Colour combinationsWhat goes where, and for that matter, why?
Many of us struggle to pick a colour or combine colours. To find the right colour for a space or a piece of furniture.
We know what colours we like and we often just lack the confidence in our selves when it comes to pick the mood and emotion that colours will bring to us every day. In our uncertainty and lack of confidence, we often go for what “they say” or an off-white. Sometimes we ask or hire a designer to pick our colours. These are all practical solutions to a problem we really do not have. Colours are personal and colours are a reflection of ourselves and the mood we want to portray.
There are a few simple things that can make picking colours easy and really quite fun.
Light and light sources.
Probably the biggest impact on colours, especially light colours that is often the ones used for homes. A light blue can turn light green due to the lights in a home while in the store or in an office it will often be a bit sharper blue. This is all to do with light. In homes we often have a softer yellow and warmer light as opposed to office and business premises where we almost always have a sharp cold blue light, fluorescent tubes are typically always sharper and bluer than the lightbulbs we use at home.
Daylight can have many different tones depending on time of day and what weather we have. Overcast often give a solid white neutral light while a sunny day can bleach almost all light colours to a white. Dawn and dusk often throw a larger selection of lights in our homes all from purple to yellow.
To test your colour in your home bring a swatch home and look at it in different lights different times of day and different occasions.
Other items of colour
Other colours will impact the newly introduced colour. If you have a big bright red sofa and you pick a grown-up pink for the walls it will most likely look grey white when you see the wall and the sofa, while other parts of the room when you do not see the sofa it will be a pink colour. So, before you decide the colour think what other colours will be in the room. Also, other materials such as wood. If you have grey white wood or a deep dark red the colours you introduce will appear different.
Think of what colours and material that will work with your new colour. The simplest way is to bring some paint swatches and see how it all works together.
Time and fashion
Think of how you want your newly painted area to interact with your life. Is it a backdrop to highlight your other items in your home or is it a statement? If you pick a sharp and “in fashion” colour, will you be happy with it in years to come? Do you want the painted area to stand out?
To make it easier you can combine the effect of colours. If you like to make a statement by using a sharp colour or an effect colour it can be something for a hallway as you enter your place. Or a wall to create that extra effect. Paint the wall behind the bed to make a statement.
Divide your living space by painting the hallway in a sharp offsetting colour. You have your living space and your bedrooms separated. Use a sharp deep red or a deep velvety blue. Both these colours will create interest and be superb back drops to family photos you have on the wall.
Hallways are often sparsely furnished and therefore quite easy to repaint. Being brave in an area that is quite easy to change is not a big risk and it is something that with a minimum of disruptions can be changed. Make sure you use a safe paint that is free from toxins and smell then you can use it while you are at home.
First and absolutely a fact. If you like a colour combination then it is the right one for you. The notion that some designer trying to tell us that you can not combine certain colours with each other is to be ignored. Yes, there are rules that are all manmade and based on explanations that is all true for the person that said it. That does not make it true for everyone. So, combine and have fun with colours. It is after all you that will see them the most.
You might want to create different settings and there are colour combinations that works better than others.
If you are looking for a warm and energetic space use bright oranges and yellows. Be careful not to over use them as they are powerful and can easily take over. There are many new colours that are in fact quite old but stating a comeback. Yellow soft tones. We got several such as Honolulu, Pyramid and Barley. All great yellows that will create an energetic but still noble space. It was a commonly used colour range in large estates all over Europe for centuries. Combined with white trims and white ceilings it is refined and relaxing.
If you want to create a beach or a costal home. Light blues and soft greys with sprinkle of white will be a great combination. It is also a good combination to create a cool and relaxed place. On a hot summer day, it will feel refreshing to go into a Polar blue, London sky and Dolomite room.
Think gelato and 60ies movies in Technicolor. A pink, a brown and a pistachio. There are many different tones that works but I like the softer combination. Pink pearl, Brown suede and Sophie’s choice. Create your own gelato space.
Then we have the greys they are always right and comes in such an abundance of tones and can be pretty much combined with everything. A dark grey bedroom with some earthy wood furniture will create a relaxing and embracing space to fall a sleep in, of just laydown reading a book. Lava or White black are two colours but there is way too many to narrow it down.
The hardest colour is white. White is white all the way until you need to pick it! We have hundreds of whites, they come in all tones and strengths. When picking whites my recommendation is always start with removing the ones you do not like. Tones like purple or perhaps yellow is not your thing then remove them from consideration. Narrow it down that way and then it will be an easier decision.