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Get it Right, Without Just Painting It White

24 Aug 2022
Everyone has their favourite colour preferences, some prefer the bright and colourful, while others prefer the neutrals. However, when it comes to decorating your home, choosing the right paint colours can have a significant impact on creating a cohesive environment. That's why we've gathered the top tips from the pros on creating a cohesive flow colour through the home, without have to just paint your space with white.
We reached out to Assistant Colour Manager at Haymes Paint, Erin Hearns, and Director and Designer at Native Swinson, Kate Swinson, as well as Designer here at The Designory, Harriet Isaac-Cole, to get their professional take on use colours in the home. 
Read on below to find out what they said.

What’s the simplest way to create a cohesive paint colour scheme in the home?

Erin Hearns: It’s all about creating a balance of colours that all complement each other while looking interesting and inviting. After you decide on your base colour, whether it be in the warmer undertones (anything with yellow or red) or the cooler hues (blue & green undertones), stick with either your warm or cool palette to then create the rest of your scheme. Textural effects can also be added in similar undertones to create a soft contrast that isn’t jarring.

One simple way to select a cohesive paint colour scheme in your home is to choose one colour and use different variations of tints, tones & shades. (Also known as a monochromatic colour scheme). Another simple colour scheme for a cohesive look can be created using the traditional colour wheel and choosing colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel (also known as an analogous colour scheme) Ex. Blues, teal & greens work very harmoniously together as well as nudes, peach & pink tones.

An example of using blue and green variants for a cohesive and harmonious scheme. Photo by Haymes Paint | Wall colours : Haymes Leek Leaf (green), Haymes Whitewash 1 (white wall)

How do you increase the likelihood that the colour scheme flows from room to room?

Erin Hearns: Think about the floorplan and what rooms you can see into from the one area. Ex. Standing at the front door looking down a hall, what rooms can you see into from the one spot? You will need to consider how these spaces will flow and connect together for a consistent look rather than a clashing or contrasting blend.

This is where using the variations of one colour or a colour group work perfectly together. Head into your nearest Haymes paint stockist or website to view the range of colours on the colour wall or fan deck. This can make decision making easier as they already have colours that are assembled together in varying strengths.

An example of using tonal variations of the one colour. A soft warm white with pink undertones then deeper tones of pinks and terracotta. Photo by Haymes Paint | Wall colour Haymes Artisan Matte Polish in Colour: Pink Drift

What are your top tips when adding colour to a home?

Kate Swinson: For the home, I gravitate towards colours that have a timeless earthiness, these colours tend to naturally fall in step with one another. I enjoy the odd metallic golden Bee, and I see these metallics also as colours from nature. Bringing colour into the home with wallpaper also adds depth and character to a home. Colour can be subtly introduced to a room by keeping it to the line work of a wallpaper design. A lovely chalky white background combined with a detailed foreground of gorgeous accents of colour will irresistibly pull you into a space. Wallpaper is a beautiful visual guide to lead you between spaces, transforming an in-between space into a place of interaction.

Photo by Katie Fergus

Which rooms in a home do you usually suggest adding your coloured wallpapers?

Kate Swinson: Wallpaper colour and pattern, in particular, can tell a connecting story from room to room, a story of the inhabitants of the house. For example, placing my Teeny, tiny native birds in biro blue wallpaper on the ceiling of the master bedroom, combined with hanging the Treehouse mural and more Teeny, tiny birds in Biro blue throughout the walls of the children’s bedrooms allows the whole family to share the story of the wallpaper and ultimately the memory of that story. It is beautiful, the concept of children rumbling into the master bedroom in the morning for a cuddle and looking up to see the blue birds and feeling that connection with their own bedroom, there is a lovely comfort in that. I often have clients who wish to join the outside with the inside by using my Banksia and Shady tree wallpapers indoors.  This can be bold with green leaves or subtle using a white on grey colourway.
What is your favourite colour combo as a Designer?

Harriet Isaac-Cole: I love keeping the backdrop to your home a neutral colour as it lets the pieces be the hero of the room. It also gives you the flexibility to change your space over time without a high expense. I am forever changing the look and feel of my own home, so I find this very valuable. My go to materials to add depth to the space are natural timbers and leather, both adding a beautiful texture and tone to the space.

Do you think there are certain colours that should be used in specific rooms in a home?

Kate Swinson: I feel a living room needs colours that entice you to throw yourself on the couch, I want to feel like I’m lying down onto soft grass. A Moorish palette is perfect for the upholstery of the couch and accompanying soft furnishings. For example, a brown cotton linen blend with my golden bees would be perfect, or a gorgeous blue fabric screen printed with contemporary grey leaves.

Children’s bed rooms and play rooms are crying out for colour! Not loud and brash, but rather the colour of outdoor play such as blues, greens, and golds. These are colours that will grow with your child, sophisticated but oh so friendly.

Photo by Haymes Paint

What’s the best way to tie rooms together with accent colours?

Erin Hearns: If you are wanting to create an impact or accent in your colour scheme, you can use the deepest version or a saturated version of your base colour. Ex. if the main colour is a soft blue grey, you might select a mid-denim blue, cobalt blue or a navy blue as options for different accents. For more of an impact, a contrasting colour to the main colour is best. One simple way to choose a contrast colour is choosing colours that are opposite of each other on the colour wheel. This creates a dramatic look that is also going to be pleasing with the rest of the scheme.

 What are the best rooms to choose for a more edgy/wild colour in the home?

Erin Hearns: We are becoming more adventurous with using colour on a broad scale in our homes now and they aren’t too limited to any one space. I find clients using colour in edgier and wild ways in many rooms, some of my favourite spaces to get creative are entry hallways where you can style a great statement when entering the home. Dining rooms can look really elegant and make an interesting diner party space when painted in rich, deep hues for an intimate feel. And I always find warm clays, browns and sages a beautiful palette in bedrooms for a cosy and calm effect away from the busyness of the rest of the home.

 In need of more inspiration? See our Pinterest Board dedicated to colour palettes.

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