Here’s how to add colour with confidence…

The big picture

01cae49214efc4b65556f333a3d69cb31. When compiling a colour palette, think about your flooring and other elements. Your floor will influence your colour choice dramatically, and you’ll also need to think about textures and tones of furniture fabrics, curtains and tiles, as well as any artworks.

2. Skirting boards invariably take a beating over time so use an enamel paint for durability. White always looks great but if you are using light colours on the walls, the same colour on the skirting boards is a good option.

3. While the traditional white ceiling is still really popular, there are no hard and fast rules on ceiling colour. However, always use a matt finish. Gloss paint shows any small imperfections and it is almost impossible to get a seamless look with gloss on the ceiling.

4. A good way to unify the different rooms of your house is to use one colour on all the walls. If you can’t resist using different colours – particularly for feature walls –  then make sure they match tonally. It’s best to avoid any clashing colours even if they are in different ends of the house!

Size matters

5. When decorating a small space, consider using lighter colours on both the wall and ceiling to make the room seem bigger.

6. If you have a small room but absolutely love dark colours, it’s possible to have it all without feeling like you’re living in a cave. Paint one wall with a dark colour – for example, the wall at the head of the bed works well in the bedroom – and use a much lighter shade of the same colour on the other walls.

10e77920f620b3d028b8cc47ab99703dBright and light

7. White makes rooms light and airy with a crisp, clean feel. However, whites can be cool or warm, ranging from a yellow tinged cream to a bluish arctic white. If you’re in any doubt, choose pure white. It works as the perfect backdrop to to everything while adding a discreet sense of style. Then, if you change your mind later, it can be easily painted over.

8. Bring the outside indoors by using colour cues from your garden. The green of a hedge, the blue of a pool or the earthy tones of sandstone can be reflected in your colour choices inside. The smooth transition between indoors and outdoors makes for a harmonious feel.

9. Don’t overdo the austerity in an attempt to make a room light and airy. A dramatic artwork, a textured rug or brightly coloured collection of knick-knacks can add personality and warmth to a neutral room.

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