• Nichola Haysey

A word or four on colour

We are working on a fantastic project at the moment and the question we're facing, is how to create a bright, calm room.

Instinctively - we think colour. Bright colours. Lots of them. Then we think calm...not colour...white? Thing is, while bright bold colours have their place and are essential to ensure a room doesn't feel too flat, they are not generally calming. Or are they?

Go bold or go home

Most people turn away from strong colours and there is a perfectly good reason people have a tendancy to do this. The more contrasting colours there are in a space, the smaller the room will feel. That is not the objective. We all love bright airy spaces, or luxurious rich roomy spaces.

So breaking the mould slightly- if you're feeling brave and are in love with a darker hue for example, the very on trend deep rich blue tones appearing everywhere at the moment, the grey's or card room greens, then as long as your room (in it's entirety) is painted in the one colour, it will feel restful and calm, despite being on the smaller side and as an added bonus, any imperfections that are difficult to change on a budget, or without a major overhaul being carried out - like picture rails that you have remained since you moved in, or obscure shaped boxing in, wonky walls etc, will be less noticeable. Painting the woodwork in the room (skirting boards, architraves etc ) in the same colour or similar is also key here.

Farrow and Ball

Farrow and Ball will tell you that strong tones have a tendency to recede when used in conjunction, creating that feeling of space as long as they are not contrasted too much in the same space with considerably lighter colours -so keep the pure brilliant white off the ceiling!


On the subject of ceilings - a little gem of information you may find of use - white ceilings bring the height of walls down, make a room feel smaller and although you may have been raised believing it is the way to brighten a room, it really isn't. Unless of course your walls are white. But this is the exception. Ask the experts.

Where possible use a tone of white, try using a few drops of your wall colour mixed into your white paint, or choose a blend. For example, if you happen to be using a green wall colour, use a white constituted with green undertones on the woodwork or ceilings. You get the white effect but it's not as harsh and actually complements the green marvelously. If you're using a pink wall colour, use a red undertone shade of white, and similarly with grey's. This will elongate those walls and push that ceiling back up where it should be.

Farrow and Ball -(we are huge advocates of this paint brand due to their knowledge, the complexity of the design of the paint, the range of colours available, the quality of the paint, the low VOC content and its subsequent breathability and child friendly properties, the eco-friendly considerations they take as a company and the customer support - phew, need I say more?!)- have a fantastic range of colours and information on their website to guide you through this.


That's fine, but I still like white

Me too. White is a calming choice used in the right tones. I can't pretend I don't love white. It's a great background for any palette or furniture choice. These become your eye catching features on your canvas so to speak.

White can be tricky to get right, but trial and error is the way forward! Sample, sample, sample - that is the only way to get this bit the way you intend.

Paint big pieces of paper and stick them up, put them together. Paint samples will never look the same as they do on the front of the pot. When the colour is up in your room with your light angles pouring through the windows or your lights on, it will take on a whole new dimension. Paint colours change morning, noon and night, so really know what you want.

Is the room for dining in the evening,. Light a candle next to it, what's the effect? Do you have a south facing room? What happens to the colour in the bright morning sunshine? How is it next to your "wow" piece in your room, complimentary, an eye sore? Does it enhance or remove something from it?

Does the beautiful bright daylight colour have a warm enough tone for you when the light fades and the lamps are on?

Food for thought.

Colour is exciting! Be Bold! Be Brave! Be Adventurous!

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