A lick of paint is one of the easiest ways to personalise and freshen up a room, especially when applied to walls.
Dulux colour and communications manager Andrea Lucerne-Orr said colour could influence the way your home looked and also the way you felt when you were in it.
“If you are living in a white space, your home really doesn’t give much back in terms of emotional connection,” she said. “Once you add some colour, you’ll quickly see how your attachment to the space changes.”
Following the release of Dulux’s 2019 colour forecast (which includes four new palettes), Ms Lucerne-Orr shares these eight tips on wall colour.
1. Harness the right mood
If you’re after a relaxed, placid look, go for soft tones and neutral palettes, such as delicate peach-pinks or subtle beiges and greys, Ms Lucerne-Orr said.
These shades are especially good for bedrooms and open living spaces.
“You want something that’s not going to create a lot of contrast and is soothing on the eye,” she said.
Bolder shades, such as oranges and yellows, are best suited for study areas or playrooms because of their uplifting and positive vibe.
“However, it doesn’t need to be overly bold; a burnt orange or red-orange can have the same effect,” she said.
2. Create focal points
To define an architectural feature, artwork or piece of furniture, consider using a wash of colour as a backdrop.
“The wall colour will naturally draw your eye towards this space,” Ms Lucerne-Orr said.
Interestingly, most people would opt for a white wall behind a vivid artwork to make it stand out, whereas she strongly recommended doing the opposite.
“Go for something dominant, such as a deep charcoal, deep blue or deep olive because this will really bring out the colours in the painting.”
3. Consider lighting
Be aware of how the light changes in the room throughout the day before you choose a colour for the space.
Ms Lucerne-Orr said the look and feel of the wall colour would change depending on the amount of natural light.
“That is the beauty of colour — it’s never going to look the same; it will always change, depending on light, shadows and surrounding colours,” she said.
She suggested hanging A4 swatches in your chosen palette on the wall for at least three days so you could really start to appreciate how the colour would look at different times and under different lighting conditions including artificial light.
“Artificial light has warm and cool settings that can impact the look of the wall colour,” she noted.
4. Keep it tonal
Create more interest when using one colour by simply varying the levels of tone when the colour is applied to the wall surface.
“If you have a dado wall, for instance, you might use a soft grey on top and then a light white with a beige undertone below,” Ms Lucerne-Orr explained. “The tonal variation is very slight between them, but it still has impact.”
5. Add texture
A textured coloured wall can be the perfect finishing touch, adding depth and character.
“Textured paint creates a natural, tactile feel and looks incredible on feature walls and nooks,” Ms Lucerne-Orr said.
“Once the texture is applied, it adds another dimension to colour, as the undulation of texture creates an appealing shadow effect that takes a room to a whole new level.”
6. Consider furnishings
Don’t overlook the room’s other elements when you are choosing a wall colour, or the combination of colours might become jarring.
Ms Lucerne-Orr said be sure to select a wall shade that complemented your existing furnishings, flooring and window treatments as this would tie the room’s look together in the most natural and balanced way.
7. Blend the TV
There has been a strong shift towards using dark colours, such as black, dark grey and black-blue, to conceal wall-mounted TV screens — and for good reason.
Dark hues allow the TV to blend into the background and makes for better TV viewing.
“If you have a white wall with a black screen, the contrast is quite significant, whereas the dark wall brings out the vivid colour on the screen,” Ms Lucerne-Orr pointed out.
8. Get cosy
Being a personal, intimate space, the main bedroom is a good place to experiment with darker colours.
“This is an area where nobody else has to go, so you can be unique and put your own stamp on it,” Ms Lucerne-Orr said.
“Having dark-coloured walls in a bedroom is very decadent and encompassing — it seems to wrap its arms around you and has a beautiful feeling.”