Tips For Choosing Paint Colours For Your Walls

With an almost infinite variety on offer, it can be tricky to know where to begin when picking paint colours for your home. Here are some tips on how to narrow down your choices.

Consider Furniture And Flooring Within The Room

The wall colours form the backdrop for other items within the room, the curtains, furniture and other pieces. So when selecting paint hues, take a holistic view and devise an overall palette. If the room is already furnished, consider the existing tones. On the other hand, if you're painting an empty room or replacing the objects within, you'll have the freedom to create a brand-new colour scheme. 

Turn To A Colour Wheel

A colour wheel depicts all available hues and their relationships. It provides an ideal chart of what you have to choose from, all in the one picture. Complementary colours are opposite each other on the diagram: blue and orange, for instance, or red and green. Remember that each hue comes in tints and shades. You could combine bright red and vivid green for a funky effect, but you could also harmonise a washed terracotta with a soft green.

Analogous colours are adjacent along one side of the colour wheel: blue, blue-green and green, for example. On the hot side of the wheel, orange, yellow-orange and yellow form another analogic palette. Rather than mixing hues, you could decorate your room using a monochromatic scheme, which means you would harmonise various shades of one hue, such as different shades of tan.

Think Proportions

Once you've chosen the colour scheme, how do you incorporate it into the room and pick the wall colour? One approach is to think in terms of proportion; some designers think in terms of percentages of 60, 30 and 10. Select one colour to cover about 60 per cent of the room — this colour might encompass the walls, ceiling and large furniture items, such as a sofa. As this hue forms the background, it typically might be the lightest or neutral shade, ideal for walls. The flooring and curtains could make up another 30 per cent, using mid-toned hues. The remaining 10 per cent could embrace accent pieces, such as cushions, and provide the opportunity for a vibrant or compelling colour. In practical terms, imagine a room with soft yellow walls and muted sea-blue carpet with coral cushions and wall art.

Don't Forget About Lighting

It's always a good idea to paint some sample strips within the room to see how the hues appear in various lighting conditions. Bright sunlight, for example, can wash out colours, taking the warmth out of your creamy yellow walls. Conversely, dim light can impart an overall grey tinge to colours, especially if they're not particularly vibrant. You could always paint a board or other item in your favoured shades, and move it around the room at various times of the day. Interior painting services can offer more ideas on the best colours for your home.