So, you want to decorate but where to start? Changing the colour of a room can have a hugely positive effect on how the space looks and feels, but choosing the right paint colours can be a minefield, here’s some top tips to help you be a little more bold and brave with your choice of paint colours and finishes!

Paint colours, like most things in interiors tend to follow trends. If you read our earlier blog post you’d know that Dulux have nominated Cherished Gold as their colour of the year.

So if you want to be on trend then you can follow colour predictions from Dulux or Farrow & Ball  for example.  However, paint colours are a personal thing and can also be influenced by items like artwork or rugs that you love and will be keeping in your scheme.

Farrow & Ball SP Decorating
Paint colours- predictions for 2016 SP Decorating Cheshire

If you’re working around other finishes in the room, don’t ignore your floor. It’s the next largest surface to the walls and so it’s colour needs to be considered. Wooden floors all have different shades, cherry wood has a red tone to it, whilst oak has more of a honey tone for example.

Think about how rooms flow. If you’re thinking of painting your hallway a subtle neutral but the living room that you can see from the hall is painted in a bold pink, does it work?

Consider furniture. If you have pieces of furniture you’re keeping then they also have to be considered in terms of their colour.

Which room are you looking to paint? Dark colours can be used in cosier rooms such as a downstairs toilet or a bathroom or used to great effect in bigger rooms with lots of light. Strong paint colours can also be used in smaller amounts to bring depth or a focal point to any room – an accent wall for example.

Farrow & Ball SP Decorating

Colours from certain periods do tend to suit the period of the house.  A home with lots of period features and large windows have the space to carry off darker more traditional colours, whereas a more modern home (which tend to be smaller) will suit fresher, more modern paint colours. It’s a myth that a space will look bigger painted white, doing this can sometimes give a sterile look rather than a feeling of space.

Certain colours are calming, others are stimulating. Paint colours that replicate nature such as neutrals, pale blues and greens for example tend to have a calming quality and are popular choices for bedrooms. However, there are also vibrant colours in nature and you can always be surprised by a bold colour used somewhere like a bathroom or kitchen.

Farrow & Ball SP Decorating
Painting a Sample SP Decorating

To help you pick co-ordinating colours, use paint colour “strips”. E.g. if you’re looking at a mid grey -say a No 4 on the Dulux chart, you can pick a No 4 on the yellow strip and you know that the tones will work together.  Pinterest or Houzz  LINKS are great to look at what paint colours appeal to you, you can then match these from paint colour charts.

Always try before you buy – always get tester pots of your chosen paint colours so you can paint a large enough area to really get a sense of how it will work in the room. Paint an A4 piece of paper or card and stick it to your chosen wall. How it looks in the morning can be very different to how it will look in the evening and under your lighting. Popping a colour sample on the wall and living with it for a few days is normally a good idea.

Why not try the Dulux app – it’s a great tool and can help you visualise what the paint colours might look like in your room, with the ability to change your mind as many times as you like until you’re happy with the final outcome. We’d still advise getting tester pots to try them in real life though!

We hope this helps! Remember, we’re here to help you with the decorating should you need us!

(Most images from Farrow & Ball)