Selecting Colour Combinations for Your Home

If you know me, you know that I move often.  If you know me well, you know that I typically use a lot of colour in my home, or else I get bored.  I’ve historically painted bedrooms no fewer than two colours (often even three) and am influenced by everything from ice cream colours, to a friend’s artwork, colourful clothes and album covers.

If you find it difficult to settle on wall colours or shades for your own room/project, try using your favourite multi-coloured heels or a colour-blocked scarf as your jumping off point.  By drawing colours from everyday items you own, you’ll already have an idea of how well the colours work together.  Taking the actual item to the paint store with you will make choosing the right shade of brown, blue, mint, etc. that much easier.

Take for example, this sweater from the Celine Fall Ready-To-Wear 2011 collection (below).  The late 1970s-inspired tones captured my attention immediately.  I’d love to paint my bedroom tan and chocolate with a muted orange accent wall on which to ground my bed frame (shag rug not mandatory).  It’s a dead easy way of creating interest in a room without resorting to bright tones.  If you’re contemplating using these colours yourself, try adding white accessories to the mix for a fresh and modern take and avoid over-using this scheme throughout your house unless the set of That 70s Show is the look you’re going for.

(Photo via

The following two photos, taken in Istanbul by the very talented Claudio Bianchi, are excellent colour sources as well.  Drawing from the first image, consider painting your living room cement gray with a single bubble gum pink wall. The stand-out pink would create the perfect setting for hanging your art collection, your vacation photos or even your flat-screen TV.  Don’t have an art collection?   Hit me up and I’ll send some affordable art sources your way.

If the thought of a multi-coloured room scares you (not to mention the work involved), go for the safer and less onerous option of painting a single accent wall.  Pulling from Claudio’s beautiful colour-filled photo below, I’d love to contrast an otherwise white room with a hit of fuchsia, be it through a painted fuchsia door or wall, a glossy fuchsia floor lamp or by recovering the jackets of a group of books in fuchsia-coloured paper.  The sunshine yellow can be used as an accent colour as well and it’s an easier transition to using colour than fuchsia.  Gracias para los fotos, Bianchi.
(Photos by Claudio Bianchi)
When I’m ready for a dramatic dining room look (and when I have a dining room, ahem), I hope to have the guts to pull colours from my outfit below.  Painting all four walls black (including window moulding), the ceiling a bright gold while using a few mint-coloured vases/accessories seems over the top but it might just work.  For a bigger impact, I’d include a massive glossy mint-coloured dining room table if I could find or DIY one.
(Photo by Marina Malyshkina)
When you don’t know where to start with paint colours, choose from every day items that you own. There’s nothing sexy about an all beige and off-white decor.  Besides, if you’re anything like me and my group of friends, you’ll need a colourful wall to use as a backdrop for your many house party photo shoots.

2 Comments on “Selecting Colour Combinations for Your Home”

  1. Melanie says:

    Love it! Such a great idea, Sandra. I’ll keep it in mind for my next place. 🙂

  2. thelemonspank says:

    Derek Lam ss-12, same fashio-pallette, borrowed from Celine perhaps?

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