10 home colour rules
Image: Sarah De Pina

A colour specialist with over 30 years’ experience, Freya Lincoln is renowned for her designer’s eye and ability to create bespoke paint hues and specialised effects. 

Here are Lincoln’s top 10 home colour rules:

1. Light

Light is the most important factor when choosing colour, so always check shades in the area where they’ll be painted.

2. Surroundings

Look at a wall colour in conjunction with the floor and in the area where you’re going to paint it. What looks good in one space doesn’t necessarily look good in another.

3. Paint Swatches

Always assess swatches through a tube or isolated with your fingers to give you a better idea of the actual colour.

4. Furnishings

Put the flooring, curtaining and furnishing fabric together with your wall colour to get a general impression of the overall interior effect you want to create. Textures and colours bounce off one another, so they must all be in balance.

5. White Shades

Use white as a colour and not as a default. It’s better to apply an off-white instead of white-out-of-a-tin, as this has a grey shadow, whereas an off-white has a warmer feel.

6. Trims

Paint skirtings, doors, cornices and mouldings an off-white hue to soften the lines of a room and achieve a rounded look.

7. Dark Rooms

Avoid trying to lighten a room by painting it white, because it will still have the same quantity of light. Rather embrace the shadowiness and use a colour – even a dark one – for impact.

8. Accent Walls

Consider your surrounding wall colours and floor before painting a bright or bold accent wall.

9. Ceilings

Don’t be afraid of using stronger colours on a ceiling – it can look fabulous.

10. Colour Chart

Instead of choosing a colour from a chart, get a paint sample and apply it to a section of wall before making your decision.

Looking for more home colour advice and inspiration? Read our article The Alchemy of Colour next.