5 Tips On Choosing A Colour Palette

Do you remember the colour wheel from elementary school? You probably sat there with 3 primary coloured paints (red, yellow, and blue) and mixed them to make secondary colours. Then, things got really crazy when you were told to mix the secondary colours, with primary colours, to create tertiary colours. Although that may seem like child’s play now, it is still a very important concept to understand when picking colours for your home. Use these 4 tips to choose colours that make magazine inspiration a reality.

The colour wheel

Although the color wheel may seem basic, it is still a valuable tool for pairing colours. There are three main ways to pick colors that look well together:

Complementary Colours: These are colours on the opposite side of the wheel

Analogous Colours: These are colours close together on a colour wheel.

Triadic Colours: These are colours evenly spaced around the colour wheel however this is a bit trickier to use. To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colours should be carefully balanced -
let one colour dominate and use the two others for accent (think 60-30-10 rule)

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary colours
Warm vs cool colours

Warm colors tend to make you feel energized and excited; however, if put in a small space, they can make the room feel claustrophobic. Why is that? Warm colors are considered “advancing” colors, which makes them feel like they come towards you. When appropriately used, warm colors are a great way to make a space feel more cozy and intimate. 

On the flip side, cool colors have a “receding” effect, making them feel like they are moving away from you. Cool tones are a great way to give a small space an airy, more substantial feel.

Why do pastels mix well, or jewel tones get paired together? It is because the saturation of color is similar. Saturation is important when choosing coordinating colors, and can sometimes be overlooked. Saturation refers to the concentration of colour (ex. pastels would be a less saturated color story as they have less concentration of color). Saturation can also play a role in making a room feel “energetic and vibrant” or “relaxing and calming.”

colour saturation

60-30-10 RULE
I am sure at some point you have heard this term before, but do you really knows it means? The 60-30-10 rule is a timeless decorating rule that helps create harmony in a space. When people refer to this rule, they are referring to:

• Decorate 60% of the room in a dominate colour

• Decorate 30% of the room in a secondary colour

• Use the remainder colour as an accent in 10% of the space

60-30-10 colour rule

Choose 1 primary colour for:
• Floors
• Walls

Choose a secondary colour for:
• Ceiling
• Cabinets
• Dominant fabric
• Furniture

Incorporate 1 accent colour:
• Trim & molding
• Pillows
• Artwork
• Accessories

A living room with a colour scheme that follows the 60-30-10 rule

To simplify it, the dominate is your anchor to the room that sets the tone. The secondary colour helps give some visual interest and depth, and lastly the accent colour adds that “icing” to make everything pop. Below is an example:

• 60% Beige

• 30% White or Neutral

• 10% Blue

Colour is a great way to express yourself. Accents are an easy way to create a different mood in a room and are a relatively inexpensive option to update your space. The above room could easily be transformed by switching a calming accent color to something bolder, like a cobalt blue. 

Decorating with colour can be a little overwhelming if you don’t have a plan before your dive-in! Follow the above tips to make planning a breeze, and transform your house into a home!