The many colours of a happy home

Last Updated 21 August 2014, 22:14 IST

Choosing a colour palette for your home need not be a daunting task. Here are some tips from the experts, writes Ruth Dsouza Prabhu.

There may have been a few times when you have walked into a home and felt something was amiss. In all probability, this feeling may have come from the paints chosen for the home. Colour schemes have a way of influencing our moods and feelings. The colour palette for a home must therefore be selected with some amount of thought and care. 

“Colour choices can be subjective, but not the balance of all colours and textures within a space,” says Anand K R, Architect and Partner, Studio Motley. He adds that the key to a successful colour scheme is how all the colours interact to create a complementary theme.

Picking a colour palette

If the thought of picking just one colour for a room seems daunting, then settling on a colour scheme for your entire home may be more so. The first step is to walk around your home and look at which rooms are visible from one another. 

This could be your dining room overlooking your kitchen, your bedroom encompassing your study, or your living room opening out to the entertainment room. This identification activity helps in creating a colour flow. 

Anand suggests that you may either choose a neutral colour palette for the walls, treating them as an elegant backdrop, or use bright cheery colours for the fabrics to achieve this balance. Alternately, you could opt for bolder colours for the walls and reduce the number of furniture or artefacts in the foreground. 

If you are still confused, consider beginning from the biggest room in the house, preferably one that is central — your kitchen or your living room. Covering the largest space gives you a clearer image of what your home will finally look like.

 Ideally, stick to neutral colours if you are unsure of a colour scheme. Based on a study conducted by Commonfloor.com, two-tone colour schemes are in vogue. You may opt for classic colour palettes such as royal blue and white, apple green and ivory, or orange and blue.

For some bold and striking options, you may consider purple and grey or apple green and yellow. If these do not inspire you, try and use the colour wheel available at all reputed paint and interior design outlets. Choose shades next to each other on the wheel (shades of the same colour), or contrasting colours on the opposite sides of the colour wheel. 

Creating a flow

The simplest way to create a seamless flow of colours is to use a mix of light and dark shades of a single colour across your home. “An important factor in the process of choosing a colour is the quantum and quality of light within a space. Bold or bright colours in a small room with limited light may make the room feel small and crowded,” says Anand. 

Try to think of your colour scheme in terms of continuity. Opt for hues in similar undertones. If blue with red undertones is a combination you like, look through the red undertone palette to see what colours may work for you. 

Anand suggests that you test out all the colours in a space – from furniture, fabrics, flooring, doors or windows — and then decide on the colour of your walls. Do remember that paint is probably the most inexpensive element of home decor, and also with the most exhaustive colour options. Decide on the palette once you have your furniture, fabrics and other accessories in place.

If you are looking for sources of inspiration for a colour scheme, then do not look beyond the furnishing, artefacts and artwork around your home. Pick colours from here and be assured that they will bring the entire theme together. 

Most homes look for a warm and cosy feel. The Commonfloor.com study says that to complement your warm interiors, you may go for colour combinations such as ocean green and sandy blonde, green and brown, lavender blue and black, or red and white. 

A combination of cool, ocean green and sandy blonde works for interiors inspired by the beauty of the coast. Green and brown colour combination is better suited for chic and urbane homes. Lavender blue and black should be your preferred colour scheme if you are bent upon having charming and traditional interiors.  Similarly, a combination of red and white suit homes that are vibrant and energising. Since most of these colour schemes are not very audacious, you can choose to add an air of exuberance by adding a third colour through the use of cushion covers, throws, blankets and accessories.

A professional will be able to assess your home, understand the light flow, the amount of open space, connecting spaces and more in the best possible manner. He will then be able to suggest a potential colour palette that you may consider working with. 

The great thing about a colour scheme for your home is that you will be able to revamp it completely, anytime you feel like. This gives your home a new lease of life every time.

(Published 21 August 2014, 15:58 IST)

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