A Beginners Guide to Colour Matching

Decorating your home is always an exciting time, and you don’t need to be a professional interior designer to do a great job. You might have many ideas for how you’d like your home decor to look, but you should make sure that you always keep colour matching in mind so that your space looks seamless (even if you’re into eclecticism). Whether you prefer a neutral palette or are considering incorporating red curtains or blinds into your space, it’s important to have the basics of colour matching down pat before you start decorating. 

Assess the Space

First things first, you’re going to want to have a specific idea of how you want your space to look. Different colours evoke different emotions and feelings, so it’s important to ask yourself what you want each room to say through colour. Cool-toned colours like green and blue are often associated with calmness and creativity, so they work great in the kitchen or in an office study area. Alternatively, warmer shades of red and orange can make you feel excitable and social, so they’re a good pick for any shared living spaces or entertainment areas. 

Get to Know the Colour Wheel

You might have learned about the colour wheel in school, but it’s still just as important in adulthood. Colour wheels are a great way for you to gauge what colours appeal to you most, and perhaps more importantly- which ones work together. One way to use the colour wheel is to look for colours that sit side by side (which are referred to as analogous colours). As these colours are similar to each other in tone (i.e. orange and red), they generally work well when used together. You can also look for complementary colours, which are colours that sit opposite each other on the wheel like orange and blue. Using complementary colours makes each shade look brighter, and can really work to open up your home.

60-30-10 Rule

A rule as old as time, the 60-30-10 rule has been used by interior decorators for decades. This trick divides colours into three percentages so that colour matching is a breeze. 60% of the colour you use should be a chosen ‘main colour’, which will take up the bulk of your room design. Generally, the main colour is used on your walls, flooring or with feature pieces of furniture. 

You should then select a secondary colour that will make up 30% of your space. The secondary colour should be a contrasting colour, and works best when used for the majority of your furniture, bedding, curtains or  traditional rugs. The last colour is an accent colour and will only take up a small 10% of the space. You can incorporate the accent colour through artwork, vases, throw rugs or lampshades.

Keep Colours Personal

Though it’s imperative that you have the basic foundations of colour theory under your belt, you will still need to pick colours that you love. Picking green because it’s a complementary colour to purple works great in theory, but if you hate the colour green it’s better to just skip it entirely. Think of colour theory as a helping hand to achieve your decorative goals. Look online for inspiration, assess what furniture items you already have and love, and research home decor styles that you want your space to emulate. It’s also worth a trip to the paint store to collect samples, so you can bring them home and see how they’ll work in your living areas. Once you know how to work with different colours and strive for a space you love, decorating will be a breeze.