How to choose the right colour

Choosing a colour can sometimes be daunting especially when there are hundreds of different colours to choose from. So here are 5 things you should consider before you choose your colour, room function, natural light, sheen, contrast, and furniture

Room function: What is the purpose of the space you are painting? 

Natural light: Which direction is the space facing? 

Sheen: How shiny should the surface be? 

Contarst: Do the colours match? 

Furniture: What style of furniture do you have? 

When you combine all these factors you will be able to make a more informed choice on the colour you would like to use. 

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Paint Strokes

Sheen

There are 4 sheen levels typically used in a home.

Flat, lowsheen, semigloss, and high gloss

Flat is typically used for ceilings or dark feature walls where you don’t want any light reflection to occur.

Low sheen is the standard medium sheen used on walls

Semi-gloss are mainly used on timber, such as windows, doors and frames as Semi-gloss provides a harder wearing finish. 

High-gloss is the highest sheen level finish you can get and much like semi-gloss it is typically used on timber surfaces. 

Contrast

Colour wheel 

When choosing more than one colour you should think about how the two would look next to each other. Contrasting colours are the ones directly opposite each other on the colour wheel (eg. blue and orange). If you want to go for a more subtle contrast then selecting a colour within the same shade or the on either side of the primary colour will also do the trick.

Primary Colour

The primary colour is usually the biggest surface area in your home, which will be your walls. Begin by selecting a colour you like, then narrow down the shade until you are happy with your primary colour choice. 

Secondary Colour

Secondary colours are your trims and doors or featurewalls. These will be your highlighting colour which you will contrast with the primary wall colour. Secondary colours can either be lighter or darker than your primary, as long as they are within their colour family or have a contrast it will standout. 

Eg. a dark grey wall with white or offwhite trims. or dark blue walls with light blue trims.

Natural light

Natural light is the main source of light in your home. Depending on the direction your room is facing the sun will illuminate your rooms differently. North facing rooms will get the most natural light and its usually where your living areas are located. You would want these areas to feel bigger and more spacious, so selecting a lighter colour would help achieve this sense of space as a darker colour will enclose the space.

It's important to note that different walls in a room may look slightly different even if painted in the same colour due to shadows from the sunlight. So make sure you try out your test patches on more than one wall to get a sense of the true colour in the room. 

Room function

A room function is what the space is used for, eg kitchen, living room etc. Most of the time you would want these spaces to have a uniform look so that they don't feel disconnected from each other. In some cases you want to create a certain mood in the room. A theatre room, bar or games room are good examples. You want these room to have their own atmosphere so when you enter them you know you are in a more special area of the house. Choosing a darker colour for a theatre room is a no brainer, but for an entertainment room you could play around with any colour you like as long as the colours contrast one another. 

Eg. A primary dark maroon walls with a secondary dark blue feature wall

Furniture

Furniture is makes a space occupiable and plays an important role in the feel of the room. When selecting colours for your space you should think about what kind of furniture you are going to place in those spaces. If you are going for a neutral look for your rooms then the furniture will be the focal point and vice versa. 

Eg. If you have dark contemporary furniture, you can pick a lighter colour on your walls to complement and contrast what you place in the room. 

Example 

Primary Low-sheen Prussian blue walls 

Secondary Low-sheen Limed spruce feature fireplace and dark grey skirting boards

Medium natural lighting

Contemporary dark furniture 

Creating a moody living room space

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