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Using Colour In Your House

Author: Lottie Manns

I love colour. As much as I admire these beautiful all white houses or a fabulous monochrome colour scheme, it’s just not for me. I have tried to do neutral but somehow snippets of colour sneak in everywhere and I have learnt to embrace that. It suits me and it suits my family.

If you saw my home tour here and here you will see what I mean. It’s a myriad of colour and patterns which probably shouldn’t go together but somehow have just evolved in to what I call home. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have bright blue walls and fuchsia pink accessories. It’s more a blend of a neutral base with pops of colour added in. It doesn’t even have to be a bright colour. I’m just as happy with a bit of pale blue as I am with bright neon pink. I’ve simply chosen things I like and put them all together.

For those of you wanting a change from the dreary grey weather outside I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and tips on injecting a bit of colour in to your home.

Start small

Just give it a go and you may be surprised with the results. I adore how a pretty cushion or unusual lamp can transform a room. I recommend keeping it simple to start rather than filling your house with an entire rainbow. Baby steps is what is needed and you can build it up from there.

Add a neutral base

In all the rooms in my house I have chosen a neutral colour base to work with. Some rooms like the kitchen and hall are pure brilliant white, others have a soft truffle colour and our bedroom is the palest grey. This took a lot of trial and error to find the colours that worked in our house with our light. In most rooms white would look too stark but I would have found dark colours too oppressive.

Our main furniture is all quite simple in its colours. Grey sofas, block colours and simple wood work well. The kitchen is a subtle French Grey which I adore and the bathroom tiles are white.

Find your personal colour palette

You may find you favour pastels or primary colour. You may even be a fan of neon. You just have to discover your own favourites. I think you could say mine is slightly mid century. Lots of bold blues, yellows and orange seem to be the way I go. Some rooms have more colour than others. For example I have recently toned back our lounge slightly to have more hues of mocha and cream with a some fun colour pops in knitted throws and the cushions.
This may not be an instant thing but something you realise over time. You may also find that each room is different. It’s entirely your choice.

Get inspiration

It could be a cushion, a wallpaper or a picture. I’ll often see something I like and build it up from there. I don’t necessarily have a colour scheme for each room but find that it organically evolves. For example in the snug I fell in love with our Mini Moderns Pet Sounds wallpaper which I chose in a soft greige and orange colour scheme. I therefore added orange cushions to the sofa.
In our bedroom Edd bought and installed the yellow lampshade rather than the copper one I requested so I added yellow bedding and hints of neon pink to match some bedside lamps I got. Again, these should have been grey but I got the pink in the sale for a bargain price of £10 and I thought, hey why not neon pink?! I then bought some Neon Pink Paint and painted the legs of our bedroom chair to match.

Add a few accessories

Cushions are my absolute favourite for an instant colour injection that you can easily change. There are an unbelievable amount of amazing colours and styles around at the moment. I particularly love the Habitat print ones for a bargainous £12. Pictures are another great starting point and as much as I love a nice print I don’t think you can beat your own photographs. They add an instant dash of colour and most importantly evoke precious memories every time you see them. I have photos everywhere and mix up the frames for a more eclectic look.
In the kitchen we have gone for a bright kettle and toaster but if you don’t want something so permanent then tea towels are a great choice. We did go all out on the fridge with a bright red Smeg.
Bedding is another great area for colour. I tend to opt for a white bedding set then add cushions and throws to co-ordinate with the colour scheme.

Move things around

Try moving things around in a room or switching between rooms until you get the right balance. I’ve often bought cushions for one room but they’ve ended up in another. Or a picture may just look right in the lounge rather than the intended hallway.

Go bold

Wallpaper can be a bold move but one that completely transforms a room. I tend to choose quite bold designs but will only ever focus on one area. So one wall or an alcove to bring some character to different spaces. You don’t have to go for such graphic prints. Even the smallest pattern in a soft shade will add a little hint of a hue in to your room. Check out our recent wallpaper post for lots of lovely inspiration.

And if all else fails…

Add flowers! A beautiful colourful bunch of flowers can lift any room.
 
So who is joining me on my quest to brighten up their house?

