Discovering Your Personal Colour Palette
Here at Batteson Studio we are all about creating homes that make us feel good.
Colour has a powerful impact on our emotions and is therefore one of the most transformative ways to set the tone for how we want our homes to feel. From the calming use of colours found in nature to the bright and saturated tones that burst with energy, we can play with colour to create different moods.
However introducing colour to your home can feel overwhelming. With such a wide spectrum to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. We all respond differently to individual colours, with cultural, psychological and personal associations all at play and impacting how a hue can make us feel.
Whilst I absolutely love a rainbow palette of paint chips to mull over, when it comes to decorating my home (and myself!) over the years I have honed in on my personal colour palette and the colours that best reflect me and make me feel good. And I want to help you do the same.
Once you have discovered your own personal colour palette it gives you the freedom to have fun with colour and really hone in on what works for you, feeling confident that the choices you make work well together in creating a cohesive and harmonious look. A thread that runs through your home.
The wonderful thing about discovering your own palette is that its tapping into who you are and what works for you, giving your home far more longevity than following any trends.
Introducing Colour To Our Homes
With bright whites being associated with a clean blank canvas, new build homes tend to be finished and handed over in this way. We also see properties being decorated in the same way to make them more attractive to future purchasers, which rather oddly can be prioritised over creating a home for you to actually enjoy living in the present!
This means a lot of homes can end up remaining in brilliant white which is a manmade colour not found in the natural spectrum and so does not naturally put us at ease. Whilst it can feel clean, it creates a cold and uninviting atmosphere which is the absolute antithesis of what our homes should be.
That does not mean neutral and white based palettes can’t be a good option, but by choosing from a variety of whites and neutrals with varying undertones and pigments you can create a far more nuanced scheme.
Essentially it is all about finding those colours across the spectrum that really work for you and can be used to create your own unique environment that reflects your personality.
A Look At The Spectrum
When it comes to choosing your individual hues it is the intensity and shade of any given colour that will determine how the space feels to you, along with the quantities in which you use it and the colours that you pair it with.
Yellow is without a doubt a happy and optimistic colour, which we naturally associate with sunshine. It’s highly stimulating and full of positivity but for some it can cause irritation, so it’s all about finding the right shade of yellow for you.
Once you have found your perfect hue it’s works particularly well as an accent colour.
A combination of red and yellow, orange brings with it the warm and uplifting tones of yellow with the energy of red.
Whilst it might not be the first colour that comes to mind when decorating the wide range of tones from the gentlest of corals to the rich and earthy terracottas can make it a really interesting choice, as with every colour its all about what you pair it with to create your desired scheme.
Nothing stands out quite like a bright red, think emergency stop signs, red buses and red lipstick (oh hey there Lady Danger). Its an incredibly energetic colour that can be associated with strength, passion and anger. Phew!
So it is definitely a colour that should be used wisely in interior schemes so that it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. But as with any colour once you start to consider the different shades and the context in which you might use it red can be a surprising versatile choice.
A gentler take on red, pink is considered to be a more nurturing colour. However it does of course come in many forms from the softest of nude pinks through to rose, bubblegum and magenta.
At the softer end of the scale pink can make a brilliant neutral whilst your bright pinks are great for creating high impact and invigorating spaces. The right pink can work in any room of your home.
Purple tends to be a colour you either love or hate. It has associations with spirituality and royalty but can be a playful colour when used in the home.
The softest of violets and lilacs bring some fun to a light filled space or at the other end of the spectrum deep plums can feel rich and luxurious.
A colour that we associate with the sea and the sky, blue is a colour that we see a lot of in the natural world and it creates a feeling of calm - perhaps thats the reason it’s the worlds favourite colour!
From the palest of blues that sooth and restore through to uplifting sky blues to the deepest of indigos your choice of blue can be used to evoke a wide range of moods.
Another colour that we strongly associate with the natural world, green represents life, growth and health. Falling in the middle of the spectrum it is the least taxing for us to look at and so creates a feeling of balance and calm.
Introducing green to your home can help a space feel grounded. It is a colour that works well in both contemporary and traditional settings.
Brown naturally has an association with the earth, wood and the natural world. This too has an incredibly grounding effect on us and feels safe and dependable. For some it may feel dull and boring but brown can have a rich depth that beautifully compliments other colours. With brown encompassing chocolate, taupe, golden browns through to tans, the right brown can add a touch of warmth and comfort to a space.
