Colour tips and secrets

The question I get asked more than any other in almost 3 decades of designing homes is..”Ronnie , how do I choose the colours for my space” most people love colour and want a home with more than just builder beige walls, but are scared to commit to their favorite hues in fear of making a mistake. Here are a few of my most trusted guidelines or tips for bringing the beauty of colour to your space…

1. Look at your home as a whole..rather than focusing on a room at a time. Colour should have a flow that allows rooms to have individual personality but still keeps the spaces connected to each other.

2. When considering where to start in building your colour palette, choose a key inspiration to work from, a key inspiration is something fixed or permanent that will remain no matter what, this could be anything from the view outside your window, to a stone fireplace, Aunt Martha’s, sofa you inherited or a fabulous piece of art you just love…whatever it may be it can be the key to your colour starting point.

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3. Choose a grounding colour. For most this is usually the most neutral in their colour palette, make sure this colour appears somewhere in every room, for some rooms it may be on walls, in others it could be furniture or floors, in others just accent pieces. This is the start for creating the flow or connection of the spaces to each other I mentioned in the first point.

4. Consider the mood you wish to create in the room before selecting your colours, colour effects our physical and mental state, soft greens and blues create a sense of calm and well being, while reds and oranges can fire us up, yellow creates a sense of cheer and happy. For example, blue and green may be a better choice for bedrooms to induce calm and restful feelings for sleep, rather than red which increases heart rate and gets us going…

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5. Consider size…when it comes to colour…yes size matters….small spaces can still be swathed in rich deep hues, contrary to popular belief, how dark a colour is , does not affect how large or small a space feels, but rather the temperature of colour..is the colour warm or cool? Red, yellow and orange families of colour are warm and draw surfaces closer, while blue, green and violet families of colour move away making rooms or spaces appear larger, for instance…a small bedroom painted Navy blue, will appear larger than if you paint the same room red.

6. Black, white and shades of gray…when you add black or white elements to your colour scheme, whether on mouldings, walls or in other areas such as art frames, shelving etc, you enhance the other colours in your space..or making what designers term…”the colours pop” conversely, adding gray will subdue or tone down other colours in the same space. Try this out and see for yourself the effect…choose a colour chip from the paint store and lay it on top of a white sheet of paper, then on subsequent, white and gray sheets..you will be amazed at how the colour chip will change, use white and gray as freely as you wish in your space but be careful of black..in a small dose it creates sophistication and drama, when over used it can ruin your look, when you wish to use a lot of black…you might want to seek some professional colour advice first… it’s tricky, so…LOL..don’t try this at home folks..

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Colour enriches our lives, has an effect on our mood and sense of well being as well as brings our individual taste and personalities to life. The world outside our windows is not all black and white or better yet,,shades of beige..so why should the inside world of our homes be? if you want to find out more about how to bring colour to your home, have some fun and maybe win a prize or two..come sit in on my colour explosion seminars at the upcoming Ridge meadows home show..you will learn a bit, laugh a bit and maybe leave feeling more confident in creating your own personal, colour explosion..

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