We’ve all had that moment of indecision where you could stand with a paintbrush forever trying to decide on a colour scheme. These days, the art of successfully combining bright colours together with neutral tones is taking off.
Whatever your style, your favourite colours or even the room you want to paint, there are five important things to consider when choosing an accent colour to add fresh zest to your decor.
- The Mood
What kind of mood do you want to create?
Relaxing tones are usually found in neutral or pastel colours; simply because they don’t stand out too much and generally act as good base colours. Naturally, this also makes other colours stand out better. For example, using a neutral colour such as pebble grey, with crimson red or magenta as an accent colour will really make the accents pop.
Deep or dark colours can make great accent colours too providing your neutral colour is light in shade.
For rooms where you want to incorporate a bit of buzz, taking advantage of louder contrasts and more dominant colours can work well, though colours can be bold or quiet depending on the available light in your room.
Traditionally walls act as a base colour, though don’t be afraid to try it the other way around to introduce a bolder contrast into your more sociable rooms!
- The Room
Certain rooms have certain colours that we associate with them. Think of the bathroom and what colour springs to mind? Blue of course, though it’s that ghastly shade of olive green if you grew up in the 70’s.
It is up to you to decide if you wish to follow these classic trends, or go for a more experimental approach. For example, pale blue in a bathroom provides a relaxing atmosphere, and matching it with a different shade of blue, for example turquoise for the accent colour can work well. By making good use of the many shades of any one colour, you can provide your room with some much needed character.
On the other hand, a dining room is a much more sociable room; therefore it can help to consider a more vibrant colour palette. Using an online colour palate such as Coolors can work wonders when testing out which shades work well together.
These don’t have to clash if you pick the right colour for the accent. Try red dining room walls offset with a stylish Navy or Royal blue for chairs. It is advised to use your accent colours sparingly so as to not let them clash.
- The Furniture
Furniture is where accent colours really come into their own. Typically, accent colours are displayed here and there, in places such as lamp shades or cushions to add small but vibrant additions of colour to the decor. This is why they are perfect for use in furniture.
Vibrant colours work well on:
Even if you don’t want all these pieces to have the same colour, once accent alone can be the stand out piece in a boring room. Consider a neutral coloured bedroom with a metallic turquoise wardrobe! It’s an everyday aspect of a bedroom but simply giving that piece and that piece alone a vibrant colour can centre a room.
- The Lighting
It is important to consider how much light comes into your room. If your base colour is quite dark, but the room gets little natural daylight, the room can quickly feel oppressive and can even look smaller than it actually is.
On the other hand, a room with large windows will let in a lot of light and can be blinding if you’ve covered the walls white!
This is why it’s usually a safe option to go for neutral tones as the base colour and leave the accent colour to stand out. Remember that daylight shows what a colour really looks like. Pastel pink and soft orange work well with rusty red and bronze for an accent colour as they stand up well under both natural and electric lighting.
- The Texture
Paint doesn’t always have to be smooth. There are a number of different techniques you can try to give your base colours a different style.
For accent colours, why not look to pieces like rugs and chairs in order to provide a variety of textures? Fake fur, leather and cotton can all be found in soft home furnishings and it even makes the bright accent colour more pleasing if you’re using more than one sense to appreciate it.
Consider taking advantage of the following for an accent colour you can touch:
- Sofa throws
- Table cloths
There are so many varieties of style and colours to choose from, there’s bound to be a style to suit your tastes. When in doubt, get your hand on some colour wheels from a home ware or paint shop and start experimenting with colour schemes, or use the aforementioned colour scheme generator. You’re sure to find the right combination for you!