Decorating with Colour

There’s something about a new house that brings the designer out in people you know — your real estate agent, your new neighbours, your family, completely strangers — and their advice is always the same, if you’re going to update the paint keep it neutral. I understand where they’re coming from, colour can be very personal, but the whole off-white, beige, neutral colour scheme just doesn’t work for me. When we bought our first house we didn’t do much in the way of painting because we had more important things to take care of. But after a few months the neutral colours in the place were bringing me down. We went and painted every room, bright bold colours: ox blood red, royal blue, mustard yellow. And when it came time to sell the place we had no problems, no issue with colours.

So when we bought our second home, paint was one of the first things we did (though some rooms, like my son’s, are still waiting for a good colour of paint). We followed with the same colours we used in our old place. Many people who visit say they love the colour but they could never do it in their own place; it’s far too bold. I find the colour warms the rooms up, translates our house into a home. The rooms may be darker, sucking the light into the walls versus reflecting them off of a white, but that just gives me an excuse to buy funky lamps. And forget the idea about not using bold colours in a small place. We painted our small downstairs bathroom a dark red and it has such a rich feel, like a royal throne (pun intended).

A forest green for our foyer

Mustard-like yellow for the living room with green accent

Dark red for the kitchen with black and stainless accents

Red kitchen connects to a burnt orange dining room

Granny smith apple green with yellow accents in youngest' bedroom

Blue in the upper stair hallway

Blue hallway leads to read and yellow office space

Red office with yellow accents

Even if you don’t think you can do a whole room with one colour, try painting just one wall or the ceiling or a banding. There’s a great article on EverythingMom about painting with colour, specifically red, and it has lots of great tips. You might be surprised at how much your room will warm-up with a little (or a lot) of colour.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Your home is lovely, you have wonderful taste! The colors compliment each other so well. I have quite a bit of color in my home, I even have green and blue colors close to yours. Over all my home is not painted as boldly as the colors you have chosen because my house is so traditional (aka old.) Were it a bit more modern (by a hundred years or so) I’d ask you for the names of the shades you have used. Gorgeous!


  2. I just painted my basement mustard yellow as well. The main wall was painted a brown shade of caramel. The walls had previously had wallpaper on them from the 70s. But here is where it gets odd…and I didn’t notice this at the time I chose the paint colors. The wallpaper that I detested was shades of yellow and brown. So I tore down ugly wallpaper only to paint the walls the same color scheme. I hoping it’s because what was popular in the 70s is now popular again.


  3. Love, love, love your colours! Just gorgeous. I also can’t help but notice the museum wall look you’ve done throughout your house with your artwork. I am dying to do this in my new place. (I’m still working on my paint colours, not as bold as yours perhaps, but definitely some more colour than the bland ones in here right now)


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