Once upon a time, people were limited to the colours which they could generate from nature. Now, with the advent of new technologies, there are literally millions of colours to select from, so it is hardly surprising many people find it difficult to choose a colour scheme for their home which will suit their style and their space.
Follow our seven simple steps below, and you will be sure to create a stunning colour scheme which will make your eyes weep with joy, rather than discomfort!
Just remember, anything goes these days, and as a consequence, everything is a potential source of inspiration. We find looking at what other people have done is always a great starting point when it comes to working on a colour scheme.
We recommend you surf the web or flick through magazines for images containing colour pallets which please your eye. You will find different tones create different moods. The more you have a look around, the more you will be able to distinguish between what you do and do not like and what will suit your style and space best.
We have found inspiration in the strangest of places – old painted fences, vintage fabrics, bouquets of flowers, the hue of the sunset in summer and paintings from old masters, just to name a few.
You can create a quick and free keepsake of your inspiration by taking a snap of what pleases you on your mobile phone or tablet device. So, next time your in your doctor’s surgery and you see a design idea in a magazine you love, take a photo with your phone! This way, the magazine stays whole (an unusual phenomenon in surgeries around the world!), and your inspiration will be convenient to hand when it comes time for you to work your design project.
Some scientific studies have found when giving people more than six choices to choose from compromises their ability to make a decision.
Once you have finished looking around for things you like, get rid of any ideas you do not positively love. There will be enough great inspirations remaining to give you a beautiful colour pallet both you and your guests will enjoy, without the agony of deciding between a plethora of styles and moods.
Once you have narrowed down your colour choices to a manageable number, it is a good idea to identify the colours you have chosen. Knowing your colours will be especially advantageous, for example, when it comes time to order paint.
There are several online applications you can use to match colours, such as Color by Hailpixel, Color Hunter and Adobe Color CC (previously Adobe Kuler).
It is also great to have the colour on hand to look at how it performs in your space. You may find colours which look great on the computer screen do not look quite so nice once you have it in your space, under your light. For example, the ambient light in Australia is entirely different to the ambient light in Switzerland, and as such, colours under each type of light will look and behave differently. The result of this is colours which work in one space may not compliment the other. We think it is always a good practice to have the block colour on hand to see how it performs within your space, before hinging a whole design around it.
Also, you might be surprised by the hue of some of the colours which have attracted you during your research. For example, we find the spring blossoms in Japan to be particularly gorgeous. However, if you were to take that colour scheme, with its browns, ivory whites, pastel pinks and deep-pinks you may be a little surprised about the actual hue of pink in the middle of the blossoms. Seen by itself, this colour can be a little intimidating. But seen in the context of your original inspiration, it may even embolden you to use strong colours, safe in the belief your colour scheme will make these colours pop and your space look absolutely fabulous.
The colour wheel has been around for a long time, principally because it works.
The rule of thumb guideline when it comes to colour wheels is that colours like their neighbours and love their opposites. So, if you find a particular colour you like and you want to know what other colours will match it, look at the colours next to it and opposite it on the wheel and you have a good starting point.
A simple web search will result in any number of colour wheels which you can use to choose a colour scheme which is right for your style and will not fight with itself.
Think of it as keeping your eyes alert, not alarmed. Unless you are going for an intense rainbow look, try to reduce the number of colours in your scheme down to three or four. This avoids getting caught in the trap of monotones and also provides enough interest for your eyes to be engaged.
Good colour schemes use more than colour. Think about textures and shapes which will aid the mood and feel of your space, such as stripes or wallpaper. Such additions to your design scheme will not only highlight your gorgeous colour combinations and stylings, but it will break up colour blocks and create more interest for the eye.
Follow these tips, and you will be sure to find inspiration for the perfect mood to suit your style and space and the tools to select the right colours to create a space which both you and your guests will love.