Painting walls is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change the mood of your home; to brighten it up for summer or to add warmth for the winter. Deciding which colour to choose for each part of the room can be a more daunting task. How do you decide on the colour of your accent wall, your ceiling or the trim? What are the rules and when can they be broken? Finally how do you make sure that your colours never clash, but at the same time are distinct from each other?
Choosing your wall colour is always going to be a personal choice. You can use the colour of the moment or you can choose a colour which works for the season you are in. Dark rooms may need brighter tones, while light rooms can get away with darker, richer hues. Of course, the use of the room is also a determining factor. A child's room might be brighter and more vibrant, while an adults bedroom may be more relaxing and use cooler colours.
Sticking to the basics is always a good place to start. Paint your window trim, skirting and door trim in plain white. Generally a gloss paint is best for these areas as it tend to be more robust and is easier to clean. Simply having a crisp white finish to these areas will help to set off the other colours in the room and will make them seem crisper and deeper.
A white ceiling is also traditionally a good choice. It will make your ceilings appear higher and will once again set off the colour of the walls. A dark coloured ceiling can make the room seem very small and claustrophobic. If you have very high ceilings you may be able to use a light blue or yellow to add interest or to set off other colours in the room.
There is no need to stick to one wall colour on all four walls of your room. While it is common to simply paint magnolia on all walls and to build up colour in the room through the use of soft furnishings, it is also acceptable to brighten up a room with the use of brighter and more interesting colours on the walls.
Choose a wall which is not going to be too hidden by furniture or one without a window to become your feature wall. The wall behind your bed or fire place is always a good option. Use your brightest or most interesting colour on this wall. Having a feature wall adds interest and depth to the room. It gives the space a focus and can allow you to use your imagination without overwhelming the room design.
Your other walls need to be in a shade which compliments this feature wall. You could choose a colour which is simply a lighter version of your feature wall colour or you could choose a contrasting colour.
A contrasting colour can be difficult to choose as in some cases it is very difficult to see until the walls are painted if they will work well together. Take advantage of paint pots to test the colours out next to each other. Another tip is to buy the paints from the same range of colours and the same manufacturer. You need to ensure that your colour choice is of the same tonal value. This will mean that even if it is a different colour, it will still match with your feature wall.
Whether you choose to use warm rich tones or cool summery ones you can achieve a perfect finish by combining colours in the right way. Don't be afraid to experiment and remember that you can always paint over it if you get it all wrong.