How to use colour to energise your home
Summer is all about light, bright and colourful spaces
Just like a new summer wardrobe, switching up your interior design is a staple of welcoming the warmer, brighter weather. When we think of summer style, we think of light materials, fresh additions, open spaces and – of course – bright pops of colour.
So don’t be afraid to inject a little fun into your décor, just in time for summer. Here are some of the best ways to mix it up with colour, creating unique combinations to help your home stand out at every sunny soiree.
Where should you use colour?
If you’re thinking of brightening up your décor, the first decision you’ll need to make is which areas need a pop of colour the most.
The answer lies in looking at your home with a critical eye. Which areas are feeling a little bland or tired, and which ones could do with some energizing and invigorating design changes? Pay particular attention to the main social hubs in your home, like the kitchen, living room or even your outdoor space. Wherever you spend the most time in your home deserves the most attention, especially if this is a space where you want to encourage lively conversations.
You can also introduce colour into other spaces for different effects, like cool, bright tones in a home office to promote focus, or softer tones in the bedroom to promote relaxation.
Classic colour choices
Understanding the basic effect of colours will help you choose which shades to include, and where to include them. Some colours, like red, yellow and orange, are more energizing options, while cooler tones like blue, green and purple can help you unwind.
Red: Red is a bold colour choice that’s often associated with strong feelings like bravery, love and anger. As such, it really packs a punch in interior design, and is best used sparingly.
Blue: Blue is the polar opposite of red in that it sedates where red stimulates. Blue is the colour of relaxation and calmness, making it a great option for the bedroom, where you want to encourage sleep.
Yellow: Like red, yellow is an energizing colour, but it’s also softer than red and used to promote happiness and positivity. This makes it a great choice for social spaces, especially a bright, open plan kitchen.
Orange: Unsurprisingly, orange is the middle ground between red and yellow. Like yellow it is a warm and happy colour, but it’s also best used sparingly like red as too much orange can be overwhelming.
Green: Green makes us think of nature, which can help us feel more positive and energized. It’s a great colour choice for a study as it has been shown to help us focus.
Purple: Purple can be a relaxing colour choice, like blue, but it is also often seen as the height of luxury. An elegant dining room or entrance hall can benefit from a splash of purple.
Black: Many people write off using black in décor completely as it has been shown to make spaces look smaller and darker. However, when used in moderation it can be a powerful tool for adding depth and interest.
White: White is many people’s go-to colour because it instantly makes any space feel lighter and brighter. However, if used without the presence of any other colour it can come across as bland, boring and cold.
Now that you know the impact of the main colours has, you can start putting together interesting combinations. Depending on the effect you’re trying to create, you can piece together complementary shades for relaxation (like blue and purple) or for energy and stimulation (like yellow and green). If you’re feeling brave, you can also put contrasting colours together to create a striking effect (like red and blue or black and white). White works as a complementary colour for practically every colour, so it’s always a safe bet.
How to add colour
The other key decision to make when adding colour to your home décor is how you are going to apply it. If you have the time, a fresh coat of paint can immediately transform the way a room looks and feels, or try introducing a feature wall as a less time-consuming way to add contrast.
Even if you don’t want to repaint your home, switching out accessories and soft furnishings for colourful alternatives can give a room a new lease of life through new pillows, plants, rugs and lampshades. This also allows you to chop and change your décor if and when you choose, keeping your home feeling constantly fresh and surprising.