How to be bold with colours in interior design
The time has come to kiss goodbye rooms dominated by white colour schemes. Colour is back, and in a big way.
Whether you're looking to brighten things up during the colder months, or introduce some character and charm, colour has a magical way of transforming any space with ease.
Interior stylist Heather Nette King said bold colour had strong mood-enhancing properties and when used correctly, the ability to uplift, calm or nurture.
"To me, bold colour stirs emotions of joy, as well as delighting my eyes," Ms Nette King said. "The trick to making it work in a home is understanding how to balance the colours in a way that won't feel suffocating or overdone."
Ms Nette King, an ambassador for Carpet Court, has created a decorating theme called Colour Play for the flooring and blinds retailer.
Her bold approach, which fuses unexpected colour combinations and an adventurous clash of patterns, aims to encourage people to have fun with their interior spaces.
But she warned homeowners not to confuse the theme with a busy, eclectic look.
"It's more refined than that," she explained. "The colours and patterns might be bright, but the furniture and accessories are chosen for their clean lines and styled with intent to allow plenty of breathing space."
She has used light-coloured floors to help ground the look - think pale or whitewashed floorboards or light-toned carpet.
The neutral base meant she could layer colour on top in a curated way.
"Dark floors won't allow this look to sing," she said. "It needs to be light."
Mix and match
Ms Nette King said people shouldn't use too much of one colour, as this could overpower the look.
"You could try a couple of different wall colours in the space, a painted wall and a wallpapered wall," she said. "But stick to something within the same colour family to make them feel linked."
And before you unleash your inner-colour spirit, remember to leave at least one wall in the room white.
"It keeps things looking fresh and makes the colour pop a bit more," Ms Nette King said.
Mixing patterns also gets her thumbs up. The secret to using clashing patterns was to ensure the colours matched the walls or floor rug.
"Otherwise, it all starts looking a bit messy," she said.
Ms Nette King said the bedroom was a good place to start your colour journey.
Being a personal space, it offered more freedom to exercise self-expression with colour choices, without upsetting others.
"But I do think bold colour can work in any room, as long as it's appropriate for the space," she said.
"I love seeing bright, happy family rooms filled with confident colour choices - it's so uplifting. And in a home office, it can be so stimulating."
In open-plan areas, she suggested choosing one section to highlight in bold hues.
"You might have the lounge looking really poppy and bright, but dial back the colour in the dining area next to it," she said.
"This way, the whole space isn't saturated in bright shades, which could feel completely overwhelming."
Slowly does it
As with any trend, Ms Nette King advised starting out small to gauge whether this look was really for you.
"Bring in something like a bold-coloured rug first, and then build up the look in stages from there," she said.
Stick to a base palette of two or three colours at most, then introduce accent colours in different ways throughout the space.
"It might be a hot pink or a really vivid 'Klein blue' (a deep blue) repeated in a cushion, a vase, a rug," she said.
"When your eye travels around the room and sees that colour repeated, it makes the space feel cohesive and meant to be - not a crazy colour mishmash with no thought."
Flooring is an essential component of any interior scheme. Here, Ms Nette King shares her tips before you buy:
• Take a sample of flooring home before committing. See how the look changes when light falls on it during the day and how it makes you feel.
• Think about how you live. Cut-pile carpet in a forgiving colour is best for those with kids and pets.
• Consider a plush or textured loop-pile carpet for a luxurious look.
• Choose wide timber floorboards to make a room feel bigger and longer, and slimmer boards to elongate a space.
Originally published as How to be bold with colours in interior design