15 Designer Tricks for Picking the Perfect Colour Palette

Posted On September 17, 2020

1. Pick a Colour, Any Colour.

But will that make an aesthetically appealing palette? Think again.

It can! All you need is a little command on the chroma! Take a look at our palette-perfecting tips that simplify the color rules for you, which has been guarded as secrets by the famous designers from around the world.

Here’s our pick of the Top 15 Designer Tricks:

2. Choose a Colour Scheme from the Commonest Pattern.

Look around. Do you have a craftsmanship-rich upholstery, a colorful rug or a large piece of artwork? Pick the colors of your choice from their patterns. If you have a neutral color by the wall, pick out the whites and beiges. You’ll have your palette figured out within minutes!

“Majorly used colours define your palette”

3. Decorate From Dark to Light. Go Vertical.

Stuck between dark and light shades? Listen to what the veteran designer Mark McCauley has to say—”Any interior space replicates the outside world. The exterior environment is generally darker below our feet (the earth itself), medium-valued as you look straight ahead (buildings/trees) and lighter skyward.” In short, our floors are darker, walls moderate and ceilings stay the lightest. He calls it the “cookbook way” and most designers agree with him.

“Higher the range, lighter the colour”

4. Start with the Formal Areas of the House.

We all have that starting trouble! Designers advise us to start with the entryway and living room, slowly moving towards the dining and the rest of the house. Choose a colour scheme for these areas first, and then draw your flow from it. Pull one colour from the existing scheme and go ahead. For example, take the colour from your red sofa and tone it down (to burgundy, for instance) for an accent to be continued in more private spaces such as the den, office room or bedroom.

“Take the colour order along your movement to the inside of your house”

5. Use the Colour Wheel.

When in doubt, trust the theories. Colour wheel sparks both creativity and math at the same time. Designers say that informal spaces look the best in analogous colour schemes while formal ones look the best in complementary schemes. Dig into the details below:

Analogous colour scheme:

Position in colour wheel: Adjacent to each other

Example: Blue & Green

Psychology: Comfort & peace

Best suitable for: Bedrooms & other private areas

Complementary colour scheme:

Position in colour wheel: Opposite to each other

Example: Yellow & Purple

Psychology: Energy & Attention

Best suitable for: Living rooms, Dining areas & other common areas

“Spin the wheel. Try Analogous, Complementary, Triad, Tetradic… there’s a whole world of schemes to explore”

6. Take a Cue From Your Clothes.

Believe us, we aren’t joking! Because, we know that people buy clothes in colours they like and look good at. Similarly, you should dress your rooms in the colours that flatter you. If denim is your go-to colour, consider a navy sofa with some tangible textures. If you look (and feel!) the perkiest in bright yellows, try mixing a few citrus accents with pillows or accessories. Remember to not go overboard with a heavy mix of colors—keep it within a maximum of 3-4 dominant shades.

“Colours that lure you can lure your spaces too”

7. Back with the Black!

Black is timeless—it’s both modern and vintage at the same time. Designer Mark McCauley suggests adding a bit of black in every room. “The black clarifies the rest of the room’s colours,” he says. For an itsy-bitsy depth of black, try a matte-black lampshade or a lustrous black vase. It you’re about to make a statement, try painting your kitchen’s base cabinets in this dramatic hue. 

“Black elements make your home score high on immaculate”

8. Go With the Grays!

Let’s get it straight, you can’t find a home without the tinge of gray! This trending colour of the 21st century can work with interiors of all styles. Gray’s chameleon-like quality allows the colour to adapt as both a warm and cool undertone, depending on the base. The best part is that it pairs beautifully with both pastel shades like Mint green or Peaches and quirky colours like Hot pink, Kelly green or Citrusy shades.

“When you can’t think of anything else, go gray”

9. Use the Rule of 60-30-10

Have you heard of the thumb rule for colours? It works magic with color balance and gets the aesthetic appeal skyrocketing! Here’s a quick look at the colours you’ll need for this:

The Dominant Colour

Percentage: 60%

Preferable for: Walls

The Secondary Colour

Percentage: 30%

Preferable for: Upholstery

The Accent Colour

Percentage: 10%

Preferable for: Décor / Accessories

“Create your own colour formula”

10. Flaunt Small Spaces with a Colour Pop

Let us tell you a secret—if you have a small room in your house, it’s not a compulsion to make it look bigger with whites. Instead, you can give it an oomph factor, with a look-at-me colour. Corals and Purples might be the colours you’re looking for. Go grab your palette!

“Let your big rooms expand with light, while your small rooms stay cozy to envelope you.”

11. The Warm and Cool duo

Let’s repeat some physics—opposite poles attract each other; so do the opposite colour tones. Designer Brian Dittmar proves that neutrals can never be boring. A chic bedroom that pairs cool gray with warm honey-toned shades is something that can sweep you off your feet. While the overall effect is restful, bringing these two opposites together, creates just enough tension to stir the otherwise drowsy spaces like bedrooms.

“Grays are for bedrooms, Golds are for the living”

12. Trust the Classics

Black + white is the eternal colour scheme that never goes out of style. It’s never too much, never too little—just perfect. Designer Tobi Fairley tells us that the two colours paired with the enchanting accent of metallic gold, is all you need to create a compelling colour story.

“Nothing gives a better glam-sham more than Gold + B/W”

13. Rock a Monochromatic Look

Make your favourite colour the showstopper by throwing a colossal splash all over a small space (like a bathroom, for instance). Designer Judith Balis created a cheery master bathroom with an overdose of the peppy colour Kelly green. Balanced with white walls and floors, the saturated shade is captivating, without being overwhelming.

“Monotones-done-right look the finest”

14. Follow the Rule of Three

Here’s another rule: Three colours are enough to make your room look like a whimsical space. Just stick to the maximum of 3 colours and you can never go wrong! A cheerful bedroom in saturated shades of sunny yellow, navy blue and grass green, feels refreshing on any time of a day.

“Triad colour schemes is a universal one that works for any space”

15. Showcase Your Personal Style

Compliments are exciting but our tastes matter the most! Choosing the colour scheme for the space we spend our 24×7 on, has more to do with us rather than our guests. Listen to what your heart says. If you want to make every part of your house shine boldly with red, white and blue, just go for it!

“Any colour can look good as long as it blends with your personal style”

Have you got a fair idea of your palette? Share it with us!

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