We are all spending a lot of time inside home walls at the moment. Pretty much all our time, actually. So I thought it would be fun to chat about colour schemes. Whether you’re considering making a bit more progress on a decorating to-do list, or looking at your walls and thinking of making a change, I have two key tips below. Neither involve marking your wall in any way!
The main problem (and joy) of decorating is of course that there are so many options. All those different shades, brands and combinations to test, and alternative colours to tempt you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, argue, and end up living with what you already have or going along with something you don’t actually like. So how do you start exploring in a fun and relaxed way?
Colour Scheme Planning in a Sketchbook
I’m the type of person who enjoys looking at 30 different shades of white and playing with combinations that will subtly transition into different spaces in the home. My partner, however, loves bold colour (and looking at 30 versions of the same thing makes his head spin!). When we started decorating our first home, we needed to combine our tastes into a colour scheme we both were happy with. So, I took a pair of scissors and chopped up a colour chart. I started a sketchbook for design ideas, magazine cuttings and planning when we first moved in. I used the back of that to move colour pieces around like a jigsaw and then stuck down our favourite options. Any notebook or spare paper will do for this!
If you’re also the type to enjoy a colour puzzle, moving paint colours around on paper is a fun way to spend an hour. Then go away and come back to it the next day with fresh eyes, like any puzzle. You can order colour charts online to be posted to your door, so it’s an easy lockdown distraction. We’ve used Farrow and Ball paint for our home but other brands are available (we also looked at options from Little Greene, Dulux and Crown).
Whilst I was open to being bold in using colour (relationships are about compromise, after all!) I wanted a limited palette so that our home didn’t feel overwhelmed. So all our rooms play with shades of blue and stoney creams, with occasional pops of mustard to warm things up. I’m looking forward to showing you each room’s evolution on this blog!
Painting tester pots onto A1 sheets to move around the home
The best advice we received is to paint your tester pots onto large pieces of paper (A1 is best) rather than directly on the wall. You can then move the paper around and stick it to different parts of the room to see it under varying light conditions, and you aren’t committing to painting directly onto your existing wall surface. The A1 sheet also gives you a much larger area to judge than you would probably paint onto the wall. Key tip – remember to write the brand and colour name on the back of the paper before you start! I’d also recommend storing these sheets neatly rather than throwing them away or letting them crumple in a cupboard. You may want to use them again down the line (or give a sample sheet to someone who admires your paint choices).
These two methods allow you to explore different colour options with lots of freedom and little commitment. So order yourself an A1 pad and a few brands’ paint charts, and get playing!