Are You Using The Right Colour Palette?  – Colour is often the first thing you notice about a room.  Using the right colour palette will make your home more relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family.  Here’s how to find your home’s “true colours”:

  • Familiarize yourself with a colour wheel.  It’s a great tool to help you understand and define colours that work well together, showing you how to mix and match cool colours with warm tones for a balanced room.


  • Plan how you want your room to look.  For inspiration, gather samples such as swatches of your favourite materials, paint chips and clippings from magazines of rooms you love.  Use these to make up a “colour design board”, arranging carpet/floor colour at the bottom, soft furnishing samples in the centre, and pictures of window and wall treatments at the top.  This lets you envision the overall look for the space.


  • Choose large items first if you’re in the market for new furnishings such as carpet or a couch.  Consider versatile neutrals such as browns, creams or greys.  These are restful, reliable colours with great flexibility.  Paint should be the last thing you buy, as it is inexpensive and available in every hue and tone.


  • Accessorize with zest! Jazz up soft neutrals with vibrant splashes of your favourite colours: tangerine-orange tea towels and oven mitts will warm up a white kitchen, vivid geometric toss cushions brighten a brown sofa, lime green or fuchsia candles make a grey or a black and white palette pop.


  • Soothe your senses by borrowing from nature.  Incorporate your favourite season into your colour palette: pale greens and yellow for spring, light sand and aqua for summer, earth tones for fall.  Wicker, wood, shell or stone accents complete that special feeling.


  • Lighten up the floor! If you have a dark or small space that you want to brighten up, consider a pale floor.  Pale floors reflect light and look good with a variety of colours.  Dark furniture on light wood floors is an especially effective combination.  If you have dark floors, consider adding a light coloured area rug to brighten up the space.


  • Use colour tricks.  To make a small room feel more open and airy, choose light colours in the same colour family and apply it to most surfaces.  Large furniture pieces will appear smaller if they are the same colour as the walls, giving the illusion of more space.  To make a large room feel more cozy, use a warm colour pallet and soft textured fabrics and pillows.


  • Set the mood.  Colour is the most effective way of creating a special mood for every room of your home.  Warm colours in your hallways and the living room  say welcome; creamy sunshine yellow starts the day off right in your kitchen, while cool, watery blues bring spa sensations to your bathroom.


Enhancing your space with a cohesive colour scheme pays off two-fold:  more enjoyment for you, and instant appeal to potential buyers.  Buy good quality paint for your house and, according to the Appraisal Institue of Canada, you’ll recoup 50-100% of the expense.


Submitted by:  Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO)

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