Expert Advice & News

Pick a colour, any colour!

Pick a colour, any colour… is it really that easy?

There are so many choices of great colours available so it can be a real challenge choosing the ideal colour for the space you’re working with. You have an idea of what colour you’d like and may spend hours selecting the perfect one, that is the perfect tone and readily available from the supplier.  So, you’ve invested time and thought into achieving the look you want, you start painting, but notice it’s not as perfect as you imagined.  You can’t put your finger on it, but something isn’t right, it looked beautiful on the colour chart and in the catalogue, so why doesn’t it look how it did in your mind?  This is where it’s useful to know how to look beyond the colour and consider how light affects the colour and tone of a room.

Lighting has a huge influence on how a room looks when you are painting and decorating, it’s important to think about how the room is lit, whether it has more natural or artificial light, which direction the room faces and of course personal choice.  Light and direction will affect the colour of your wall, so how do you prepare for this?  Buying a sample is probably the most cost-effective way to try out the colour in the room you have chosen.  It’s useful to paint a patch on different walls within the room so you can see how the light falls on them throughout the day, giving you a much more accurate idea of how the finished room colour will look.  If you are struggling to find your ideal colour, there are also many apps available where you can use a photo of the room and choose different colours to show how they would look, do keep in mind that this may not be 100% accurate as different devices can have a varied range of colour quality.  Almost all the well-known paint manufacturers have tips and advice on choosing the perfect palette, so browsing their information is always worth doing. 

Being familiar with the direction the room faces and how this will affect the choice of colour can take practice, but we are giving you some hints and the tones we would recommend and why.

If you have a North Facing Room, this will be the most limited when it comes to natural sunlight, so this can make the room colder and darker.  To counter this, it is best to choose warm shades that have warm undertones, that create a cosy atmosphere, jewel colours are good for this, such as magenta.  With a north facing room, you should avoid cool colours such as blue or grey, these will create a flat, cold atmosphere.

If you are decorating a South Facing Room, this can be an absolute delight!  These rooms are usually drenched in sunlight and as such, means you are free to be as vibrant and flamboyant as you choose or create yourself a tranquil and relaxing space.  Vibrant colours will glow in a south facing room, but if you choose cooler shades, such as pastels, greens or blues, they will balance the intensity of the sunlight and finish, giving you a calm atmosphere.

If you have an East or West Facing Room, both of these will have varying degrees of natural light throughout the day.  East facing rooms will start the day with natural light, turning darker into the afternoon and evening, therefore, generally, cooler tones work best in these rooms as they will create a more relaxing atmosphere.  West facing rooms are the opposite, they will have more light in the afternoon, so warmer tones such as blush, neutrals and coffee tones work well, along with accentuating the room with bold contrasting colours in the soft furnishings. 

So, we hope we’ve given you some food for thought and encouraged you to experiment and explore some wonderful colour ideas for your space!