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Using colour to decorate the lounge

Last week we discussed decorating the living room or lounge and looked at general rules, particularly regarding the placement and arrangement of your furniture.

Home and Garden with Helen Devmac

Today we linger a little longer on this subject and talk about colour. Remember when we looked at the entrance hall? In those articles we talked about the importance of the colours used in the entrance hall and that it either had to be the same or complementary to the rest of your décor scheme, particularly that of the rooms which came off the hallway.

Once having chosen a colour to go with, then perhaps the colour could be darker in the hallway and lighten as we move off the entrance hall into the lounge and other rooms. With a décor scheme for the home, it does make better sense to start in the main living area, the rooms in which you want to create the greatest comfort and visual impact, the living room, lounge dining room and entrance hall. Decorate from dark to light, a simple rule is to have darker colours for floors, medium colour for walls and of course lighter colour for the ceiling.

So first things first, how do we go about deciding on a colour scheme? I think the first thing when painting or furnishing your home is to ask yourself what colours appeal to you most; this is an important decision because this is your home and you will be living in it and have to like what you will be looking at on a daily basis.

Choose the main colour first, and everything else sort of flows from there. You could get inspiration from your wardrobe too, look at what colours you really go for and choose a scheme from there. You could also look at what items you already have in your lounge,  and pluck a favourite colour from the largest patterned item in the room, this could be the upholstery fabric on your chairs, the picture over the mantelpiece or a busy floor rug.

The main colour is what will go on your walls, most people play it safe by choosing only one colour and not going on to choose other colours to go with the rest of the scheme. Do not stick to monochromatic designs or hide behind neutrals. Go for colour and diversity, be brave enough to use more than one colour. Even where you have neutrals, use the neutral shade as your base and then use a contrasting shade to heighten or further subdue your base colour.

Having chosen your main colour which will go on your walls you need to choose other colours that will complement your scheme and yet others that provide that dramatic accent on your décor. You could use a colour wheel, there are many versions available on the internet; the colours on either side of the colour you will have chosen on the wheel are analogous while those opposite are complimentary and provide the accent.

If you do not have a colour wheel, you can collect pieces of fabric or items from your wardrobe or kitchen representing the colours you would like to use and create a mood board to which you add not only the colours and textures you would like to use, but also other accessories such as silver, brass as well as wood. Stand back and see how these items go together, then consider what feelings they evoke. Consult other family members and get a consensus on the best look.

Leather furniture is very popular and next week’s article will look at decorating with leather.

Create a mood board of your favourite colours.



Balance is easy to create, remember the rule

Remember to use the 60-30-10 rule to create balance, 60% of your pallet will be taken up by the dominant colour and this would be used on your walls, 30% is the secondary colour which would be the upholstery fabric on your sofas , and the remaining 10% goes to the accessories,  cushions lampshades, floor rugs, throws etc. It’s simple but effective.





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