How to develop shape with colour

Colour can be used in really interesting ways to define spaces, create zones and direct the attention. Firstly, define your colour palette, and then set your goals of how you want your space to function. What is the main focus? What mood do you want to create? How big is the space – do you need to make it feel bigger or more cosy?

 

Colour palette

There are so many colour options available to you that sometimes it becomes hard to pick, and it’s impossible to keep up with the latest trends. The key thing to remember when picking your palette is to go for what you personally enjoy. Try to avoid bland colour themes that will leave your room looking lifeless. Instead spice things up with feature walls, accent furniture, or bright splashes of colour or texture.

If you do not know much about colour themes, the best place to start is the colour wheel:

Tonal: various shades of the same main colour.

Harmonious: colours which are next to each other on the colour wheel, to create a calm, peaceful atmosphere.

Complementary: colours which are opposite each other on the colour wheel, giving the space a lot of life and are much more daring.

What mood are you looking for? For an inviting feeling, go for warm colours, such as browns and deep purples and blues; in contrast if you want a crisp, formal look, try out navy blue and off white. When looking to decorate rooms in your home, make sure to give a harmonious feeling throughout, so that you are not jumping from one mood to another. Pay attention to the meeting points, with slow transitions to ensure that walking between them is pleasant.

 

Shape

Once you have developed your palette, you can begin to apply this to the overall room design. If you need to open up a small space, try to keep your large piece of furniture towards the walls in order to create larger spaces to move around in the main space of the room. Use cool colours, such as blue and green, to make a room appear larger. This can be combined with darker floors and light walls, to create an inviting space. Matching your furniture colour to the colour of the walls can also open the space.

In contrast, to make a room cosier, you should use darker neutral, warm colours, such as red and yellow. Use a warm shade on the ceiling to make it feel less high – this can be achieved with a white that has a hint or brown, red or orange.In large rooms a floral patterned wallpaper on the key wall will direct the eye.

Layering textures in a room can create a sense of depth, and add much more excitement.Use cushions with a variety of fabrics to make comfortable spaces that build upon a theme. For example, vibrant, geometric fabrics will enhance a modern room.

Finally, consider the impact of light in your room. Remember to think about the natural light levels in your location. In the UK this is likely to be quite low, with dull levels of light being the norm. Pick a colour that pops even in the low light. Also think about what direction your room is facing and the amount of sunlight it will receive. If it has large windows and plenty of light, for example in sunny Mediterranean countries, cooler colours will be appropriate, whereas a North facing room in the UK will require warmer tones.