How to add colour to your home without repainting the walls
Whether you want to create an inviting living room to spend time with your loved ones, or a tranquil bedroom to rest and relax in, colours are a great way to set the mood in your home. The most obvious way to do this is to use wallpaper or paint on the walls or furniture. But decorating takes time and effort, and you can’t change it easily to match your mood.
Accessories are a great way to bring colour to your home, and you can vary them depending on the atmosphere you want to create. You can add small touches of colour with small items such as candles, flowers or Photo Blocks, go for an eye-catching centrepiece such as a Cushion, lamp or Canvas Print (either from your photos or from the Artist Collection), or splash on a large statement with curtains, linen, tablecloth or carpets.
The right colour temperature for your home
Yellow, red, orange and pink are usually said to be warm colours, and blue, green and purple are said to be cold colours. Actually, this is not exactly true. Raspberry red is a cold colour and pistachio green is a warm colour. So, what’s the difference between a warm colour and a cold colour? Putting things simply, a warm colour contains yellow and a cold colour doesn’t.
And what about black, white, grey or brown? Well, if qualifying the first two as colours creates a debate almost as heated as whether the milk goes in first or second when making a cuppa, the others are colours without a doubt. Neutrals just contain a very small amount of colour.
Now that you know everything about warm colours, cold colours and neutrals, we’re going to help you use them to create the mood you want in your home.
Cold colours to keep a cool head and avoid burn-out
Cold colours give an impression of coolness and serenity. They work very well for rooms in wich you relax and rest like the bedroom, and in rooms in which you need to concentrate like the office. Moreover, they give the illusion of space, which makes them ideal for small rooms like the corridor, the toilets or the bathroom. Finally they cool down rooms which are overexposed to the sun.
- Green is the colour of nature – and of aliens. It inspires calm, tranquillity and well-being. At the centre of the spectrum, it is neither too light nor too dark, which makes it pleasant to look at. For more ideas on how to add green to your interior both literally and figuratively, you can read our blog post How to bring a bit of Spring inside your home.
- From sky blue to navy blue through royal blue, blue is associated with the air, the sea, the horizon. It’s a colour that makes the mind travel. It’s calming and inspires creativity and daydreams. It’s also good for sleep. You can put blue in any room, but light blues work better in north-facing rooms, whereas dark blues work better in south-facing rooms.
- Plum, mauve, lilac: purple is a mix of red (a warm colour) and blue (a cold colour). According to the principle of feng-shui, it’s the colour of balance. In dark tones, it creates a warm atmosphere. In light shades, it brings a feeling of freshness. Associated with creativity, it’s also sophisticated and calming.
Suggestions from the Artist Collection to add cool colours to your walls:
- The Starry Night by Van Gogh
- Owl by Tamas Galambos
- Exotic by Lucy Banaji
- Fishing Boats by Andrew Macara
- Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet
- Water Lilies by Claude Monet
- Underwater Bear by Mark Adlington
Warm colours for a heartwarming interior
Warm colours are great to create a cosy and inviting environment. They are energising and act positively on our mood. They’re ideal for the living room and the kitchen where you spend quality time with family and friends. They can also brighten up north-facing rooms which suffer from a lack of light. However, they should be used harmoniously and sparingly, and mixed with neutral shades or materials to avoid overload.
- Red is the colour of passion. It’s great to bring energy to a room. However, it can become irritating if overused. Just like red wine, it’s better used in moderation.
- Yellow and orange are the colours of the sun. They remind us of warmth, light and happiness. But beware: in large amounts, they can become overpowering.
- From baby pink to fuchsia through candy cane, pink is associated with softness, femininity, romanticism and childhood. A dash of pink will make your home feel soft and cosy. Be cautious of overusing it unless you fancy living in Barbie’s house – though it’s perfectly fine if you do.
- Gold is the colour of elegance and wealth. This variant of yellow warms up the mood of a room while bringing a touch of refinement. It’s best used in small quantities (for example, with golden frames) as a surprise colour to enhance the radiance of other shades.
Suggestions from the Artist Collection to add warm colours to your walls:
- Flamenco Flamingo by Jane Peart
- Peter Puffin by Amber Elise
- Cafe Terrace by Vincent van Gogh
- Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt
- Hot Air Rises by Rebecca Campbell
- Goldfish by Andrew Macara
- Beach Bums by Tilly Willis
- Sunset over Jama Masjid by Andrew Gifford
Neutral colours, the perfect backdrop for your creativity
Easy to combine, neutrals can be used as the base for any style of interior design.
- Brown is the colour of earth and wood. It’s perfect to create an atmosphere that is both warm and serene. It also makes spaces look smaller, so it’s ideal to create a more intimate atmosphere in large rooms. On the other hand, it’s better to use it in small quantities in small rooms.
- An unpopular shade a decade or so ago, grey is all the rage in interior design today. Understated, modern and elegant, it can be combined with almost any other colour. It’s just better avoided in rooms with poor lighting as it’s the colour of melancholy and needs to be balanced with light.
- Black is elegant and sophisticated. However, it’s also associated with sadness. We don’t advise going for the full look if you don’t want to see everything in black. A great way to add black to your interior is to hang black Framed Canvas Prints or Poster Prints of black and white photos on your walls.
- Timeless, white can be combined with any other colour. It reflects the light of the sun and gives an impression of space. Basically, you can’t really go wrong with white.
Suggestions from the Artist Collection to add neutral colours to your walls:
- Jumping Hare by Lucy Willis
- Curious Otter by Mark Adlington
- Kenneggy, Cornwall by Lucy Willis
- Just So Stories by Joseph Rudyard Kipling
- Folded Nude Midnight by Angie Kenber
- Construction by László Moholy-Nagy
- Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci
- Dalmatian Disco by Holly Frean