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July 26th, 2019

Category: WB Jamieson

Author: Darren Seymour

How to Handle colour

Whether moving into a new home or renovating your existing property, it is incredibly important to consider the colour of your space.

Colours are not all created equal, and choosing the wrong colour can create completely the wrong atmosphere in your room. It might surprise you that Colour accounts for approximately 60% of our response to an object or space. With colour being such a hugely important factor, we decided to write a post to help you navigate the sometimes tricky world of paint colour.

Colours can fall in and out of favour and what is this seasons 'it' colour can look outdated in next to no time. Whereas if we pay attention to the atmosphere or mood a colour brings to a space using colour psychology, we can create environments that work to provide a space which is harmonious and creates a place in which we want to spend our time.

The effect of colours can be both subtle and significant. Learning their behaviour is not so much a science than it is an art. We all respond to colour both consciously and subconsciously, its importance is often underestimated. We will discuss some of the points to consider when choosing colour.

Start Small

Experimentation is always best when done conservatively. If you are unsure on how to employ the use of colour into a space, perhaps begin with a single accent wall, a bathroom or a small area such as a hallway. Remember, if your painting yourself, the more you apply, the more you may have to cover up if it doesn’t meet your initial expectations. The process should be fun.

Top Tip: A great way to select a colour is to draw it from objects, artwork, rug, soft furnishings, or furniture that will exist alongside it within the room.


When choosing a colour, the mood you are trying to capture in the room should be considered. For example, are you aiming for say, the bedroom to be peaceful and soothing or dramatic and romantic?

- Soft, cool colours and neutrals usually create a quieter calming influence while richer tones and deeper hues can create a lot of drama.

- A dining area with warm, contrasting and bold, bright colours can be seen as stimulating whereas deep  cooler tones and neutral greys will create a formal ambiance to the space.

With Children's bedrooms you could decide to create a vibrant and active energy with intense bright primary and secondary colours , while these colours can be exciting they can also be distracting and could even have a negative impact on a child's ability to rest. Scandinavian schools have been known to keep colours to a minimum in order to present an environment that promotes learning and has a calming nature.


Lighting plays an important role in how a colour is perceived.
Natural daylight on a colour will show it in its optimal form. However, within our homes and interiors we light our spaces with either incandescent which has a warm tone or fluorescent or cool LED lighting which will cast a very crisp blue tone.

It must therefore be decided on the placement of a colour to a light source whether that is a window, artificial lighting or indirect light.

Important terms

Understanding the terminology used in describing colour can help in selecting paints:

  • Hue is another term for colour, red, yellow, blue, purple are all examples of hues
  • Saturation describes the depth of colour rich colours will be highly saturated whereas pastels have a low saturation.
  • The intensity of a colour is also known as the brilliance. Primary colours will have a higher intensity than tertiary colours.

Testing colour

When testing colours, paint fairly large patches on the wall and be sure to test a few different options to give you a better idea of what you aim to achieve with the final finish. While it is easy to stay within your comfort zone, we would recommend being a little adventurous and consider strong, deep and bold colours which can add a great deal of drama

Adding depth

To add a sense of depth and greater details including focal points, consider using visual texture, broken areas of colour and contrasting wall objects to transform plain walls into more visually striking areas of interest.

Patterned and metallic wallpaper finishes can add depth to a wall with the use of reflective objects against a wall giving a pop of contrast.

Flow of rooms

Try to tie the entire house together by using colours in adjacent rooms that complement each other, they may even contrast one another as long as there is a continuity which flows from room to room.

Different finishes

Think about to use subtle variations within a room. you can do this while still using a limited monochromatic colour palette. By selecting different finishes from wall to trim, with gloss, eggshell and matt finishes, you can create a cohesive space taht has enough subtle differences to elevate a single colour into something that could otherwise be considered dull into a sophisticated option.



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