Expert Tips on How to Choose Colours For Your Home

Heed this expert's advice when deciding on which hues to use for your space.

Updated on June 15, 2017 11:06 am

David Loh


"Colours reflect multiple facets of your personality and your lifestyle," says Stephanie Kraneveld, Global Colour Training & Knowledge Manager at AkzoNobel Decorative Coatings. When choosing what colours to use in your home, Stephanie advises to consider these factors:

1. Identify your personal preferences.

Define what basic colour preferences you want that will set the foundation of this exercise. Get sources of inspiration and ideas from colour swatches, interior design portals like Cromly, and Pinterest—these are all good options at your fingertips.

2. Determine the purpose of the space.

Consider the function of the space you want to colour. Spaces of rest would be good if you have softer tones to help relax both the mind and body. Spaces that have short transition periods such as entryways and hallways would benefit from high energy tones that give you an extra boost when you are leaving or entering your home.

3. The Space Effect: Distance

Neutral monotones create a receding perception of space (the illusion of a more expansive sense). Meanwhile, strong chroma (high intensity) colours create an advancing perception of space. It can shrink visual distances in larger spaces to make it cosier, if that is your preference.

4. The Space Effect: Volume

Colours with high reflectance values will increase your perception of room volume. On the other hand, colours of lower reflectance values will lower the perceived volume in the room. The use of line patterns can amplify or decrease the emphasis on any of the three dimensions in a typical room.

5. Formulas That Usually Work

  • Tonal matches: Base colour + lighter/darker tones. This combination usually gives a calmer effect on the occupants of the space.

  • Harmonious matches: base colour + 1 neighbouring colour, in various tones on the colour wheel. This has a slightly more dynamic feel.

  • Complementary and contrasting matches: base colour + directly opposing colour on the colour wheel in varying tones. This can create a highly dynamic and energetic effect.

Stephanie adds, "If you like a certain colour that you've seen on the colour swatch, do consider one tone lighter as the visual perception of small colour chips on swatches can be amplified on the larger expanse of your wall. Test painting on your wall will help you manage your final effect best."

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