Assess your space
Different colours suit different rooms, so the first step is to assess your space. If your room faces north and feels dark, bright colours in vivid, saturated hues will enhance light. If your room faces south and is already airy, you can get away with most colours – even dark, dramatic ones.
What do you use the room for? Is it for eating, working, or sleeping? Use colour to create the mood you want to achieve. Cool, calm, muted colours such as pale green and watery blue evoke calm, while vibrant, deep colours such as reds and purples will energise and stimulate.
Inspiration is all around
Nature is a wonderful source of effortless colour combinations. Take a walk on the wild side and get amongst the great outdoors. Take photographs of flowers, shells and trees that evoke feelings of tranquility. Which landscapes make you feel most alive?
Take note of your most treasured homewares. Have you got a cushion or bedspread that instantly adds pizzaz to any space? Pick out colours from a favourite patterned accessory, then include the item in your finished room for a coordinated, personal look.
Art can also inspire stunning colour schemes. Select a few key colours from a painting you love for a colour scheme that’s guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing.
Mood board magic
Once you’ve chosen your colours, collect paint swatches and fabric and wallpaper samples that feature different shades of your chosen hues. Use a flat space or large piece of white cardboard as a backdrop for your emerging scheme. Arrange and rearrange to your heart’s content. Take your time. Don’t forget to stand back and walk away. You’ll know when it’s right.
Try before you buy
Tester pots are a wonderful way to make sure the colour you love looks just as great on your walls as it does on your mood board. Paint different spots in varying lights or hang a painted A4 piece of lining paper on different walls so you can see how the colours look under natural and artificial light at different times of day.