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Introduction to using Colour in Interior Design – Part 2

This article will consider the different ways in which, through use and combinations of colour, you can create a room that meets your needs.

Complimentary colour schemes

A complimentary colour scheme is one of simplest and most commonly used colour schemes. It is achieved by selecting two colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. As these colours are opposite each other on the wheel, they highly contrast one another and are quite daring. For this reason, it is usually best to use them minimally. The best way to use them is often to draw attention to a particular part of your room or design element. Additionally, it is a good idea to opt for neutral colours for the rest of the room, to avoid it feeling overwhelming.

Tonal colour schemes

If a room makes use of a tonal colour scheme, it means that one colour has been selected, with varying tones of this colour used throughout the room. Alternatively, a tonal colour scheme could mean the selection of different colours. However, these colours would need to be of the same depth of tone.

Harmonious colour schemes

For a harmonious colour scheme, select colours which are either next to or near each other on the colour wheel. As these colours are not highly contrasting like those in a complimentary colour scheme, they offer and omit a tranquil feel to your room. 

colour psychology - interior designPsychology of colours

Before investing in paint or wallpaper to decorate your room, it is important to consider what the purpose of your room is and what colours can best help you create your desired room. Below is a list of some common colours used in interior design, and what each can help you achieve.


White is often used to create a clean and refreshing feel. For this reason, it is often used in bathrooms and kitchens. By using white on furniture, walls, or the floor, you can create an illusion of the room being bigger than it is. It is also a good idea to use white in combination with other neutral colours such as grey or brown if you don’t want to overuse it.


The use of grey can make a room feel sleek and formal. Like white, it can create a refreshing environment. However, use of grey should be considered carefully, as too much can feel overwhelming and dull. It is also important to consider which shade best suits the room’s function.


Brown is a colour often utilised in the home. It can give the feeling of naturalness and comfort; perfect for a living room or bedroom. The colour brown is also a great addition to neutral colour schemes to give them some depth and warmth.


Yellow has the effect of optimism and brings brightness to your home. However, it is a daring colour. If you don’t feel bold enough to use it on the walls or furniture, it can be a great colour to use to draw attention to certain design aspects of your room.


Blue is generally considered soothing and calming. For this reason, blue is a great colour choice for a bedroom or the workplace, where relaxation is key. However, if overused, the colour can make the room feel cold and bleak.


Red is also a daring colour to use, however, if used correctly, it can have several positive effects, such as, passion, alertness, and energy. Having said this, red is also often associated with aggression. For this reason, if used excessively, it can feel intruding and heavy.

If you have found this article interesting or informative, please feel free to read part one of our introduction to using colour in interior design.

If you are interested in finding out more about interior design or require further advice, please feel free to contact us.

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