How to choose the right theme / colours for your home?

How to choose the right theme for your Home

Nothing is as personal as colour. Choosing a colour palette is both the most important part and yet the most daunting part for many when it comes to decorating their homes. Read on and get some great tips as we help guide you to create the colour palette that best suits your style, personality and lifestyle.

Choosing your colours

Start by working from a colour wheel. There are primary, secondary and tertiary colours.

  • Primary colours are red, blue and yellow. They are pure colours and cannot be created.
  • Secondary colours are orange, green and purple. These colours are formed when equal parts of 2 primary colours are combined. For example equal parts yellow and blue make green. As basic as this is this is where we begin the colour selection.
  • Tertiary colours are a mixture, in varying parts of secondary and primary colours to create different hues, as a result the primary and secondary colours become less vivid. White and black are often added to darken and soften these hues.

Creating your colour scheme

Use your colour wheel to help you create your own colour scheme that best fit your personality.

There are 4 kinds of possible colour schemes.

  1. Monochromatic

The monochromatic colour scheme uses tone on tone of the same colour with the addition of white or black to lighten or darken the colour. For example, in this scheme blue can become a pale sky blue or a dark midnight blue and all three hues of the same shade are used to create this effect.

  1. Analogous

The analogous scheme uses colours that appear next to each other on the colour wheel. For example yellow will be used with green or orange, or blue will be used with green or purple. This creates a colourful and often soothing palette.

  1. Contrast

The contrast scheme is more dramatic. Here a triad of contrasting colours are used, such as yellow-orange, green-blue and red-purple. This introduces more colour and energy into your home’s palette.


Lastly we have the complementary scheme where two opposing colours, such as blue and orange, are used together to create a dramatic, bold and high energy colour scheme.

Creating your colour scheme

We will caution against selecting your wall colour first. Wall paints are inexpensive and can be created in any colour and in any type you desire. It’s best to start with harder to find items such as furniture and rugs or carpets. Once you’ve selected your furnishings you can then move on to wall colour.

You may decide that you’d prefer your colour not to be on your walls, but in your accessories or furnishings instead. Many people prefer this. Others, conversely, prefer more neutral furnishings contrasted by bold and powerful walls.

Things to consider 

When choosing your colour palette you may want to start with contrasts, something dark paired with something light. If you wish to infuse a little more colour and energy into your room you might consider adding something bright. Where is it that you want these colours?

If you’re more comfortable with pale walls, look to your furnishings, accessories and rugs for added colour. When picking your colours, especially the bolder ones, makes sure they are crisp and the lines are clean. If your style is more subtle, softer, neutral shades should be considered.

Colour tones

Test out your colours with paint swatches and fabrics. Draw out plans of your rooms and sketch in the colours. If they work on paper, try painting small areas of your walls. You can buy any colour paint in a sample size specifically for this reason. When painting sample areas look other rooms and how they connect so that you can create a flow from room to room so that the colours complement each other.

An adjoining room may want a non-accent or a neutral colour, or conversely you can work with contrasting tones as well as long as there is always a semblance of flow.


Lighting is an important aspect of all decor and function within the home and should never be overlooked. Light reflects and deflects colour, changing it constantly, throughout the day. A room’s truest colours are those found in the daylight hours and the hues will alter throughout the day and the seasons as the lighting changes.

Different lightings can change the appearance of colour as well.  Indigo, for example can appear bluer in one room and have much more red in another.


You love the idea of infusing your space with colour, but you’re not really quite ready to add it to your walls. There are plenty of ways to add splashes of colour to your home.

If you keep your walls neutral – pale beiges, sands, ivories, greys and whites – you can bring colour in with rugs, furniture, lamps, pillows, throws and artwork, flowers, and fresh fruit. You may also consider painting your ceiling or an accent wall.

Where to start with colour 

Start at the beginning. The beginning could be a central room or a front hall or entryway. Is there a colour, or a set of colours that you’re particularly fond of? Do you tend to prefer blues, yellows, and greens? Start with a colour that best suits you. Then take that colour and look at it several shades and hues lighter and several shades and hues darker. So, for instance, on your colour wheel, you’ve chosen green.

You’ve gone to the paint store and you’ve chosen a dozen or so paint swatches that have varying shades of green. You like two shades, one has more of a grey undertone and more has more of a blue undertone. Perhaps select one hue for the dining room and the other for the living room. To make them work together select a neutral that can be used in both rooms for ceiling or trim. Some suggest keeping hallways, landings and connecting spaces neutral in tone.

Separate the upstairs from the downstairs

The upstairs and downstairs are two separate entities and should be treated as such.  It’s best to paint your landing or hallway a soft or neutral colour as often the upstairs is comprised of mostly bedrooms which can often have very differing colours and contrasts.

Children’s rooms are often bright and bold, whereas guestrooms and home offices are not. If your master bedroom has a master bathroom attached to it, you need not paint both rooms the same colour, but do consider different tones of the same colour – perhaps paint one room slightly lighter than the other. As the two are connected there should be some semblance of flow.

Choosing colour should be enjoyable and should not be stressful in the least. Don’t rush into anything. Visit the paint store, talk to the professionals, bring home as many swatches as you desire and hang them up all over your home if you wish. In the end, these are guidelines to help you but all rules and guidelines need not be followed to a T.  Listen to your gut, trust your instincts – they never lie!


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