Hi Neville, I recently moved into a newly-built home with my husband and three young children. The colour scheme is neutral throughout with ample natural light and simple furnishings. While I loved the simplicity at first, I have started to become bored and am looking for ways to inject some colour into our home. Any advice you have on shades I could try would be great.
Striking the balance between simplicity and colour injection can be difficult and I understand that a neutral palette can becoming boring over time. I think that this time of year in particular can bring out a creative flair in DIY enthusiasts but people often regret using extremely dramatic or chaotic colours when the winter months creep back in so the trick is to be cautious and minimal when it comes to the use of such shades.
That’s not to say you should shy away from using colour in your home. Believe me, I’m all about introducing new and exciting shades but this needs to be done in moderation. Paint is the easiest way to totally transform the mood of your home and can really turn a neutral room into a completely individual and homely space. Accessories and soft furnishings will also play a role in introducing shapes and colour throughout your home.
You mention that there is plenty of light in your new home which means you can afford to play around with both bright and dark colours. Jewel colours such as deep rich violets, emerald greens, deep ruby reds, subtle pinks and royal blue are good choices and can easily update a neutral room in a stylish way. The best way of introducing shades like this is through accent or feature walls, soft furnishings and even art.
When it comes to choosing a base colour for your walls, I would recommend you stick with neutral shades. You mentioned that you liked the simplicity of the neutral palette when you first moved in so I would be worried that you could dislike the introduction of too many new shades over time. Soft Berry, Crimson Kiss and Prom Night are bold, beautiful shades that will liven up a plain room instantly and the best part is that they can be easily combined with existing neutral shades in your home. Try them on a feature wall, mantelpiece, chimney breast or even a door surround.
One of the most obvious yet very effective ideas for a feature wall is to use a dominant shade that is both bold and striking. It can add diversity and excitement to a room in one easy step. In your living room choose a slightly darker shade to add some warmth. Your fireplace wall is a good choice as the fire will illuminate your colour at night time, giving a cozy atmosphere. Armagnac from Crown’s Indulgence range will give a warm sensual texture. If purple is not to your liking, check out my Elegant Mode from the Classic Collection. Elegant Mode is exactly as it sounds; elegant, warm and inviting – perfect in a living room. Complete the look by then adding touches of grey in your accessories.
Crown’s range of striking Modern Classic colours are definitely worth considering for a living room or dining room. Modern Chic or Modern Living are deep, rich shades that would compliment neutral shades from the Classic range like Classic Cream or Classic Silk, giving your room a modern yet comfortable look. If it’s your kitchen that is in need of some colour, then perhaps consider taking a look at bright and vibrant shades from the Kitchen and Bathroom range like Periwinkle or Dragonfly. These colourful shades are bright and interesting without being too chaotic.
For the bedroom, why not make your bed the centre of attention by decorating the wall behind with a band of colour? Forget buying a new headboard for your bed; why not paint one straight on to the wall. Crown provides creative ideas for stenciling a headboard in their colourcards.
Match your soft furnishings such as rugs, throws and cushions to your feature walls. Combining creams with wood and metallic accessories will give your home a contemporary twist, adding character and a stylish finishing touch. Another way to help in your colour selection is to choose a signature piece that you really treasure and has the colour that inspires you. The paint colour that captures what you treasure most will bring personality into your new home and will work with what you have in the room already.
Neville Knott is a celebrity interior designer and Crown Paints Colour Consultant. To receive regular updates and design tips from Neville, simply log onto www.crownpaints.ie.