How to Design an Interior Colour Scheme

Creating an interior colour scheme from scratch is not an easy task! The keys are inspiration and planning.

Contrary to what most people think (and do), paint colours should not be the first thing to choose when planning your interior colour scheme. The right paint colour has an amazing way of pulling everythingtogether and completing the story—or, for that matter, making everything look disjointed when it's wrong. So let's go through the steps that you should take in creating an interior colour scheme.

Finding colour inspiration

Discover what inspires you and create a "mood board." Startcollecting visuals of colour combos that you are drawn to, photos offurniture you love, style vignettes from fashion magazines—anything that captures your attention and conveys the mood you want your space toconvey. Clip these to a foam core board or paste them in a scrap book. The important part of this step is to see everything together so youcan start to find a theme to guide you. It doesn't have to look like a professional design board. 

Choose finishes for your big ticket items

Your "mood board" or inspiration board should help you recognize thestyle you want in your space (for example: warm and enveloping or cooland refreshing) and a general palette for you to start committing topurchases of your big ticket items, such as flooring, kitchen andbathroom cabinets and countertops. If possible, get samples of all these elements before you buy and lay them out in a similar fashion to theinspiration board. Don't forget to add to this collage photos of existing pieces that you plan to keep. To create colour flow, you will want every finish to harmonize with the next, even if they are not in adjacent rooms. (Tip: you can always use fabrics and paintcolours later to really personalize each space!)

Select colours for soft finishes, like drapes or upholstery

This is where you might want to be a little more adventurous in yourinterior colour scheme. You may not have the budget or the desire tochange your flooring every five years. But you can change the moredecorative items like rugs, drapes, and pillows more often without a lot of disruption, so have some fun!

Complete the story with the addition of paint colour

It's always a good idea to have afloor plan when it's finally time to choose the paint colours for yourwalls and trim. You can overlay your colour options on the floor plan to see how one colour relates to the next. Compare your colour choices to your finishes board to ensure the colours coordinate. Add accentcolours where appropriate, and don't be afraid to use a strong colour on all four walls of a room if it works with your plan. (Make sure to have a good point to start and stop the colour change.) Add various shadesof one neutral for interest. Don't forget about ceilings—they can be agreat place to add harmonizing colour!

Always pick up paint colour samples

Actual pint samples of your paint colours or large 18" x 18" colourchips are helpful. Put them on your walls and view the colours atvarious times throughout the day to see how the lighting affects them.Colour samples are a small investment to make when the result is finding the perfect paint colours for your home.

Happy Painting!


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