Forget what you’ve always believed about paint and start bringing your home to life.
When it comes to buying paint for the interior of our homes, most of us look longingly at the bright swatches yet leave with a few tins of off-white. Neutrals work with everything, right?
Interior designer and Taubmans ambassador Shaynna Blaze says no.
Shaynna says neutrals have their place, but on every wall and in every house, the only effect is boring.
“Creams, beiges and off-whites homogenise the decor and don’t make the most of the beautiful things you have, be it furniture, art or textiles,” she said.
“For a really liveable, comfortable home that makes you feel good every time you open the door, integrating colour is essential.
“We are all naturally attracted to certain colours but fear of making a mistake often stops us applying the shades we love to our walls.
“To create a colourful interior you just need to understand a few simple rules.”
Think like a designer
Take the time to learn these three principles of design and you’ll be well on your way to understanding the basics of colour coordination for a fearless approach to trying it at home.
Style of the home
Both the architecture of the home and the style of your furnishings come into play during the paint selection process.
Shaynna says working against a strong architectural style takes confidence and practice – you must work in harmony with it for a pleasing result.
“Looking to established colour schemes from past eras always works. Bring it all together and up-to-date with pops of a contrasting colour,” she said.
“I think that the colour of this room is really working around the furniture.
“The timber and shapes have a colonial feel, and this green works with the period and also the narrative, one of adventure and safaris.
“To stop it looking staid and old-fashioned, the green is yellow-based rather than blue, making it sunnier and more vibrant, and there’s a sense of fun in the art.”
Selecting the right paint swatch
Worrying that what’s in the tin will look different on the wall is a realistic concern, but advances in colour technology have taken much of the guesswork out of the selection process.
When colours were made of natural pigments, choice was limited. Now, the base colour can be altered and adjusted by fractional margins to create an exact tone.
Shaynna says it’s the undertones that have left people undone in the past.
“A colour changes dramatically depending on the underlying tint,” she said.
“The new colour cards from Taubmans were designed with exactly this in mind and are grouped in base tones, so each shade with the same base will blend harmoniously.”
The colour of the paint will look different again under overhead or lamp light. Incandescent and halogen lights will warm up reds and yellows while muting blues and greens.
Fluorescent and cool-toned energy saving bulbs enhance blues and green tones but flatten reds and yellows.
Keep in mind this also applies to the undertone, not just the surface colour. Test your colour in artificial light by painting a large canvas.