How to Choose Paint Colours For Your Space

Choosing the right paint colour for a space can be overwhelming. With hundreds of colours, tones and shades to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin! The colour of a space not only contributes to its aesthetic, it also impacts on the character, style and atmosphere, so it is important to spend the time choosing the perfect colour. The good news is that there are a number of simple tips and tricks that can take the seemingly impossible task of choosing the perfect paint colour to possible and enjoyable!

Look around

Spend time looking around the space you are going to paint, adjacent rooms and your home (or office) as a whole. Note any permanent features that exist, for example wooden floorboards, exposed bricks or beams—these tones should be considered when choosing a colour. It is also important to take note of the colours used in adjacent rooms and your house as a whole. This ensures that the colour you choose for your space is cohesive and complementary to the wider environment.

Get familiar with painting terminology

Getting familiar with painting terms is helpful when researching and talking to paint professionals. Some good ones to familiarise yourself with are: primary colour, secondary colour, tertiary colour, shade, tone, tint, hue and intensity.

Consider the mood

Considering what the space is used for, and who uses it, can help with your colour choice. Bright colours, or whites, work well for spaces that need to have an energised vibe, for example a home office. Cool colours, for example blue and green, work well in calm, relaxed spaces like bedrooms.

Decorate and style 

It is a good idea to decorate and style the space before painting. Not only does this give you an idea of how the space will look when completed, it also provides inspiration to help you pick the perfect paint colour. If you have a colourful rug or large piece of artwork, you can pluck specific colours from these to create a colour scheme for the space.

Use the 60-30-10 rule

This fool-proof rule is great to use when decorating a space as it creates balance and interest. 60% is the dominant colour in the space (walls), 30% is the secondary colour (upholstery, flooring and window treatments) and 10% is the accent colour (cushions, art work and accessorises).

Be aware of lighting

Paint colours can be greatly impacted by lighting, both natural and unnatural. Natural lighting will show the truest colour, whereas incandescent lighting enhances warm tones and yellows and fluorescent lighting brings out blues. Also, consider what time of the day the room will be used—if the room is only going to be used at night then it would be a waste to paint the room in a colour that really pops in the natural light during the day.

Use a colour wheel

A colour wheel—which shows the relationship between different hues— is an extremely useful tool when it comes to choosing the right paint colour for your space.

Avoid trends

It can be tempting to choose a colour that is particularly on-trend, but it is not always the smartest idea. Although walls can be repainted, it is not something you want to be doing every year! If you are particularly drawn to an on-trend colour, use it in accents or accessories in the space.

Choose colours you actually like

It is important to pick colours that align with your personal taste—you will, after all, be spending time in the space! A good tip is to take cues from your clothes—most people buy clothes in colours they like to wear and feel good in—this can be applied to your paint colour choices too.

Try before you buy

Trying and testing paint colours before you buy is extremely important—it will save you both time and money! Buy a sample paint pot and test the colour in different light conditions in your space. It is also a good idea to paint a piece of wood or drywall and hold it against flooring, permanent fixtures and furniture to see if the colour is complementary.

Happy painting!