While they’re there to help you avoid decorating disaster, certain colour ‘rules’ actually make no sense. We’re here to show you why, starting with this bold bedroom in a spectrum of sunset shades.
The myth: Bright colours such as these might jar with one another, and create an uncomfortable space.
The reality: These tones are found together in nature, meaning they do complement each other beautifully. The trick is to use big blocks of plain colour, rather than a mixture of patterns.
How to get the look: Layer your blocks of colour carefully, and don’t cover every single surface in bright shades – try using a grey carpet on the floor to ground the scheme, as well as some white accents to make the overall look fresh and juicy, rather than a blinding onslaught on your senses.
The myth: Colourful statement walls should be centred on a single wall, and symmetrical in appearance.
The reality: This living room breaks so many decorating rules it’s unreal. But look how well the oversized, off-centre printed wallpaper works with that grey striped carpet, which has been laid in two different directions. An interesting change for a now-standard focal point.
How to get the look: Zoning doesn’t have to be dictated by a room’s natural breaks – such as the chimney breast surrounding a fireplace, or a well-situated alcove. Draw a line wherever you fancy and make that space work for you.
You could, for instance, use a bold red-and-white wallpaper to define a lounging area, while a plain-grey painted wall becomes the backdrop for a home office space. Reinforce this with directional flooring; a striped carpet (like this one from Alternative Flooring) laid in two pieces at 90 degrees to one another helps mark out two zones with different functions.
The myth: Black and navy don’t go together. Ever.
The reality: Models were rocking the ‘never-to-be-seen-together’ colour combination all over the catwalks recently, proving that it’s an on-trend look. If the fashionistas say it works then there’s no reason not to use it on a grander scale in your home, is there?
How to get the look: In this instance the trick is to make the black-and-navy colour scheme less severe using lashings of white and grey accents.
In this almost clinical living room – inspired by the cool colours of the acid-alkali spectrum – a black carpet sets a deep, dark mood that’s lifted with a modern rug featuring flashes of navy. Medical-inspired artworks in moody blue hues (see the X-ray wall projections in the previous photo, and the Anatomical prints, from Arch 389) provide black-and-blue tonal variation – of the non-bruise variety.
The myth: Blue and green should never be seen. Yes, that is an actual phrase.
The reality: Apparently these two colours are sworn enemies, but as green is made up of blue and yellow, this makes little sense. Perhaps it’s because they are a potent mix in need of careful handling. That doesn’t, however, mean they’re totally off limits when it comes to decorating with colour.
How to get the look: The trick here is to be brave with block colour, but to ensure you break it up with a panel of pattern – such as the floor-to-ceiling tiled band seen in the previous shot. This not only creates a focal point, it unites the two colour shades beautifully.
In addition, avoid murky shades of blue and green as they can end up looking sludgy. A vibrant tennis-lawn green works well as an accent colour to blue-based teal surfaces and Yves Klein blue furniture, as illustrated by this eye-catching dining room display unit.
The myth: Never decorate with black in a child’s bedroom.
The reality: We’re not sure where this concept came from. Perhaps from parents who believed that pastels had mood-enhancing qualities. The thing is, for young eyes, it’s more about being mentally stimulated by pattern than colour – and black amd greys are brilliant for graphic-based decorating.
How to get the look: Paint the walls in wide floor-to-ceiling vertical stripes – using a repeat of about five bands in graduating tones (starting with black, travelling through grey to white) will add depth.
Keep the room light by choosing white flooring and woodwork, and add small touches of colour – such as fire-engine red – for vibrancy, plus soft furnishings in a mix of geometric patterns for added fun factor.
If you’re inspired to break the colour rules and need more inspirations, discover all sorts of ways to decorate with colour, courtesy of Housetohome’s experts