Why Every Decorating Project Starts with Colour Charts

Where you do you start when you’re about to tackle your next decorating project? I’ve been in the throws of decorating my living room recently, and plan to do the rest of the ground floor, including the kitchen in the coming weeks. But I get crippled by indecision. I procrastinate long and hard over what look I want to achieve, what feel I want each room to have, and deliberate over how it will all hang together. So this is why I say every decorating project should start with a colour chart.

If you have absolutely no clue on what you want to do, this is a great place to begin.

In my post yesterday, I talked about how you find the inspiration you need for your home decor ideas, but this approach is much more about defining the colours you want to work with.

Image: Darlings of Chelsea

How to Choose your Colour Combos:

Well first things first, you need to decide on your colour personality. Generally speaking, it’s deemed that we are split across 4 colour personalities; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Mostly we will fall into one category, although occasionally we cross 1 or 2 mixed. The fabulous interior designer, Sophie Robinson from the Great Interior Design Challenge, and more recently DIY SOS fame, has a great colour personality series on her blog  so give it a read and see which are.  I’m a Winter personality, with hints of Spring thrown in too.

During my interior design course with Martin Holland from MartinMark Design, I learned so much about colour, how to apply it and the psychology behind how we choose our colour combinations. I have a psychology background so this kind of analysis appeals to me greatly.

Once you’ve learned more about the kinds of colours that work for you, you are able to combine your colour combinations with more confidence.

Using the Colour Wheel:

There are actually 15 different colour schemes using colour wheel combinations, but only a few that are used more frequently.

Complementary: Where you use 2 colours from opposite sides of the wheel. The will contrast in a much more extreme and vibrant way, yet work beautifully together.

Analgous: A scheme that uses 3 colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. This combination offers harmony and a calm feeling. Choose one colour to dominate if you wish.

Triadic: Choose 3 colours from around the wheel spaced evenly apart. One would dominate whilst the other 2 offer accents of colour in the scheme.

Split Complementary: 2 colours are chosen that sit close to each other on the wheel, whilst the 3rd comes from the opposite side. It’s a mix of analgous and complementary schemes and works very well. It’s likely that you gravitate to this kind of combination naturally.

Ok so now you understand your colour personality and how to mix colours from the colour wheel, how about looking at current trends.

Colour Trends for 2017:

Image: Woodchip and Magnolia

Styling Dark: Could you paint your walls a dark shade of blue/grey/black? It’s not for everyone but looks dramatic, cosy and moody when done correctly. (I’ve just done my living room like this and it’s a killer!)

Millennial Pink: Many are tapping into a little pink for their walls, mixing it up with greens and blues for a less sugary take on this hue.

Greys Everywhere: There’s no getting away from it, grey is here to stay. For the moment. Kate from Mad About the House is the queen of shades of grey and has even written a book about it, for further inspiration.

Botanical Shades: Greens are still going strong mixed in with all different shades that depict the vibrancy of nature. Think multiple green shades, combined with pinks, yellows and blues. Keep it simple or really go for it, the choice is yours.

Want to get your hands on the best box of colour charts? Kent Blaxill, the decorating centre, has a great offer on at the moment to pick up a comprehensive set of colour charts and paint offers in their Colour Box. They’ll send you a cute box in the post containing 12 colour charts from all of the top paint companies, completely free of charge. It will save you a trip to your local DIY and help you select the colours for your next project with ease. Just sign up on their website and get the box shipped straight to you, it’s so simple. Click HERE to get your free Colour Box.

I’ve been using my box to help me decide on colours for my dining room. After going very dark in the living room, I’m keeping this room lighter and brighter as a necessary contrast. I’m not yet ready to go all Abigail Aherne in every room, I like my pale walls too much. Currently I’m drawn to Designers Guild Kyoto Blossom or Sanderson’s Rose Ash, mixed up with some rich greens; a true complementary colour scheme although I’m not sure I’m going to go as bold as this setting.

Image: Designers Guild

How do you choose colours for your decorating projects?

I’d love to hear from you, so do leave me a comment below.

Jen x

Commissioned Post

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Sophie
    June 30, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Thank you for the simple explanation of the colour schemes 🙂 I’ve heard green will be THE colour not only interior but in fashion too.

  2. Capo
    July 2, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    actually my livingroom is complete in Black and some white things. But I’m thinking about to bring more life in it, with more colours.
    Thanks for your article. It helps me a lot 🙂

  3. George C
    July 4, 2017 / 6:54 am

    Haha for me, most of my decorating falls under “grey everywhere”….

    • Jen Stanbrook
      July 5, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Come on George, live a little, throw in a little colour. You’ll feel better for it hehe.

  4. Aslamandsons
    July 17, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    What a color combination.. it’s looking so gorgeous and beautiful. thank you for this valuable tips.

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