Colour is the key

Belinda chose a soft grey palette for her home in St Germain.

Belinda Menzies knows what it is like to decorate a new home completely from scratch. Last year Belinda and her partner Tim built their first home in St Germain. Here Belinda shares her tips on choosing colours.

When designing your colour scheme for a new home there is much to consider. Now before we hit the panic button here are some important things to contemplate before you start. How do you want your home to look? Is there a type of style you just can’t get out of your head? What type of materials are you hoping to use throughout the home? Colour is an amazing illusion, it can evoke so many different emotions, thoughts and feelings. Most importantly think about how you want to feel in your home.

Generally, there are two types of colour pallets, cool and warm. Warm colours generally offer undertones of orange, yellow or red, while cool colours reflect undertones of green, blue or purple. Without even being aware of it there are certain tones and colours that really draw us in. The more you think about it the more apparent it becomes.

Cool tones will offer a clean, crisp design, usually quite neutral, black, white and grey, but will allow for easy adaptability with trends. Warm tones will generally be less flexible with trends, but it will offer a richer use of colour with a contrast that is soft and subtle.

Your personal style impacts the type of colour you wear and this is the same principle for colours in the home. Different styles typically use set colour pallets that compliment. Hamptons for example is open and light with muted tones whereas contemporary uses a lot of clean lines and very apparent contrasts. Using imagery is a great way of determining what type of style you like or fit into.

Moving into Autumn and Winter colour trends move more towards the warmer earthy tones using combinations of lush green, chocolate, umber and sienna. This creates a fun, bright style and, when paired with a softer palette of green-based grey, it generates the perfect pairing for these nature-based hues.

A very simple and cost-effective way to stay on trend is by using accessories. These can be seasonally changed over or accessories that fit in with the scheme of your home all year round. Easy ways to add colour are with throws, cushions, rugs etc. You can also use floral arrangements to tie in the season’s colour pallet.

If you want more impact in your space paint is always a great option. Bold feature colours are on trend and being used more and more in design schemes, concepts and imagery. You can use multiple colours throughout your home, just be sure to keep them in the same tone, so you still create home harmony.

Don’t be afraid of colour I believe colour truly affects peoples’ moods.

As the artist Paul Gauguin said – “Colour! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams”.

– Belinda has her own interior design business, Raw Elegance Co.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.