How to introduce colour into your home, ft. Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene
Whether you love the bold and bright, or neutral and pared back it’s not always easy to add colour to your home. It’s not just about deciding on a colour, it’s where that colour works best in your home for maximum impact and how you wish to make a room feel when you’re in it. Colour can be a powerful tool so knowing how to use it well can make all the difference.
Living area by Vesta using Little Greene, Tuscan Red
In our latest blog, Gemma Roberts, Senior Interior Designer at Vesta and Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene, discuss tips and tricks on adding colour into your home.
Choosing a colour palette that’s right for you
We all see and feel colours differently to one another – it’s a very personal thing. So, first things first, think about which colours you love and which you don’t.
Ruth suggests, “Start your project planning with the colours that you definitely want to include and then look for complimentary shades to ensure the scheme flows throughout the house.”
Similarly, Gemma adds: “If you’re not sure where to start it can be good practice to choose a colour palette of about five colours to run through the whole house, so each room reflects the last. Typically, the larger the house the easier it is to get away with a larger colour palette because there’s more need for variation.”
When thinking about your colour palette Ruth recommends using Little Greene’s Colour Scales palette. “It encompasses our most popular neutrals in four tonal shades using the same pigment, just different strengths.
“These are perfect for use in a coordinated colour scheme, for example, you could use Aquamarine-Mid for the walls, Aquamarine-Pale on the ceiling and Aquamarine for the woodwork. You can then look for complimentary shades to create some contrast, such as Livid.”
Image supplied by Little Greene featuring Aquamarine mid, Aquamarine pale and Livid
Vesta bedroom featuring Little Greene Aquamarine
Colour by feeling not numbers
Ruth suggests: “When curating a colour palette for your home, begin by deciding how you would like each room to feel.
“For example, the kitchen is often the hub of the family home, therefore it is an ideal place to make more adventurous colour choices and certainly the space where you can really experiment with vibrant, bold tones such as Hicks’ Blue and Pall Mall.
Image supplied by Little Greene featuring Hicks Blue
“When selecting a shade for your bathroom, consider shades that exude tranquillity so you can create a haven within your home. For a scheme that provides you with a calm retreat, use colours with warm undertones that really bring comfort to a space.
“For a finish with immediate impact and a touch of opulence, opt for an all over colour using a deep, moody hue like Lamp Black. The strength of the colour will provide a sophisticated scheme that can be complemented with white porcelain and high-shine accessories.
Image supplied by Little Greene featuring Lamp Black
Dark and light rooms
"It’s common to have a room that stays dark all throughout the day and never gets much natural light and we are often asked what to do with rooms like this...
Gemma, adds "North facing rooms have far less natural light during the day so we say embrace the dark side and choose deep rich hues, such as Little Greene’s Mid Azure Green.
“Trying to lighten a north facing room with a softer, lighter shade can often provide an unwanted grey tone. Instead darker colours provide a cosy atmosphere and can be brightened with pops of colour in the room’s accessories.
"South facing rooms offer lots of warm light so it’s best to choose a soft or bright colour palette to maximise the light available.
"East facing rooms get the light in the morning and are often cooler in the afternoon. And - you guessed it - west facing rooms are the opposite. These are the rooms where you can go bold and get really creative. Standout feature walls are a great option, as are bright accessories."
Open-plan living area created by Vesta using Little Greene Canton and Hellebore paint
Not just for walls
An equally exciting way of adding colour to your home is by painting the ceiling, woodwork or floor. Painting the walls white or neutral with a block colour on the skirting boards and/or door frames is an effective way of adding colour without it dominating a room. It’s also a great way of bringing life to tired-looking woodwork.
Windowless hallway demonstrating use of creative paint and wallpaper on ceiling, adding height and space to a small room - a Vesta project
Similarly, Ruth suggests painting the floor as a dramatic way to transform a room.
“With most of the Little Greene colour palette available in our ‘Intelligent Floor Paint’ finish, you can create impact with bold brights or use a timeless neutral for a subtle finish.
“The water-based paint is suitable for all floors and interior woodwork within a busy home and dries within two hours. This means you won’t need to wait overnight for the floor to dry and you can continue with minimal disruption.”
And finally, if you’re looking for a more unusual way of adding colour, experiment by painting the insides of a bookshelf or a door. Painting an old piece of furniture using paint such as Little Greene’s ‘Intelligent Satinwood’ finish can also offer a room a new lease of life – plus it adds heaps of character and is good for the environment.
Painted shelving demonstrating pops of colour against a neutral backdrop - a Vesta project
Colour can be the perfect tool to create features and sections to rooms. With a lot of us now creating flexible working spaces at home, now could be the perfect time to experiment with colour to create the perfect work space. For example; if you have a living room that is also used as a study, block colour patterns can divide the space into two areas.
The same goes for larger open-plan spaces. You can define areas and divides to a room by using different colours for each section. By using a neutral colour for a kitchen and dining area that feeds into a warmer, bolder colour choice in the living area this immediately creates a feeling of a divide between the two.
Vesta project featuring Little Greene, Basalt
It’s also a great idea if you love to change your look every few years. You can choose to use the walls as your canvas for changing every so often and keep your furniture neutral. Or go full maximalist and embrace colour all around!
We hope these tips and tricks are helpful when you’re trying to add some colour to your home. A huge thank you to Ruth at Little Greene for your time and expert tips!