Colour Secrets – as featured in Velvet magazine

This article featured in the March 2011 issue of Velvet magazine which is out now. Make sure you snap up a copy! Or click here to read this article online.

Victoria Harrison of Interior Design Talks shares insider secrets on how to decorate with colour to get the kind of home usually seen only in glossy magazines.

Colour can be intimidating but with a bit of expert advice you can add warmth, interest, drama and character to your home. Most colour schemes are based on a palette of colours that you’re instinctively drawn to. Neutrals show up that point well because the colour difference is subtle. The neutrals that you pick out as your favourites will then form the basis of your scheme to which you can then add stronger colours.

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Bold colours
Stronger colours are traditionally used on walls; however you can easily apply them to woodwork, alongside neutral wall colourings. You could also use bolder colours on a feature wall if you have a good reason to; for example, as a backdrop to a collection of framed photographs or art. The best way to introduce strong colours into your colour scheme is by accentuating a fabric or accessory within the room.  Not only are these much easier to change if you tire of them, but this approach allows you to bring the room together.

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Working with light
Light in a room can change dramatically during the day. There is also a huge difference between natural and artificial light, and it can be really hard to predict how the light in a room will impact on the paint colour. For example, you might choose a particular colour in a shop only to find that it looks totally different when you get it home. The solution is to paint your chosen colour onto a large piece of card (minimum A4 size), pin it on the wall and look at it during the day and at night to see how it changes.

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Adding Accessories
Remember that your colour scheme is not just about paint, but includes a layering of different colours and materials. These obviously include fabric and accessories but flooring is also important to consider, and is frequently overlooked. One of my favourite ways of adding colour is to create a fairly light, calm background scheme using neutral tones for walls, floors and major furnishing items. You can then add your main accent colour in rugs, cushions, occasional furniture, accessories and even flowers.

All images credit: Fired Earth. Read the full article in Velvet here.

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