Ask the Expert: How to choose colour and pattern for the contemporary home

By Aoife Valentine Secor 19-04-2018

A House and Home promotion

Little Green Archive Trails collection - Brooke House - Cinder

If you haven't seen already, Little Greene Paints and Wallpapers are our Supplier of the Month for April, and so, we've asked their advice on what they know best: choosing colour and pattern for the contemporary home. Searching for the perfect colour or pattern to cover your walls can be a tough job if it's not something you know a lot about.

You might know you want blue for your kitchen, but what shade of blue works with your style? Know you love pattern but don't know how you can use it to complement your space? Knowing where to start is a big hurdle, so we asked Ruth Mottershead, Marketing Director at Little Greene, for her top tips to help you up your game in a contemporary home.


What are your key tips for choosing colours for a contemporary home?

Little Green Archive Trails collection - Monroe - Night Flower

"Choosing colour can be a minefield for most, luckily here at Little Greene we are experts in guiding people through the process. We often recommend that customers start by choosing colours that they are naturally drawn to and build from there.

Once you have studied our Colour Card and have an idea of what colours you want to use in your scheme, it’s really important to sample them at home, as colours can change throughout the day and subtly vary in North or South facing lights.

Also, it’s worth remembering that choosing two or three colours in combination can add character to a contemporary home that has little architectural features. Using opposing colours or accent colours to highlight woodwork is a modern alternative to the more classic paler shades."


What should people keep in mind if they're looking at patterns for their home?

"Wallpaper has grown in popularity in recent years – especially using wallpaper all over rather than choosing one feature wall - customers are becoming more daring with how they use it.

Little Green Archive Trails collection - Astrid - Lantern

When choosing a wallpaper pattern, it’s important to consider the scale of the room vs the scale of the design on the wallpaper. Bear in mind what artwork you would like to display and any existing furnishings which might impact or even hide the design. For example, our ‘Asterid’ wallpaper is a great option if you want to make an impact without the furniture restricting the design, as the floral detail is largely focussed on the top of the wallpaper.

Striped wallpaper such as our ‘Broad Stripe’ can be used to make walls appear taller and wall murals will add a unique touch to any interior."


Are there any major mistakes people should avoid when choosing colours and pattern for their homes?

Little Green Archive Trails collection - Loriini - Dorian

"Choosing colour and wallpaper should be an enjoyable, creative process and you shouldn’t feel too restricted – especially during the initial stages of gathering ideas and inspiration. However, try to avoid using dark colours in small rooms with little or no natural light, it will always be too dark!

It’s also important to take into account the room you plan to decorate, whether it be North or South facing, for example, blue tones might read flatter and cooler than you would like, whereas South facing rooms tend to have a warmer light, so colours can appear more yellow.

I’d always advise customers to paint the ceiling of a room the same colour as the walls where possible. The continuous use of colour will make the whole room appear more spacious – that way, your eye won’t be drawn to the block change in colour.

And for those less confident, each of our Little Greene wallpapers comes with three, carefully selected ‘coordinating colours’ that are designed to work perfectly with your chosen paper for a professional and beautiful result. You can find these easily on our website, or by visiting one of our nationwide wallpaper stockists."


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