Choosing a colour scheme to add value to your home

Choosing a colour scheme for your house can be a tough job. Endless test pots splurged onto walls all over your home can send you crazy. Who would have thought there were so many shades of olive?

Quick Move Now spoke to an expert to get some handy hints to make your life a bit easier when planning your next decorating session.

When it comes to pinning down the perfect pot of paint, the most important thing, says Freya Barton of The English Cloth Company, is that you are comfortable with it. The Berkshire-based designer says;

It may sound obvious but it is you that has to live with the colour choice every day and, as such, it needs to be easy on your eye. We are all aware of different colours being associated with different moods and this is never more true than the colours we surround ourselves with in our home. The key is to pick a colour that does not jar with you, but reflects your lifestyle and the way in which you use the room. This does not mean you have to avoid bold colour and go for a muted palette of magnolias, but try to pick a colour that you do not notice every time you walk into the room. It should be part of the overall setting, not leap out at you in contrast to the objects in the room and the soft furnishings.

There are five keys points to remember when choosing your colour scheme…

Develop a style

This doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same colour throughout your home, but a complementing palette of colour will give your house harmony and actually make it feel bigger. If you are not naturally drawn to a palette of colours do your research to work out what you like. A great place to start is Pinterest. Freya says she maintains an ongoing colour board that she constantly refers back to. She also recommends ripping pages from magazines and gathering together images of what you like to see if a common theme emerges.

Colour combinations

There are different options depending upon the shape and use of the room you are decorating.

  • All one colour – Use matt emulsion for the walls and ceiling and oil-based egg shell for the woodwork in the same shade throughout. This works best with softer rather than dark colours and is the most calming and easiest on the eye as every aspect of the room flows from one element to the next. It is a good trick to use in small rooms as it makes the room feel bigger with as there are no obvious edges to highlight the size of the space.
  • Darker woodwork than walls – once you have picked your wall colour, select a colour for the woodwork that is about three shades darker, but in the same colour range. This is a popular choice in America and can really add a sense of interior designed style to your home.
  • Darker walls than woodwork – this is the most common choice of colour combination and creates a crisp, clean look. This combination is recommended if you have gone for a bold or dark colour on the walls. White or off white works well on woodwork when you have a strong wall colour as it makes the colour zing! If you are going for a strong colour it may as well zing, don’t do it apologetically!”

Take inspiration from your soft furnishings

Pick a favourite colour out of your curtains or sofas and build a colour palate for the walls, floor and skirting boards around it. This is a great way to refresh a room with style, without having to replace all the soft furnishings.

Build up a flowing colour palette

The idea behind creating a palette for your whole house ensures that one room flows harmoniously from the next and does not feel like you are wandering through a child’s paint box. Freya says;

One way to think of it is that, ideally, if you are carpeting the upstairs of your house all the carpets in every room should be the same colour. So your paint palette would need to work with this same carpet colour in every room. This doesn’t mean all the rooms must be the same colour but the range or hue of colours needs to work as a collective palette.


If a room is dark you do not necessarily have to paint it in a light, bright colour to try to counteract that. Depending on what you use the room for it is often just best to go with it and paint the room in a darker hue. “Don’t fight it!” says Freya. “It will not make the room feel any darker than it already does and can create a cosy, comforting feeling.”

So there you have it. Choosing a paint colour needn’t be as difficult as you might expect; you just need to know what to look for – and now you do!

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 28th August 2013
Last updated on 24th April 2017


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