‘Don’t be afraid of colour’ is something we’ve all heard countless times this year. Whether it came from fashion influencers, beauty gurus, or decor and design authorities, we’ve been instructed to look at bolder palettes with immediate effect.
‘That’s all fair and well. But where on earth do you start when you’ve stuck to the same pearl-white walls and soft beige throws for years?
Don’t rush in; this is not the decor Olympics
As a decor enthusiast and an unofficial interior designer to the many places I have called home, the first thing I advise anyone looking to add some colourful vibrance to their space is this: don’t rush in.
Yes, it’s exciting to go to your favourite decor den and pick out items, colours and designs that ‘just speak to you.’ But trust me, when you come home with a random hot pink rug, three Pear Fantasy scatter cushions and an obscure mustard lamp with no idea how to make them all work within your generally neutral living room; you’ll be glad you listened.
Unless you have a mood board already planned out, or are ready to identify as a budding maximalist, take it slow and start with a plan.
1. Choose your home’s colouring box with a moodboard
Free, fun and your window to the magic (or mess) that your home might become.
Like a vision board, a moodboard puts the colour and design schemes that resonate with you all in one space. Better yet, moodboards will help identify what you don’t like.
Make a digital one or go old school and cut out pictures from your favourite magazines. As we’re talking about colour, start with those that make you feel the way you’d like your home to. Is it calm? Warm? A little daring?
Then, branch off. Find homes that have already work with your favourite colour schemes. What accent-colours work with your dominant colour choice? What would you change? Are you looking for various shades of the same colour for a monochromatic feel, or is colour blocking what has your design senses tingling?
What decor pieces do you like? Which would make sense in that colour scheme and which wouldn’t? Will a baby pink Smeg fridge add more problems or less?
A plethora of questions; but now you’re getting the picture.
2. Work around a statement piece
Like I said earlier, rushing in when it comes to colour is painful. It’s also costly.
But don’t take my word for it. There are plenty of world-class interior design experts who share the sentiment that starting with a statement piece (or pieces) is less of a headache (or headaches) than revamping everything in one-go.
As James Treble advises: “Use a key element/s in your home, such as a feature artwork you love, a sofa or a rug, as your starting point. These provide ideal reference points for colour, and they also reflect your personality.”
Work with a piece you already own that match the moodboard. Or, start mapping out pieces you’d like to invite into your home and see how they look on the board.
Not sure about statement decor pieces? This piece will fill you in.
3. The 60-30-10 recipe
You know where your colour scheme is going and you’re feeling good. But hold your horses Picasso, it’s time to refine.
Especially when you’re new to colourful designs, the starting point is to add colour, not drown in it. Luckily, there’s a cheeky interior design formula that you can bet your bottom dollar on for results. It’s called the 60-30-10 ratio that earmarks three colours and how their ratios should make up an aesthetic space.
Go back to the moodboard and pick three colours to team up with. 60% for one, 30% and 10% for the other two.
If you’re not ready to say goodbye to those off-white walls just yet, then that counts as one colour. Luckily, most neutral colours work with a plethora of bold ones.
All in all, opting for colour will have your home oozing dopamine. Enjoy the process, don’t take it too seriously and when there is a mess, make it art.
Feature Image: Pamela Lico / Alamy