The 3 biggest (and easiest) lessons everyone can take from colour theory to improve the look and mood of the home.
When you learn about colour theory, you understand how colours interact with each other and how to use them. Putting colour theory to use when you design your next interior renovation means that you can evoke the emotions you want in your space, choose the right wall and furniture colours for your lighting situation, and pick (or make) the paint colour your home with ease.
Here's how to harness the power of colour theory to skillfully decorate any space and customise your interior design choices.
1 — Consider the direction of your room
Catherine Jacob is Head of Design at Hovia and specialises in colour theory at the interior decor brand. Catherine explains how the location of a room affects the natural colours within, and how to make colour choices that bring out the best of any room:
Rooms that face the North get a constant stream of natural light during the day, but it's usually a low amount of light. And that means the room tends to have a cool tone to it, and might seem a bit dull.
To counteract the coolness, use warm colours like red and orange. You could also use whites and neutrals with warm undertones if you prefer a minimal look.
Typically, they get the most bright light from direct sunlight. This means that the room will often have a warm yellow appearance.
Most everyone enjoys this look, and any colours will work nicely with the natural light. If you want to balance things out, though, add in some cool shades like blues, greens and violets.
Rooms facing the West get the most sunlight in the afternoon and the evening. That means they can feel a bit grey throughout the day, but then look warm and glowy in the golden hour of the early evenings.
If you use this room most in the mornings, warm tones will help balance things out. Or if you tend to use it most in the evenings, go for cooler decor and paint tones for a bright and fresh look.
These rooms will get their natural light most in the morning, and then gradually get darker during the day.
Use fresh, light colours to counteract the dim lighting, such as blues and greens — which act as great transitional colours. Avoid reds and yellows here, since they may be overwhelming in the mornings when they mix with the bright sunlight.
2 — Create your own colours
Interior designer and paint expert Edward Bulmer calls earth pigments (like yellow ochre, vermilion and carmine) ‘the seasoning’ in paint making. That's because they're so important to achieving the right colour result, even when only using small amounts.
Employing colours with an undertone of earth pigment really is the best way to build any decorating scheme.
A Guide to Pigments, Paints & Palettes with Edward Bulmer
3 — Get familiar with the colour wheel
Here's what you need to know about using a colour wheel to plan your interior colour palette:
Senior Content Executive at Hovia