7 Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Paint Colour

Tuesday 4th February 2020

The effect of the colour of your walls on the overall feel and atmosphere of your home cannot be overstated. Changing a living room from a deep red to an ocean blue can make a room feel larger and calmer, or even a change as subtle as from a pale cream to a pale grey can add a touch of class.

With 20% OFF all Crown Mid-Sheen and Matt Mixed Paint during February 2020 at Kellys, we’ve put together these top 7 tips to help you choose the right paint colour for your next re-decorating project.

1) Use whats already in the room for inspiration
If you have pieces of furniture or decorative items in your room that you know you’re going to keep, then start with these and work backwards. For example, a large red vase isn’t likely to look so great in a room with pale blue walls. That being the case, determine the colours of the large items you intend to keep in the room, and look for a colour palette which includes these colours to take your inspiration from.

2) Which direction does the room face?
If you haven’t considered this already then it’s time to think about which direction your room faces. We’ve provided a brief summary below of which directions have which effects on the colour and feel of a room:

North facing rooms typically receive cooler and harsher light, so cool colours will tend to look even cooler and even a bit flat. Lean towards warmer colours for north facing rooms, or if you want neutral colours then choose those that have warmer undertones such as yellows and pinks. 

East facing rooms receive good light in the mornings, with less light as the day goes on. As such, you should choose your room colour depending on whether you will be in the room more in the mornings or the evenings. To cater the room for morning times choose colours like blue or green, or more neutral colours with blue or green undertones as these will make bright sunshine look slightly less intense. To cater the room for evening times choose colours with warmer undertones. 

West facing rooms will be cooler in the mornings with more light coming through in the evenings. As such follow the opposite of the tips above for east facing rooms; blues and greens to neutralise harsh light in the evenings, or warmer tones to maximise warmth in the mornings. 

South facing rooms typically receive good light all day. That being the case, warm colours will tend to look very warm, and cool colours will keep the room feeling more neutral, fresh and breezy. Lean towards neutral colours with an undertone of your choosing, as most will look good, but be aware that the strong light will make any colour you choose appear warmer than usual.

3) Small or dark room? Choose cooler colours!
Have you considered how much light your room receives? How large the windows are? As a simple guide, cooler colours tend to feel further away, making a room feel larger than it is, and warmer colours tend to feel closer, making a room feel smaller. That being the case, choose either cooler colours, whites or pale neutrals for smaller or darker rooms. These lighter colours will reflect more light creating the effect of a larger room. Conversely, if you want to make a large room feel cosier and more intimate then opt for warmer tones.

4) Consider the emotional effect of colour
This topic deserves and entire blog post of it’s own! Colours have been shown to have a very real effect on your emotional state, and we definitely recommend reading more about this before choosing your colours.

We’ve included a short summary below for some common colours:

Red is an energetic and intense colour. Shown to raise blood pressure, increase respiration and heart rate. Choose this colour for rooms where you want higher energy for stimulating conversation. 

Yellow is known to have a joyful effect and can be energising and up lifting. A great colour for kitchens dining rooms and even bathrooms. Be careful about choosing yellow as your main colour scheme however, as it has been shown to increase frustration in large quantities (fun fact: babies have been shown to cry more in yellow rooms!)

Blue is known as a calm colour, and has been shown to slow respiration, bring down blood pressure and heart rate. A great colour for bedrooms to calm the mind before sleep. Blue is also a great choice for bathrooms. For a calming effect make sure to opt for warmer, lighter blues as dark blue can have the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness. 

Green is another colour known for it’s calming and restful effect. Combining the calmness of blue with the joy of yellow, green is a great choice for almost any area of the house. Known to decrease feelings of stress and encourage relaxation, it can be a great choice for a living room or kitchen.

5) Use feature walls
Feature walls are a fantastic way to keep the majority of your walls neutral whilst also adding some colour into the room. Many rooms will simply be overpowered by a strong colour on every wall, however utilising neutral colours on three walls, and a strong colour on one feature wall can allow you to keep a room bright and breezy whilst also adding some great warmth with a red or orange feature wall.

6) Use room painter phone apps
There are now many phone apps on the market you help you visualise what you room would look like in another colour, and they’re surprisingly easy to use. Apps like Crown’s MyRoomPainter, or Dulux Visualizer can allow you to see your room in different colours without having to use tester pots. Apps like these are a real game changer, so make sure you check them out!

7) Speak to the experts!
With as much research in the world, you’ll be hard pressed to get as much value and insight as you will from speaking with a real paint and colour expert who has years of experience. Kellys have staff members who have been working in this field for many years, and will be happy to speak to you at length about your next re-decorating project. Be sure to have a good chat with the specialist in your local paint shop before making your colour choices.

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