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How to choose paint colour

How to choose paint colour and an intro to the colour wheel

by Rachel Nikolic, Interior Designer
Feel like throwing some colour onto your walls, because the current colour scheme in your home sparking as much interest as grandpa’s old Volvo?
There are many factors to consider in choosing the right colour, but the most important thing to remember is that it’s just paint, be brave, its not that hard to change.
Here are some guidelines to help you get what you want the first time:


Is it a light or dark room? If you have a light room you can go darker and still maintain the feeling of space. If your dealing with a dark room a dark colour will draw the walls in. Most people are afraid of this, however in a bedroom, study or TV room, a cozy feeling may be just what you need.


A south facing room will be the coolest in the home (in the Southern Hemisphere, for the Northern Hemisphere the north facing room will be the coolest), using a cool colour will exaggerate that feeling and may feel unwelcoming in winter. Just as a north facing small room painted in warm colours will feel hotter.

Colour Psychology

Is just how a colour makes you “feel”, yellow = happy, red = cozy, green = calm etc. There are entire PhD’s on the matter, but the truth is personal and individual… Go with your gut feeling, what do you like??

Complementary color scheme

Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary colors. The high contrast creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. This color scheme must be managed well so it is not jarring.

Analogous color scheme

Use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs. They are often found in nature, are harmonious & pleasing to the eye. Choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used as an accent.

Triadic color scheme

Uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. These schemes tend to be quite vibrant (even if pale or unsaturated colours are used). To use successfully, the colors should be carefully balanced – let one color dominate and use the two others for accent.

Split-Complementary color scheme

In addition to the base color, it uses the two colors adjacent to its complement. This color scheme has a strong visual contrast with less tension. The split complementary scheme is often a good choice for beginners, as it is difficult to mess up.
When choosing a scheme you need to take particular notice of the things that are existing or fixed in your room. The thing most people forget is the floor, then there is your furniture and artworks to consider (pure black or white don’t count as colours).
The final consideration is fashion. You don’t have to be bang on trend to get a fantastic contemporary result. However if you want to make it a priority, you need to work backwards from this colour.
So collect your paint chips, view them in daylight, shop at a specialty paint store if possible, take a deep breath and a leap of faith into the colour world. Banish the bland, express yourself and live life to the full.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or think you might need some help with your interiors,
Rachel Nikolic.
Interior Designer
[email protected]
Click here for the website


About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. This is a great guide, thank you 🙂 You can also now use the new ‘Paint My Place’ app to test out paint colors on images you take on your iPhone or iPad, so you don’t even need to use swatches any more.

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