Colour is a big challenge for most clients. How to choose a colour scheme. Which colour to paint their walls, and should each room have a different colour scheme are the most common questions. The short answer to the last question is no. For a cohesive interior design, one colour scheme for your home, is what you should be aiming for. But this can be tweaked to differentiate space and add interest, here’s how.
A base colour scheme
In a previous post I talk about how a good colour scheme starts with three colours. We see this in flags for example. The Australian flag’s colour scheme is red, blue and white. A Hamptons colour scheme could be blue, white and taupe. While various interior styles lend themselves well to certain colour schemes, pick a colour scheme with colours you like.
Once you have your base colour scheme you can add a fourth colour or material. For example, a gold metallic accent. Or terracotta ceramics. Your fourth colour can be a bright contrast or a subtle neutral colour. The key to a successful colour scheme, is getting the balance right in terms of application and repetition.
Applying a colour scheme
Once you have your three or four colours they need to be applied in the right scale. For example, a project I worked on with a Scandinavian style had the colour scheme of grey, white, black and mustard. Mustard was the accent colour.
Below you will see in the living room and how these colours were applied. White walls, grey sofa, black bench and mustard cushions.
In the dining room the colour ratio is different. Mustard is the focal colour not the accent colour.
Once you have a colour scheme, it should be applied to your entire home but the colour ratios can be tweaked for each space.
One home one colour scheme
One colour scheme for your entire home doesn’t have to be boring or complicated. You can tweak the balance of the colours and reverse the accent colour to a focal colour.
The key to achieve this is to remember the 70-20-10 rule. For example in the above project with a white, grey, black colour scheme. The colour used the most, that is in 70% of the space was white on the walls.
The second most prominent colour is grey, which takes up 20% of the space in the focal point which is the sofa.
And finally black takes up 10% of the proportion of colour in the space in the black bench. The accent colour is then applied minimally but repeated through cushions and art.
If you follow this rule with your colour scheme in different spaces, you can add interest rather than confusion while still achieving cohesion.
While colour can be intimidating there are some key rules to keep you on track. Firstly, choose a colour scheme made up of three solid colours. And secondly follow the 70-20-10 rule in terms of quantity and application and this one colour scheme for your home will be successful, even with a few tweaks.