6 easy steps to create a whole house colour scheme
Have you ever spent hours staring at paint samples agonising over which one would be the best?
Have you ever chosen wall colours as you’ve gone, only to find one or two rooms feel disjointed from the rest?
Well, if the answer is yes to either of these (I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point!) read on my friend, as you will never have to panic buy or choose paint again!
Now, it does take a bit of prep. But you know what they say, proper preparation prevents poor performance, right? And putting in a bit of effort and thought up front, will save you time and time again as you come to decorate and redecorate rooms.
And before we get into it, choosing a colour scheme for your whole house definitely doesn’t mean that each room is going to look the exact same! Far from it, in fact. What it will mean, however, is that each space will flow effortlessly from one to another, and your home will feel connected, purposeful and deliberate.
Along with paint colours, your whole house scheme will act as a complete blueprint for any design decisions, saving you money and time and taking away any guesswork. It will guide you when choosing decor, wood finishes, floors, stone and even metals.
Ready? Ok, let’s do it.
What are your intentions?
First things first, it's important to think about the atmosphere and mood you would like to create. How do you want to feel when you’re living there? How would you like guests to feel?
Think about your house as it is currently, what do you like? What don’t you like? Why?
Make a list of everything you don’t like, and then make a list of words that you would like to use to describe your home. Things like calm, relaxing, warm, bold, brave, welcoming and fun are a few ideas to get you started.
What fixed finishes do you have to consider?
So your fixed elements are all of the things you’re already working with in your house. This might be floors, cabinetry or maybe large pieces of investment furniture.
These are all the things that typically, you may be stuck with. And they all become part of your whole house colour palette.
Make a list, go around and have a good look at each finish. Try and identify the undertone you can see. Is it a warm undertone such as red, orange or yellow? Perhaps there might be cooler undertones such as blue, green and purple?
Make a note of the undertones you can see, you might be surprised that there’s some common ground.
Choose a colour scheme
With your desired mood in mind and the undertones in your fixed elements, it’s now time to think about your favourite colour. I often encourage clients to look at their wardrobe - what is your go-to colour?
These pieces of information will help lead you to the right colour scheme.
Now, there are a lot of colour schemes to choose from, and perhaps I’ll do another blog post on this but for now, let’s consider the following three:
Use one hue for your entire colour palette but in different shades, tints and tones. Good for those who are a little colour-shy.
Using colours next to each other on the colour wheel. Good for a very liveable, relaxed and calm scheme.
Using colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Good for a more bold and lively, colourful scheme.
Pick one colour scheme and develop your colours from there. Ideally, you’ll want to choose colours that complement your existing finishes or choose colours that tone them down to achieve the mood.
Choose your neutrals
You’ll want to choose a default white to be used for any skirtings, woodwork, ceilings etc.
You’ll also want to choose a go-to neutral which can be used in all areas of your home.
For example, In my home, my default white is F&B All White and my neutral is F&B Strong White.
Choose a darker contrasting colour
This will probably be your main ‘bold’ colour and will likely reflect a version of your favourite colour.
The bold colour in my house is F&B Railings. Your ‘bold’ colour may not be as dark and saturated as that but it will be the boldest in your palette.
Choose your accent colours
These are the colours you will use throughout your home in more changeable finishes such as soft furnishings, rugs and accessories. I would usually choose two of these - in my home, it's terracotta and olive green.
These accent colours don’t have to be dramatic, the intensity of them is totally up to you!
Extending your scheme throughout your home
If you have followed the steps above, you should now have a group of 5 colours in your palette. This is a nice number to keep your home feeling cohesive and deliberate. But, what that doesn’t mean is that you are only limited to using 5 paint colours.
In order to extend your palette but also stick to the original scheme, it’s possible to use shades or tints of your chosen colours.
Hue: The pure pigment.
Tone: A pure pigment with grey added.
Shade: A pure pigment with black added (darker).
Tint: A pure pigment with white added (lighter).
For example, in my house, we have more than 5 paint colours used throughout but they all fall within the original colour palette.
If you made it this far - good work! It’s been pretty intense!
Here’s a little roundup of how to use the 5 colours in your scheme:
WHITE - Use for cabinetry, ceilings, woodwork, doors and anything else you want to paint white.
NEUTRAL - Default for all open, connected areas. Also good for small bathrooms and cupboards.
BOLD COLOUR - This is the colour to use as a statement, to give the wow factor. It works best as accent walls or in separate rooms.
ACCENT COLOURS - Great for any room and for running through accessories and soft furnishings.
I hope that was helpful!
Next week, I’m talking all about how to choose the perfect white so make sure you’re signed up to my mailing list to get a notification when it’s out! Sign up here >>>