A whole-house palette | Decorating with Blue

Reader Request | Gemma’s New Home – Part 2

Author: Lauren Coleman

Thanks for all your great comments on our Reader Request this morning. As I mentioned earlier, Gemma’s was a two-part plea and the second part of her dilemma centred on how to decorate her huge new home.

Gemma loves tranquil and calming blues and greys but feels that she can’t decorate every room the same. In smaller spaces it’s a great idea to stick to the same palette so that the house flows and gives an illusion of space. In Gem’s generously sized home this isn’t a problem but there’s no reason not to create a whole-house palette and use similar shades in all rooms.

How To Create A Whole-House Palette

  • First of all, just like Gemma did, collect your inspiration together. Pinterest is a fabulous tool for this. Create different boards for all rooms but also a generic board to pin images to that represent your favourite colours, styles, materials, textures and objects.
  • When you see themes emerging in terms of colours, nip down to your local DIY store or paint shop and grab paint charts that take your fancy. If you are particularly drawn to a hue, then pick up lighter and darker shades too as this will really help when it comes to decorating adjoining rooms.
  • Then create your own personalised portfolio of shades, pairing and combining colours until you have several colours that work together in a cohesive palette. Don’t limit yourself here; for an entire house you could have multiple shades of your main colour (in Gemma’s case, blue) and many different neutrals. As long as the colours tone and work together you are giving yourself plenty of flexibility.
  • Then decide which colours are your favourites then go and buy testers. Take an A3 sheet of paper or board and apply a few coats. You can obviously apply straight to a wall but if you have transportable sheet then you can see how the shade will react in multiple rooms. At this point bring in wallpaper samples, fabric swatches and anything else that takes your fancy too too. Perhaps you find one hue won’t work with the daylight in the kitchen but is perfect with your lounge aspect. You might want to go bold in your dining room but more subdued in the adjoining kitchen.
  • Then it’s time to paint so pick the first room you’re going to decorate. As I mentioned in this morning’s post, I’ve always chosen to start with a bedroom. Though in our recent move I had to get rid of the yellow and red contrasting walls in the dining room first for fear of a migraine!
  • Finally bring in your textiles and trinkets, layering in colours and patterns. Perhaps in lighter rooms, bolder blues and jazzier patterns could be used in the furnishings, and vice versa. Introducing an accent colour such as coral or yellow into individual rooms could also add further colour and give the eye a little treat.
  • Even if you don’t want to decorate your home in the same hues, I hope you find these tips on creating your own portfolio useful.
    Hands up if you’ve decorated your home in a palette of similar shades? How did you decide on your final colours?

    Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
    Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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    8 thoughts on “Reader Request | Gemma’s New Home – Part 2

    1. I’m currently doing an interior design course and one thing I’ve taken away is that replaceable items are a great idea for when the seasons change and not as expensive as re-wallpapering… So, in the summer you might want a cooler blue and in the winter something more cosy. With the different light in the different seasons colours look different too. So a neutral sitting room – grey for example – then a few varying blue throws and pictures with blue in and cushions can be changed. And also good for short attention spans!

    2. check out the younghouselove.com blog for some really good advice on paint colours (but don’t blame me if you get sucked in and end up reading for hours!!), they’re nothing to do with me, its juts a really nice interiors blog 🙂

      1. I’m a huge fan of Young House Love too. Cannot believe how much they have done to their house(s).

    3. Great tip Victoria – had never thought of that 🙂 I would do purple tones throughout our house if I could but not sure that would be too popular with my other half! I tend to try to find one item that I love – be it a fabric, wallpaper, ornament or a cushion and then try to design the room around the theme/colours of that item. To date my inspiration has mainly come from Pinterest too and also from wandering around the home department in John Lewis on a Saturday afternoon 🙂 but I fear that I may have just been sucked into young house love too….
      PS Rock my Style is fab – love it all but especially the home interior and diy inspiration, thank you! x

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