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How to combine colours for beautiful interior design?


Colour combinations are based on well-established norms. Discover our advice to combine colours well in your interior and to avoid mistakes.

Basic principles of combining colours well

In interior design, colour choice is of utmost importance. From wall paint to wallpaper, whatever the base, these are the shades which decorate your house and create the ambiance in it. It is therefore essential to choose tones surrounded by which you feel comfortable and which match the use of the room.

Before embarking on redoing a living space, you should understand the principle of the colour wheel, this framework which classifies all shades around a centre of gravity. For successful colour combinations, only certain matching combinations are possible. This representation set out like a rainbow is used in painting, in design and even in fashion. While turning the colour wheel clockwise, you obtain shades while reviewing close shades, from bright yellow to green, for example.

Another option :  hues. made from a single colour, which is changed through the level of saturation. Contrast, which consists of combining several saturated colours which are slightly differentiated, allows you create more daring colour harmonies. The more basic it is, the more it offers a fresh pop of a rendition. A light-dark contrast, which is more delicate, lays on the difference in light within the colours. You could therefore combine a form of pale pink with vermilion red.

Our suggestions for using colours which combine well together

Colour harmony demands caution. It is recommended to limit oneself to a maximum of three colours per room. To choose the colours which go together, you should choose those which are located next to each other on the colour wheel. You will get for example a joyful purple a passionate red and a sober orange ; or even a lime-green, a bright yellow and a pale orange or even a blue-green, a bright blue or a warm mauve. We note that when comparing with this combination, just the dominant shade stands out. It is actually not advised to have several strong colours, which, when placed together, cancel each other out and create a decor scheme that is garish, aggressive and lacking in balance.

On the other hand, a selection based solely on neutral colours can give off a sad, depressing atmosphere. To give some character to a living room decorated in off-white or light grey, welcome in some dynamic colours to brighten up the space. The latest decorating trends suggest painting three walls in a muted tone (white, ecru, or taupe...) and introducing a touch of colour on the fourth wall.

Equally, a monochromatic colour scheme can suggest boredom. Avoid white walls unless the furniture will brighten up the space. A mustard yellow sofa, some ochre or terracotta cushions or even a coral-coloured rug will bring rhythm. Harmony between the wall colour and the furniture will be key. Avoid tricky combinations such as green and red, purple and yellow, blue and orange, for example, which are colours which fight between themselves.

Also, it is easy to combine a more or less bright colour with white, the symbol of purity or black both of these being neutral colours. The contrasting differences which can come out of this can however be hazardous. While white shades can combine with all colours, combining a colour with black can create a flashy, explosive decor. A link between yellow and black can define a contemporary urban style. On the other side, an over-emphasised presence of jet black, anthracite or slate risks making a room feel cold. Attention should be paid to the psychology of colours as black symbolises anxiety and anger, emotions which are the antithesis of the well-being you are trying to create in an interior. To feel comfortable at home the room should stay light, so an overuse of deep shades is to be avoided.

Our ideas for colour combinations for successful interior design

Combining pastel colours

Their softness is appreciated for the cosy, cocooning atmosphere they provide. Thus, pale pink and sky blue, or aqua and light grey can create a delicate feelt. This range of colours, typical of Scandinavian style, also have the advantage of being able to be easily combined.

Bringing natural colours together

In order to be sure to avoid looking off-key, just let nature do the talking. A linen colour in textiles and curtains, rope baskets, a rush matting floor or wooden parquet all suggest delicate, calm hues. These shades can be combined with a royal blue sofa or bright red indoor rug. These soft shades go well in every room of the house, from the dining room to the bedroom.