Strokes of brilliance


Whether you’re just bored with your space and redecorating or moving to a new home, choosing a colour scheme is perhaps the most intimidating aspect of the whole project. You can follow these hints to get started.

Start with the formal areas first. In other words, start with rooms like the living room, dining room or the entrance and then make sure the rest of your home follows this lead. This could involve using different shades of the same colours in the additional rooms, or one of the colours as accents.

Always try to use what you have. You can do this by looking around the room for the largest pattern. For example, the pattern on your curtains or upholstery could be used as the basis for your colour palette. Of course if there are several colours, you can choose the colours you like out of the overall patterns.

Use the strongest colour you have chosen as an accent colour. This could mean adding throw pillows in this colour, or even bright flowers. If you are following this rule, make sure your walls are neutral to avoid too many shots of bright colours.

Another popular pattern to follow is nature. You will notice that in nature, the darker tones lie below your feet while the lightest hues are above you. You can do likewise in your floor to ceiling.

One technique decorators invariably use is ‘using black’. No matter what colour scheme you use, incorporating black into the room in some way will make the colours pop and tie everything together. Note that this can be done in a very discrete way, for example using a picture with a broad black frame.

Think of your decorating as ‘dressing your home’. When you shop for clothes, don’t you always buy colours and designs that flatter you? Likewise, when you are choosing your colour scheme, choose colours that gel with your home and the things in it.

Perhaps the most important point to bear in mind as always is to stay true to your personal taste. In other words, pick colours you like. When you are passionate about the design in your home, things will fall together and your friends and visitors will respect that. The best way to decorate is with your own personality. All the other rules are merely guidelines.

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