Over the years I’ve tried various colour schemes in my home.  I’ve painted my hallway a vibrant fuchsia pink, to see whether I found that an energising welcome.  My study has been a moody midnight blue, a sepia, antique khaki colour and a colour thrown by the clouds over the English sea….  I found my pink hall jarred.  It didn’t feel like me.  It felt brash.  I would have loved it in someone else’s house for an evening, but not after a hard day’s work.

I do think you only discover what you like by trying different things, and hopefully over time, you settle into your own style.

Colour is key.

The eye sees colour first.

How immediately the eye is drawn to the two red ‘o’s.  And that’s exactly what colour in a room will do for you.

Developing a colour scheme can seem daunting, but in fact there are number of easy ways to do this. 

The first way involves taking something that you like (a rug or a piece of fabric) and using that as the basis for your scheme.

blue red fabric colour scheme interior

This luscious fabric offers either a neutral oatmeal, or a sun-bleached blue as a base.  The base should make up around 50 – 70% of the room’s colour.  Then add 20-30% of the other colour.  The remaining accents will uplift the room as a contrast that picks up the fabric.  Using this fabric somewhere in the room means that it all looks pulled together, rather than random.

green pink fabric colour scheme interiors

Abundant greens, from sage to olive are a fabulous basis for a room, with rose-pink accents.  As these colours are on opposite sides of the colour wheel, they create a more energising look.  This is kept from being overwhelming by the muted shades.  however, bright pink together with bright green can really shout!   More on that, and how it reflects your personality here.

patchwork fabric colour scheme green pink sage

This patchwork offers a similar colour palette, but even more muted.  Whereas the fabric below takes the green shade over the border into blue – a soothing aqua colour.

A fabulous painting can provide a wonderful basis for a colour scheme, especially if that painting is a focal point of the room.

Henri Rousseau painting interior colour scheme

If you’re lucky enough to posses an Aubusson rug – the colours woven into those designs could inspire myriad rooms.  (whether or not you cut it up, as I did here…)

vegetable dye blue rug interiors colour scheme

If you don’t have some fabric, a rug, a painting, or something that is inspiring you… choose a colour that you like – really like.

Then you can either work with its opposites, or its cousins, depending on whether you want a soothing room, or one with a bit more visual impact.  Even strong colours, when paired with similar, are more restful than opposites.

 Another place to start (if you’re still struggling) is to decide on the mood you’d like to create and then work on colours that compliment that mood.  If you’re aiming for beachy and coastal – stick to a colour palette of aquas and sands.  A moorish, Moroccan look will rely on rich spice colours of nutmeg, scarlets and cinnamons.