How to Choose the Right Colour Scheme for your Home

How to choose the right colour scheme in your home

Some people may find that choosing a colour scheme for your home can be one of the most confusing decision-making processes in home decor. There seem to be countless paint colour options out there, each looking just as beautiful as the next. And then comes the different brands with tier different product names and numbers. Pantone 488 C? What even is that? “Oh la la!”, you say to yourself, “looks like we’re going to be flipping through options for a long time.”

Choosing a colour scheme for your home shouldn’t be this daunting. The majority of the time, it’s the approach to making their paint choices that essentially creates the confusion. Your choice of colour scheme should not necessarily be about the colour you feel might be right for space, but should primarily be about how any set of complementary colours make you feel within the space. It is often said that design is empathic. This, in extension, is what choosing the right colour for your home should be all about.

Your home should be a collection of things you love and an extension of you. The mood of your home should enhance your life. This mood can only be created, in part, by the overall colour scheme of the room and your choice of paint colour.

We have put together a quick guide to approaching colour schemes in your home, and subsequently, making the colour choices that help uplift your home within your space.

Consider the Colour Wheel


For starters, you might first need to familiarise yourself with the colour on the colour wheel and the effect each colour choice may have on your interior. There are 3 categories of colour on the colour wheel: the primary colours, the secondary colours and the tertiary colours. The colour wheel visually demonstrates the relationship between these 3 categories of colours and shows you how to use them together.

The colour wheel

The colour wheel, courtesy of the UX blog

Primary Colours:

Primary colours comprise red, blue and yellow. These colour pigments are considered the source colours for creating other colours on the colour wheel.

Secondary Colours:

These are colours formed by mixing 2 of the primary colours together in equal parts. For instance, mixing red and yellow will result in orange colour.  The three secondary colours are orange, green and purple.

Tertiary Colours:

The tertiary colours are gotten from mixing primary and secondary colours together. For instance, mixing red and orange will give you a red-orange colour.

Courtesy of the UX blog

However, colours also have other properties that can influence the way anyone colour is perceived. These additional properties are hue, saturation and value. This is why you see the same shade of green that has one looking a bit “warmer” or “cooler” than the other. This is important because if you’ve ever done a paint job before, you might have noticed that a paint sample you may have fallen completely in love with, within the showroom may look very different when applied to your living room wall.

Getting Creative with your Colour Scheme


Simply being familiar with the colour categories is not quite what we are looking for. You must wonder how those celebrity interior designers, like Amber Louise (of Amber Interiors), are able to take something so simple and work out really magnificent interiors that take the breath away. This is because they have understood how the colour compositions work and have mastered absolute command in manoeuvring these colours to gain their desired effect in their interior design. This is where being creative with the colour wheel comes in.

Monochromatic Colours:

Monochromatic is the different variations of one colour. Imagine taking a colour, say blue, and creating slightly lighter or darker tones of this one colour. These different tones can then be used on different elements in your interior space, say walls, throw pillows or floor mat. Used effectively, this kind of colour scheme can create a gentle atmosphere within a space. Darker tones of one colour can also be used to add a dramatic touch to your decor.

Courtesy of Dulux

Contrasting Colours:

These are colours that are not in the same colour “family”, but create dramatic energy when used together. For instance, think yellow and blue-green combo.

How to use a colour wheel 2

Courtesy of Dulux

Complementary Colours:

Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour, but they create a striking combo when used together. In interiors, complementary colours are usually paired where an element in one colour is to be visually highlighted against a backdrop of the other colour. This is only one example, there are numerous other applications that contrasting colours that completely transform a room.

How to use a colour wheel

Courtesy of Dulux

Essential Considerations when Choosing  your Colour Scheme


Now that you are familiar with the benefit tenets of the colour wheel and its composition, we are going to go right ahead to choosing the right colour scheme for your home.


It is difficult to speak of colour and colour schemes without mentioning lighting. Lighting is a powerful component of interior design and should in fact, but one of the primary considerations when designing any space. Lighting can completely alter your intended colour effect so it is important to know can daylighting or artificial lights interact with your choice of colours. For instance, using a textured finish like stucco or plaster, no matter the colour, may mean that the light will actively interact with your surface. A good tip is taking a sample or a colour swatch of your desired texture and placing it against the exact wall you would like to have them finished in. This will help you avoid rookie mistakes and give your interior that finished and well-thought-out professional look.

Lighting and colour in interior design

Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash

Decorate from Light to Dark:

Many times, the interior design mimics nature. In nature, the sky is usually a lighter shade than the ground. In between, the horizon offers a mid-point between the two. This is how an excellently designed space should be. The floor should be the darkest colour in your space, the walls a lighter in-between shade, and the ceiling should be the lightest. Done in reverse, you may start to feel suffocated, or feel like the ceiling is a little too close to you. This creates an uncomfortable feeling for the occupants of the room. To avoid this, simply observe the light-to-dark guide while choosing colours for your space.

How to choose the right colour scheme in your home


Have a Base Colour:

If you’ve noticed, for every interior or home, there is always that one colour that serves as the base for all the other colours. In a professionally-designed home, you may see this colour incorporated to varying degrees into the entirety of the home giving it one unified look, even if each room has a different look. This is the base colour in the colour scheme.

Base colour in interior design

Courtesy of via Pinterest

Observe the 60-30-10 Rule:

While seasoned designers may be at liberty to manoeuver this a little bit, if you’re a novice DIYer, then it is recommended to observe this rule. This rule maintains that when decorating with colours, ensure the colours are divided in the space in such a way that it comprises 60% of a dominant colour, 30% of a secondary colour and 10% of an accent colour. This helps add visual excitement to your room and without seeming overwhelming.

60-30-10 rule in interior design

Courtesy of The Cottage Market

Personalize your Colour Choice:

It is tempting to obsess over that pin of an absolutely lovely home on Pinterest and want to recreate this home in your home. There is no problem with taking inspiration from another designer or home, but you would want to create a space that feels like “you” within your home. To achieve this, try to slightly vary the design of the home you aspire to such that the final result will be an excellent reflection of your personality. This will help you feel very comfortable within the space and be completely at home.

Personalize your colour choice



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Artitects is a full-service interior design and architecture firm based in Sydney specialising in a minimalist design that promotes meaningful human interactions and supports who we desire to be. Whether designing residential or commercial spaces, Artitects has built a reputation for achieving highly individual results for a busy and successful clientele.