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  • Writer's pictureAlexis

How important is colour?

Colour swatches

Following Dulux’s announcement of the colour for 2021 it has inspired me to look at the importance of colour and the part it plays in our interiors.

I believe colour is massively important. It sets the tone for your space just like the colour of your clothes does for your personality. If you have bright purple underpants on but always dress head to toe in black that to me says that you like the idea of being a rebel but are not quite there yet. Or that you like to play with colour but only when you are safe in the knowledge that no one knows if you have giant beige Bridgette Jones underpants on or racy underpants that are impractical but make you feel amazing. Either way you like to play with colour and apply it in different ways.

The same applies to a room. It might be that the walls are a subdued canvas and back drop for an equally subdued floor covering but the curtains are bold and geometric in a fabric which can only be described as royal robes. Or, you might have a fondness for layering different shades of grey and then have a bold burnt orange armchair that takes centre stage. Colour says a lot about you. It is also something that can send you into analysis paralysis where you stare endlessly at colour charts, never quite able to make a decision but knowing you need to. A small room can look even smaller if a dark colour is applied on every wall but equally a dark colour can make a small room appear larger in appearance and personality. It is all to do with ceiling heights, the amount of natural light in the space, the purpose of the room, floor covering and the tone of the colour you choose. It is not simply a case of paint it white and it will feel gigantic and paint it a dark colour and it will feel snug and cosy. If only it was that easy but alas it is not. And whilst I advocate being a shade braver, it is all about the shade meeting the personality and the two getting cosy like destined lovers. If you don’t feel like you can do this alone then ask for advice from a trained professional. Spending money on an interior designer could be the best decision you ever make to draw out the right colour and apply it in the right context. Whilst paint can be an easy and a relatively cheap thing to change the look of a room why buy and paint sections of your wall only to change the colour part way through because it wasn’t what you were sold based on the tin? Or you let doubt creep in and all the while you are buying accessories and furniture that now don’t match anything. You will find yourself running out of motivation and money for your project before you know it and your room won’t look put together and cohesive.

Boldness could be leopard print wallpaper or burnt orange paint with a white flokati rug or a berry Chesterfield sofa sat on oak stained original floor timbers with a hare floor lamp or a room that is different shades of grey from top to bottom with a mustard armchair. Believe it or not, these can all work in a space. It has to be the right space, in the right context and all the elements in the room need to work together, not competing for attention and when they do, you will have something truly special.

When you are deciding what colours to incorporate into your room, look beyond the obvious, wall colours, flooring and curtains. Elements such as cushions, lampshades, coloured lightbulbs, furniture, artwork and plants all play a role. They can either complement each other or be in complete contrast. Once you have decided on the overall look for your room you can then work out where colour should be placed so that it stands out and where it should play the role of a backdrop. Bold walls and subdued accessories can create an opulent feel whilst muted tones on the walls and pastel accessories can create quiet elegance. Play around with colours and be bold and daring but make sure you don’t have all the elements competing for attention. Some things need to shine whilst others should be the supporting act.

On a final note, there is also no harm in looking to what has been chosen by Dulux as the colour of the year. 2021 will be the year of “Brave Ground”. They describe it as a warm, earthy tone which creates a feeling of stability, growth and potential.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 - Brave Ground

Unlike previous years it is a subdued tone which would create a lovely backdrop to the space. I am however not a fan of simply going with whatever colour is popular. For me it is about homing in on what your sense of style is and then bringing this out in your space. That way it will not only be unique, it will be timeless.

If you are struggling to identify what your style is and would like some guidance through the process then I would love to hear from you. Email me at and we can kick start your design journey.


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