The Art of Fabulous Colour

Photo Source: IKEA
Photo Source: IKEA

Big or small, your home has to be the place where you can relax. It needs to express your design style without becoming a maintenance burden. Colour updates are perfect for quick style changes. A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest ways to make an impressive change. When moving into a new home, condo or even a new room, most of us come armed with colors charts, paints, and brushes to quickly make it ours. But choosing colours can be a tricky business. The human eye can differentiate thousands of shades, textures and finishes and all too often, a colour choice can just miss the mark. Here are some of my favorite ideas for achieving a successful colour scheme for a small but extraordinary space.

  • Gather inspiration by looking through books, magazine, websites and HGTV shows. Consider what colour combinations you like in other homes, shops, restaurant and your favorite café.
  • Decide what colour style you like best. Do you prefer light and bright or warm and cozy colour blends? If you’ve always loved blue for example, don’t let its reputation for being cool put you off. Even chilly north-facing rooms can look and feel amazing in a blue if you choose the warmer tones like a lavender or compensate with a warm accent like a dark raspberry.
  • Go tone on tone. If, like most people, you lack colour confidence, you’ve probably kept to a scheme made up of just one colour or tone. You can introduce interest by using various colour tones of that same colour and combining it with white for a fresh and seasonal scheme or black for a moody, ultra-chic look.
  • Colour schemes of multiple colours are always more relaxing to live, work and entertain in when they are all kept to a similar tone. For example, combining several different pastels colours or several different bright colours will create a unified look.
  • Passionate contrast creates emotional impact. You can create contrast by using light and dark shades of similar colours or by combining contrasting colours such as fashionable black and white, royal reds and emerald greens, or simply a spring yellow and purple.
    -Using upholstery and curtain fabrics can be a useful starting points for an interesting colour scheme as you can match paint colours to different design elements of the fabric and textures.
  • Colours can take on a variety of personalities so test how they will look in a room by painting a small part of the wall and looking at it over the course of twenty-four hours. Take the time to note and observed how the colour looks during various times of the day as natural light falls into the space and take a second look at it in the evening.

Colour & Emotion:

Every single colour creates an emotional reaction in most people. In design and in decorating we use colour to help guide emotion and give people an immediate feeling the first time they interact with something. In the architecture, furniture and lighting design worlds, colours are purposely selected to meet a bigger goal. What are you trying to say about yourself, your company, your product or even your brand? A colour can attract attention and convey who you are without having to say a word.

  • Red: attention-grabbing, exciting, energetic and of course aggressive.
  • Orange: playful, childlike, happy, fun and modern.
  • Yellow: positive, friendly and always cheerful.
  • Blue: reliable, secure and trustworthy.
  • Beige: durable, classic and neutral.

Those are only a few example of the way colours can actually manage your mood in your small space and the need to understand and love the colours you surround yourself with.
Be bold, young, playful and sexy. Selecting your room colours could bring you all of the above.

Written by Luc Crawford

Luc Crawford

Luc Crawford is the principal and founder of Luc Crawford Design Inc. which has been selected as the best interior Design firm in Ottawa for the past three years. He has been involved in a variety of projects, from the development of corporate designs to high end residential and hospitality. Crawford also brings his combined training and experience in architecture and furniture design to a new generation of designers as a College professor at Algonquin College and a Judge for the Greater Ottawa Home Builder’s Association.

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