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Author: Lottie Manns
Cake baker (and cake eater!) extraordinaire. Drawn to all things girly and glittery.
Follow Lottie on instagram @buttercreamanddreams
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15 thoughts on “Using Colour In Your House

  1. I love your house Lottie! I’d forgotten how perfectly it looks like an elegant grown up house but also feels fun and family friendly.

    I laughed reading this as our first house suffered from my love of colour- did the opposite with neutral furnishings and colour walls, even really bright feature walls. We were pretty young and optimistic I guess and it showed in all these crazy coloured rooms…

    The house we now live in while we wait for the barn project is lovely but all the rooms are painted the same Farrow and Ball rich cream. I know lots of people love F and B but this is really too much. There’s no point changing much but we did rebel and repaint our room in a light and space white and it made a huge difference!

    I think it will be lime-y White with colour pops all the way in the barn- I’ve already got a red fridge in my sights and I’m fantasising about a pistachio Aga (second hand probably…)

    1. Ah, thanks Lucy. I definitely think your style evolves over time doesn’t it? I’ve always been a fan of colour but have toned it down slightly over the years. I think my mum despaired of the time I decided to paint my room turquoise and pink on alternate walls and accessorised with a lime green duvet! Dear god, what was I thinking?! Luckily I now just go for a little hit of colour rather than all out rainbow.
      Your barn sounds gorgeous. You must share some pictures when it is ready
      xx

  2. I’m completely with you on that Lottie! I admire the white and grey neutral houses but it’s not for me (or the husband). I tend to pick one or two colours for a room and then accentuate but I love a bit of bold brightness. It just feels more alive for me.

    We’re wuite lucky I think to be living in a time when you can decorate whichever style you want for comparatively little money. I remember my mum saying that when my parents bought their first furniture together, it was so difficult to get something a little different and unique!

    1. I don’t think I would have coped if we didn’t have the choices we have now. That said my decorating choices would have been a lot easier!! xx

  3. I am so with you on this. We have gone for some quite bold walls in our Victorian terrace, including Charlottes Locks (a Farrow and Ball orange) on the lower half of the walls in our hall. For me colour makes me feel at home and it is what I loved about your home tour.

  4. I love a colourful house! I find they just feel so homely and lived in – I’m not a white box kind of girl. When we bought our house eight years ago I got a bit overexcited and painted every room in various colours that at the time reflected our excitement at having a home to call our own but there was a not a flow between rooms. I want the house to feel more co-ordinated now and have been neutralising over the last couple of years – and although the house feels lighter for it I can’t help but think it seems a bit bland. I think I’m going to make some mood boards soon to try and find a good balance.

    I added colour to my bedroom very easily with accessories. My inspiration was a blanket that has pale blue, grey, cream and taupe squares on it. I used those colours when buying curtains, a light shade, lamps, bedding and a beach scene picture to hang over the bed. It really brought the room to life and the accessories only cost around £150 all together.

      1. I find this colour scheme really calming and with such a range of colours things don’t look too ‘matchy’.

    1. I’m so with you that they feel lived in. My house definitely is. I also thing it hides all the copious toys of the girls!! Mood boards are a great idea and I sometimes wish I had done that. Like you, I just kind of start with one thing. Accessories are the way forward. Good luck with the rest of the house x

  5. Hi Lottie, Your house looks lovely! I’d love to know the paints you used that you mentioned for the neutral base- the soft truffle colour, the French grey and palest grey.

    1. Thanks Becky! In our bedroom it is Pebble Shore from Dulux. It has a warmer undertone than a lot greys I tried. Some looked too stark and cold in my room but this is just perfect. It’s nice and light but a lovely hint of colour. Downstairs we have Dulux Soft Truffle in the lounge and Bleached Lichen in the snug (again Dulux). They all have a similar tonal palette to the Farrow & Ball colours but a lot cheaper! On woodwork I do tend to use F&B as I find it paints well and their French grey and bone are my favourites. In my house they have a slightly green tone which I really like x

      1. Thanks for that Lottie! I’ve tried a few testpots in the past which came out looking like concrete! When I really just wanted a light grey- this is really helpful to know I’ll go out and get some tester pots x

  6. Love this post. I am with the others, I’m not a fan of mega white and neutral houses yet I struggle to make colour choices for our home as I worry that I might change my mind. And if its something like curtains it can be a very expensive mistake. But I love your ideas for introducing colours and I’m keen to add colour to our mostly neutral living room. X

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