Welcome to Colour

Colour in Interior Design

When thinking of Interior Design, colour is one of the most important aspects to discover. It can make or break the design.  Colour brings mood and atmosphere to any room, and sets the tone of the space. 

In future blogs I will talk about a colour or group of colours and delve deeper into their use, but first a bit of theory:


The above colour wheel shows the primary colours (Red, Yellow, Blue) with their secondary and tertiary colours.  Secondary colours are a mix of two Primary colours (e.g green is a mix of Blue and Yellow).  Tertiary colours are where one of the primary colours is in a greater proportion to the other (e.g. Yellow-Green has more yellow than blue in it). This is a good way to look at how colours sit together

Another way to split colours is to group them as Warm or Cold colours. This can be done by splitting the Colour Wheel into two sections.

  • Cool Colours - create an impression of calm and create a soothing atmosphere
  • Warm Colours - are vivid and energetic and tend to advance in space
  • Black, white and grey are considered neutral.

Hues, Tones,Shades and Tints

All colours are made from the three Primary colours.  Their variations are down to different proportions of these colours, along with the additional of white and black to make their Tone darker (Shade - add black) or lighter (Tint - add white).  

The Hue is the base colour - in the below example it is Red. This picure shows some of the Tones of the Hue (Red) from white to black.

    When designing a room pallette, you should think of using colours that are either:

    • Monochromatic (all in one Hue e..g the base colour is blue)
    • Complementary - opposite each other on the colour wheel
      • Anologous - next to each other on the colour wheel
    • Or a combination of the above two such as:
      • Square (allow one colour to be dominant)
      • Triadic (allow one colour to be dominant)
      • Rectangle (allow one colour to be dominant)
      • Split complementary

    The above diagram shows some of these suggested colour schemes on a colour wheel, and using these will help to ensure that you have a harmonious design. Some choices may seem like they will not work, but trust the wheel!

    Final Thoughts

    This is a very brief walk through colour theory to give an overview of why colours will work together, what the 'technical' terms mean and how it can be used in Interior Design.

    Don't be afraid of colour, start by using bold colurs in small ways, but then take a chance and make the boldest colour the feature of a room.

    In my next blogs I will concentrate on one colour and show great examples of it use, along with my thoughts on each. I will tackle colours I love, as well as those I don't really like.

    I hope you find these useful and help you to extend your confidence in using colour in your rooms.

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