Assess your space

Different colours suit different rooms, so the first step is to assess your space. If your room faces north and often feels cool, bright colours in vivid, saturated hues will enhance the light and make it feel warmer. If your room faces south, you can use most colours – even dark, dramatic ones.

Think about what you use the room for. Is it for eating, working, or sleeping? Use colour to create the mood you want to achieve. Cool, calm, muted colours such as pale green and watery blue evoke calm, while vibrant, deep colours such as reds and purples will energise and stimulate.

Inspiration is all around

Nature is a wonderful source of effortless colour combinations. Take a walk in a garden and get amongst the great outdoors. Which landscapes make you feel most alive?

Take note of your most treasured homewares. Have you got a cushion or bedspread that instantly adds flair to any space? Pick out colours from a favourite patterned accessory, then include the item in your finished room for a personal look.

Art can also inspire stunning colour schemes. Select a few key colours from a painting for a colour scheme that’s guaranteed to tickle your creativity.

Mood board magic

Use a collection of items and colour swatches to create a mood board.

Once you’ve chosen your colours, collect paint swatches and fabric and wallpaper samples that feature different shades of your chosen shades. Use a flat space or large piece of white cardboard as a backdrop for your emerging scheme. Arrange and rearrange till you are satisfied. Take your time and don’t forget to stand back and walk away. You’ll know when it’s right.

Try before you buy

Test by buying paint quarters to make sure the colour you love looks just as great on your walls as it does on your mood board. Paint different spots in different lights or hang a painted A4 piece of lining paper on different walls so you can see how the colours look under natural and artificial light at different times of day.

Featured colours