Five tips to help your clients choose the right colour

When it comes to a property’s interior or exterior, colour has the potential to create a real wow factor and set the stage for how people interact with a building.

It also happens to be something that is subject to trends and styles that go in and out over time but is one of the easiest elements to change in any property.

But it begs the question, how do you select a colour that suits the building and the era? This is something many people agonise over when it comes to both new builds and renovations. 

To help, here are five tips to help clients choose the right colour.

A few quick colour tips

The great thing about colour is that it’s not immutable – it’s something that can be easily changed over the lifespan of any property.

That means it can reflect the style of the property owner, take its cues from the trends of the time, or be an essential tool in bringing a tired property back to life.

That said, there are some tried and tested tips when it comes to using colour that are utilised by everyone from architects to interior designers, artists, and decorators, including the 60-30-10 rule.

This well-known rule sees a dominant colour selected to coat most surfaces of the interior or exterior space. It’s then complemented by a secondary colour which is used in 30 per cent of the areas, and a third tone which is used as an accent or to create that wow factor in 10 per cent of areas.

Together, these colours create depth and vibrancy, allowing the property to have a style that speaks for itself. 

But which colours are the right ones? Well let’s take a quick spin on how to pick suitable tones and shades.

Look to the surroundings

Whether it’s the surroundings of nature or the hues of a city scape, great colour inspiration is often directly in front of you.

In property interiors, the colour scheme might take its cues from other natural materials used, or become a tool to bring the outside in. 

It might offer a nod to the colours of existing furniture or reflect the favoured colours of the property occupier.

Meanwhile, the exterior colour might factor in the buildings or nature that surround it, offering a nod to the existing environment, or perhaps it will be used to contrast that landscape and create an inspiring first impression.

Regardless of which option is preferred, the immediate surroundings are a great stating point for any colour journey.

Seek some chic style

Just as clothes go in and out of style, and building designs alter with the times, so to do colour trends. Those trends provide great inspiration, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all.

A great colour choice will reflect current styles but be strong enough to withstand the passing of fads. It will reflect the surroundings and also the style of the build.

Find some inspiration in the building form

Whether it’s a Mediterranean style property, an eco-home, or a historical property, often the colours selected will find inspiration within the building form.

And this is why some colours stand the test of time. No matter what hues are in favour, they honour the style of the building in subtle and respectful ways.

That’s not saying the home needs to fully mimic a traditional colour scheme. They offer a nod to it that may even take on a contemporary form.

Create a colour scheme

To really hone in on the colours that will suit, it’s a great idea to create a colour scheme.

This can start with tones and hues that resonate with the owner and often it’s as simple as selecting images, palettes, tones, and textures they like.

These can then be whittled down into colours that also suit the property and work within that space. 

But this palette or mood board offers inspiration for the paint colours that pique the home owner’s interest, which they envisage will suit that space.

A little trial and testing

When it comes to colour, the proof is in the pudding. In other words, hues, tones, and styles need to be tested and trialled within their actual surrounds.

That’s why it’s a great idea to sample colours, paint a small space and then see how they work in that environment at different times of day.

The reality is, light, surface, texture, and architectural style all have a bearing on what actually works in the real space, so it’s helpful to test and trial prior to committing to a scheme.

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