Grey is an incredibly versatile colour which can come in many forms and plays a good supporting role. But whilst grey may feel calming to some it is draining for others. It’s all about those undertones here to find a grey that supports your scheme and feels uplifting.
Darker greys can create a great statement and provide a brilliant backdrop for items on display.
Often the default colour that we see in interiors, white can feel fresh, new and clean but it can also feel very sterile particularly with the use of brilliant white.
Once you start to introduce other undertones and pigments you can find a richness and depth and choosing a group of complimentary shades of white you can create a richly layered scheme in both traditional and contemporary spaces.
Black is often associated with glamour and sophistication but for some it can feel oppressive and depressing. It may feel like an intimidating colour to use in your home but a touch of black in your interiors can really elevate a look and works well in highlighting architectural features.
Even black comes in a variety of shades with blue based, warm, soft or pure options which will each compliment different looks. For lovers of dark interiors soft blacks are a dramatic but beautifully cocooning option.
I will be continuing to share a deeper insight into each hue and how you may look at using it in your home. You can sign up to my newsletter to follow along with my colour exploration here.
Where To Start With Finding Your Colour Palette
Once you have honed in on your colour palette you will build confidence in using them throughout your home. Everyones palette will look different - including the number of colours that form your personal palette.
To start tapping into your own, start to take notice of the world around you. We are surrounded by colour so pay attention to the hues that catch your eye. Nature is a great place to start with the colours we see paired in the natural world an absolute masterclass in colour harmony (pretty clever that mother nature!). Think about your favourite flowers, favourite landscapes, favourite seasons.
It is also worth looking at artwork and even packaging and advertising that really catches your eye. Look at the items in your home that you love; a piece of pottery, favourite items of clothing, the cover of a book. Travel is another fantastic source of inspiration.
Once we are clearer on the colours that we are drawn to, we can start to build our personal palette and apply it to our homes. Bearing in mind of course the other members of your household will have their own personal colour palettes and when it comes to decorating your home it is likely you will need to give some consideration to theirs too!
If you would like a helping hand in discovering your own personal colour palette you can register your interest in my new service coming soon here.
The Wider Context
As with anything in life - context is key! When settling on a final palette for your home it is worth considering the wider context with regards to both the location and the local landscape along with the architectural style or period of the property.
These are important considerations but it does not mean that you have to follow any hard and fast rules, it is your home after all. But often you will find that these elements of your home already play a key part in your personal style and aesthetic.
When it comes to making choices for each individual space you will want to consider the purpose of the room as this will heavily dictate the feeling you want to create. Think about the aspect of the room and light levels it receives throughout the day along with the size of the space and any architectural features that you may wish to highlight - or disguise. Colour is a powerful tool when playing with the proportions of a space.
It is also worth considering if you are using colour to provide a backdrop or if it is the feature of a given space.
A Few Tips On Using Colour Throughout Your Home
Small spaces perhaps counter intuitively lend themselves well to darker colours or more dramatic schemes. A guest bathroom or cloakroom for example is a good place to try a darker hue or bolder colours and patterns.
Hallways are another fantastic space to create some drama, as the first introduction to your home they are ideal for injecting personality and as a space that we just pass through rather than spend extended periods in, a hallway is a good place to be bold. Don’t forget about your front door which can give a hint of what's to come!
Living rooms are often used in the evening as a place to relax and watch tv so they can often support a darker palette but if you also use the room throughout the day you will want to choose a colour that works well with both natural and artificial light.
Kitchens tend to be the room that we spend the majority of time in so are best suited to the lightest colours in our chosen palette.
Bedrooms need to sooth us and provide restoration, we want the bedroom to feel like a sanctuary. This is highly personal, for some it will be dark earthy tones that restore and for others it will be light and tranquil. Choosing colours that you find yourself most drawn to is a good starting point. Colours that create a connection to the natural world are also a good option for bedrooms.
Finding your own personal colour palette takes time but once you see it come together the world of colour becomes a lot more accessible and a whole lot more fun!
Batteson Studio is launching a new service where I will work with you to bring together your personal colour palette with guidance on how to use it throughout your home. To register your interest and be the first to know about the launch you can pop your name on the waitlist here.
You can also sign up to my newsletter to follow along with my colour series, interiors tips and latest news here.