Skip to main content

Sarah Corker Designs

Welcome to Sara Corker Designs. If you already have a account then please login, if not then why not register.

Introduction to using Colour in Interior Design – Part 1

Colour is a very important aspect of interior design. It is the quickest way to completely change the look of a room and can influence the mood it gives off. Whether you are experienced in interior design, just starting out or simply looking for some inspiration for your next DIY decorating job, this article will give you an insight into how to use colour in interior design.

Things to consider/Questions to ask –

At the very start of your project, before you think about colour schemes, it is important to consider a few things. You should ask yourself, or your client the following questions:

Who is it for?

If you have been given a job, you need to consider who the end user of the room will be. This will influence the colours used and the general feel you seek to create in the room. You should find out the needs and attitudes of the user. This may involve finding out the age group, or any special requirements. The end user of the room will greatly impact the effect you look for. For example, a colour scheme for a child is likely to differ greatly from one for the elderly.

What is the purpose?

It is integral to consider what the room will be used for and to choose a colour scheme accordingly. Ask yourself what the function of the room is; will it serve as part of a nursery, hospital, restaurant, living room and so on. Different environments have different needs and colours that best compliment their space.

Where is it?

You should also think about the actual location of the space and the building it is in. Colour schemes may differ in different cultural, social or geographical settings and you may want to work inline with this.

Different terminology

When you’re just starting it out, it can be difficult to get your head around the different terminology. We have included a brief breakdown of some of the key terms and ideas to help you.

Colour WheelThe colour wheel

In most versions, the colour wheel consists of 12 colours. The wheel offers a visual representation of which colours blend best and compliment each other.

Primary colours

The term primary colours refers to the colours: red, blue and yellow. These colours, unlike others, cannot be made from mixing other colours.

Secondary colours

Secondary colours are colours that can be made by mixing the primary colours. These are: orange, purple and green. However, there are infinite variations of these colours possible.

Tertiary colours

This term refers to the shades that can be made by mixing primary and secondary colours.


Tint, Shade and Tone

It is also possible to change a colour by adding neutrals

Tint: Adding white to a colour to lighten it.

Shade: Adding black to a colour to darken it.

Tone: Adding grey to a colour to darken it slightly.

This article offers a very brief introduction into using colour in interior design. It gives you some things to consider and a breakdown of some important terms. If you have any questions about using colour in interior design please feel free to contact us, alternatively, see our website for the second piece on our introduction to colour.  

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index