using all of the tints and shades within that colour family.  It provides a balanced space.  A hodgepodge of colour can be a wonderful way to incorporate your favourite pieces without feeling like they don’t belong.  Warning though, too much colour can at times be overwhelming for others and can easily look dated.

3.       What key pieces will you keep?  We all have those pieces in our home that we feel we just need to make work with our new design plans as getting rid of them is too hard to bare.  Large pieces like couches, dining or kitchen table sets or even late 80’s stained pianos (my case) will often need to be incorporated even if their tones are outside of the look you are going for.  In these instances you have some DIY or professional options:  reupholster that favourite chair, chaise or couch, re stain that dining room table set or better yet for a smaller price, add accents to your table or piano top that incorporate your new colour palette.  Make these accessories big so that your eye is deterred from the unsightly stain to the beautiful pieces on top.

4.       What’s your budget?  This often gets overlooked when people start redoing rooms at a time, but is very important in choosing your initial colours.  If you are set on keeping with the trends, be prepared to be opening your wallet frequently as you will have to change your rooms (wall colour, accents, furniture) on a fairly regular basis.  Have a small budget? Perhaps your colour change will come only in the form of wall colour and accessories as those as more cost-effective changes that can totally change the look of your entire home or even just one room.

5.       Have you considered white?  Everyone is so fearful of white, but it’s crisp, it’s always in style, it can create the illusion of a larger space and allows for some great secondary colours and accents to be incorporated.  Just think about it.

Once you have chosen your colour palette determine your 60-30-10 colours or patterns.  The 60 colour/pattern is your dominant colour, covering 60% of your space.  You 30 colour/pattern is your secondary colour and will cover only 30% of your space.  Finally, your 10 colour/pattern is your accent colour and will cover on 10% of your space.  Your accent colour, as it covers only 10% of your space, is your chance to show off your wild side, by introducing a new pattern and colour all at once.

If you are considering a paint colour change or are renovating a home or are building new, my suggestion to you is to stick with a neutral that can be used in all rooms.  Many of us feel that if our house is painted one colour on the inside we are boring and dull and the house lacks life; however, it is much easier to bring in accents (rugs, art pieces, pillows, lighting) that are full of life than paint room after room to match your décor theme.   I have lived in several homes, new and recently renovated and have always been given the opportunity to paint different colours throughout the home.  I took our home builder up on that offer once and regretted it the moment I moved in.  The brown accent wall we painted up the stairwell was not the colour we had chosen in the showroom or even the colour we had chosen when we took the samples outside.  The stairwell was much darker than initially anticipated and our lighting was creating an interesting effect on the wall.  I was at that point stuck with the wall and I had to make it work.  It ended up changing many of my decisions when it came to furnishing the home, as this wall, this tall brown wall, had such a golden hue to it that my chrome pieces seemed to clash.  We bought new art work for the stairwell, new cushions for the couch, new lamps for the tables, all because of the wall in the tiny stairwell of our 1400 sq foot starter home!  From that moment forward I vowed, the only rooms I would paint a different colour would be our childrens’ bedrooms (if we had any, and we did, and yes it’s painted pale blue). Be cautious of too many colours and accent walls.

So..go, and be creative,.  If you’re a colour virgin, choose crazy patterns and colours for small items like pillows, if you’re a lover of colour maybe now it’s time to tone it down a bit.  Whatever you choose, make sure you feel comfortable in your home, as this is really what a home is about, feeling good.



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