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How To Decorate With Colour

The biggest interior trends of 2021 centre on colour. Whether it’s earthy oranges and reds for a Terra Tropicana vibe, or the return of 90’s pastel shades like lemon and bebe blue.

But before rushing to slap some braver colours around at home (which we wholly endorse, btw) - here are three golden principles from the experts that will change how you think about choosing colours for good.

1. Create balance with the 60-30-10 method

You’ll be surprised how many interior design pro’s use this one, but it’s pretty simple. Choose one colour for 60% of the space (the walls), a second 30% colour for the room (furniture and curtains) and a third at 10% to accent. Whatever bright colour you’re using, you’ll love how well this plays out to create balance in all spaces.

Dark Blue Paint

A perfectly balanced space by Sophie @soph_eddie, using COAT Dark Blue 2AM.

“I remember learning the 60-30-10 method a while back and it totally changed how I think about balance in rooms” says Rob Abrahams, COAT Co-Founder. “Honestly, it’s been a game changer in my own home as well as how we help COAT customers choose and use brighter colours for their homes.”

Dark Green Bathroom Paint

COAT dark green ‘Ditch The Tie’ perfectly balanced with white and wood by Celie @milestone_cottage

In smaller spaces, one bright paint colour for the walls could be overbearing. “Why not use masking tape to create focus shapes in areas of the room,” says Interior Designer Frank Newbold. “Diagonals from one corner, with the added addition of a pendant light can add depth and give a quick update to a small space without being overbearing.”

2. Choose a scheme, and stick with it

Building on the 60-30-10 principle for balance, choosing a scheme will help colours sit well together. Choose a combination of directly contrasting colours to create deliberate drama, or a few similar shades from the same colour group to create more harmony in a room.

Beige Green Paint

And Breathe, pale green paint by Katie Seidler x COAT, in a harmonious grouped scheme.

“Obvious contrasts are dramatic and make the room feel energised, whereas a palette of three pale shades from the same colour group will be more calming,” says Rob Green, COAT Co-Founder. “Think about what vibe you want from the room to steer your choice on either a contrast or a grouped scheme.”

You could also choose a single colour scheme which can be super dramatic. “This can also make your room look bigger” says Interior Designer Frank Newbold. “By painting skirts and coving in a different colour like pure white, which so often happens, your eyes get drawn to the outline of the room. By painting everything the same you eliminate this, and make the room look bigger.”

A single colour scheme using Vibrant Mint 'Maverick' paint by Frank Newbold x COAT can make a room look bigger.

3. Choose colours with a purpose

Colours have psychological effects - it’s science. The overall colour and the shade chosen can make a big difference too. Orange for example can make us feel playful and cheery, but it can also feel cheap. Similarly with blue - a pale shade can be calming and restful for a living room, but an electric shade is going to be super stimulating and energising.

Black Bedroom Paint

Stunning bedroom by Leila @zephs_house in COAT x Swoon Forever & Ever paint, proving that moody black can feel calming.

“What do you want to feel in the room? Everyone can answer that question, not just interior designers,” says Rob Abrahams, COAT Co-Founder. “I want a bedroom to feel calming - so I’d choose a single shade and avoid neon ones. Or if I wanted a jaw-dropping dining room that “wows” everyone, I’d go for a dramatic contrast using a bold colour.”

Dark Rust Red Paint

Marta @marta_at_the_mill  using COAT muted dark red ‘The Old Corset Factory’ paint for a warm cosy living space.

Neutrals, move aside. Use these three golden principles when choosing colours for your next room makeover and you really can't go wrong. Choose your colour with confidence, and happy painting!

Check out the COAT Colour Range and order Swatches.






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