As I sit down at my desk in my own home to think about COLOUR it must be on one of the coldest days of the year in the UK. With a sudden plunge into Winter many in the country under blankets of snow it is definitely the right week to be writing this!
Colour can be a wonderful tool to warm up your home, cosying up not only the look but also the feel of your space. There is no need to be afraid of it just as there is no need to go crazy with it, as even a small pop of colour can wake up your day and make you smile.
So, how can you use colour to warm up your home this Winter?
Subtle colour –
Using colour is all about using contrast.
Think of the colour orange for instance. If this is set against an inky blue backdrop the orange will intensify because it is such a contrast to what is behind and around it. This is what makes the orange really pop. Now put the orange against other colours of similar depth and the orange will have more balance.
Introducing a contrasting colour behind displays of your favourite things is a great way to introduce a subtle layer of colour. As above, it is just a matter of contrast so use this within your comfort zone if that fits with your home. Painting the back of shelving and / or including the shelves themselves in a darker shade of the same colour really works to provide depth and interest and, not least, makes your favourite things sing.
Layering colour –
We’ve talked about contrast and you can use this in your colour palette by using the same colour in different shades to layer up warmth and subtle colour.
If bold blocks of colour don’t work for you and your home, then introducing large and small patterns against a colour block, or even just introducing some colour within the patterns chosen can completely transform the look of your room.
Texture also comes into play here. Velvets and silks do wonderful things to colour, responding to light levels and deepening or lightening in intensity relatively. Combine colour with texture and you have a double whammy of comfort-factor.
Splashes of colour –
Accessories are perfect for introducing little flashes of colour around your home to make you smile. Make sure you spread the same colour palette throughout your space for a cohesive look.
Up the impact factor by painting the inside of a cupboard in a striking colour for an element of fun, or even the insides of drawers. Placing colour in unexpected places is a great way to embrace your fun side and provides such joy when it’s revealed!
Using blocks of bold colour is a great way to add focus in any room. This doesn’t have to apply only to marking out contrasting ‘blocks’ of colour on a wall (although this is a fabulous way to play with colour). You can also use individual blocks of colour in your room via painting an item of furniture, a whole wall or even the ceiling. You will be amazed by how much of a difference this makes, instantly adding personality to your space.
If you want to be enveloped by colour you can really go for it by painting every surface – walls, skirting, cornice, woodwork and even the ceiling – all in one colour, and by this I mean in the same shade of that colour. This is a clever way of using the surfaces of your room as a starting point from which to add the detail. The play of light on different surfaces will provide any contrast you need, each looking different depending on its plane (think ceiling versus walls for example). It’s also wonderfully cocooning and ups the warmth factor.
Before I go –
I’ll leave you with a few pointers to bear in mind when using colour in your home:
- Remember that colour is all a matter of contrast – clashing bold colours is always going to be a statement, whereas using one bold accent colour in a room in the form of a cushion is a little softer. Go with what you are comfortable with and if you like what you see then dial up the fun factor by introducing more!
- Remember what’s outside the window may affect the colour used inside during the day (for instance an abundance of greenery just outside the window will inform your colour choices).
- Always paint up swatches and order fabric samples to check that you are happy with how everything in your room works together before spending. (I find rolls of lining paper perfect for painting colour swatches).
- When you are looking at small swatches of colour remember to scale that up to suit the use you will make of it. That is, is the colour you are choosing being used for a small scatter cushion or for a pair of curtains? It’s all relative and will have an effect on the attached impact value.
- Remember that light plays a huge part in how you view colour so make sure you see swatches in all lights – daytime, night-time, natural light, electric light.
- Remember that texture makes a difference to colour. Think of how rich a bold colour looks in velvet for example, or how that colour changes when it’s a silk fabric.
Above all, have fun with it!