Book Extract from Decorate - Colour Tricks

This is an extract from Decorate - 1,000 inspirational design ideas for every room in you house, by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick. Published by Jacqui Small.

Colour is one of the most powerful of decorators’ tools. Relatively economical to use, fun to choose but also easy to get wrong, so some experimentation is a good idea.

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‘Wallpaper or paint the interiors of your bookshelves and, if you can afford to, the ceiling or an accent wall.’ Celerie Kemble, designer
 Pale pink linen walls in Christine d’Ornano’s London home are subtle but hugely warming. Some colours will change character according to how they are used. A gloss grey will be colder than a chalky paint, while blue can bear to be shiny as well as matt.

Pale pink linen walls in Christine d’Ornano’s London home are subtle but hugely warming. Some colours will change character according to how they are used. A gloss grey will be colder than a chalky paint, while blue can bear to be shiny as well as matt.

  • For instant impact paint one wall in a living room or bedroom in a bold, vivid colour. Choose the wall that will make the most dramatic statement.
  • In a large room where you want to enhance a sense of enclosure and seclusion, opposing walls can be painted the same colour.
 Combining a range of tones in one colourway makes a sophisticated statement. Minky, mole-like browns and soft cappuccinos on a range of fabrics and textures in a bedroom presents an enticing picture.

Combining a range of tones in one colourway makes a sophisticated statement. Minky, mole-like browns and soft cappuccinos on a range of fabrics and textures in a bedroom presents an enticing picture.

  • You can add highly patterned wallpaper to one wall to create a feature in a room where there is no natural focal point.
  • In a room dominated by neutral colours add in vivid contrast colour as accents on upholstery, cushions or artwork. Strong tones such as orange, citrus lime or red work well as vivid jolts of colour in this way.
 Small sky blue mosaic tiles give a mother-of-pearl shimmer as they catch the light above a simple fireplace. Tiling is a good way of adding colour to kitchens, living room and bedroom fireplaces and bathrooms.

Small sky blue mosaic tiles give a mother-of-pearl shimmer as they catch the light above a simple fireplace. Tiling is a good way of adding colour to kitchens, living room and bedroom fireplaces and bathrooms.

  • Infusing a room with bold colour is one of the best decorating tools to create an instant mood or a certain style. Think warm blues, hot pinks or sunshine yellows. They will all create a cosy space in a small room and detract from the room’s natural dimensions.
  • Remember that red will always warm and enclose while white will always expand and lighten a space. When choosing paint colours, always opt for a shade or two lighter than what you are naturally drawn to. Paint chips often deceive.
 Apply bold colours midway up a wall to lessen their impact but provide a visual feast when moving from one room to another. Use paint or wallpaper to create the colour and add in complementary tones for punctuation.

Apply bold colours midway up a wall to lessen their impact but provide a visual feast when moving from one room to another. Use paint or wallpaper to create the colour and add in complementary tones for punctuation.

  • Steer away from brilliant white paint. It contains a blue caste that will make northern rooms dull and grey. Instead, opt for a standard white that includes a hint of pink pigment for maximum ‘whiteness’ on the finished wall.
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Decorate (Reissue) by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick.

Photographs by Debi Treloar

Published by Jacqui Small

Out now.