Interior Stylist Gemma Gear shares her top tips on how to be ‘colour-confident’ in your home
Choosing the right colours for your home decor can be a little daunting, especially if you're still learning what colours work well together.
So when we caught up with the very talented Interior Stylist Gemma Gear recently, we asked her to share some of her expert advice on how to be colour-confident in your home.
If you’re planning on refreshing a room or changing the colour palette of your home, how should you go about this?
Start by making a mood board. This is undoubtedly the most important stage of designing a room and it should never be overlooked. Mood boards are a great way of visually documenting all of the ideas you have in your head. If you're unsure about what colour sofa to buy, what colour to paint a wall, or what fabric will work best for your blind - order samples, and lots of them!
Even with years of experience, I never start a new project without creating a mood board beforehand. Not only does it help me visually understand what colours work best together, it means I can also see the textures of the materials together too. Things can also look very different in the flesh compared to a digital photo, so it will help you avoid any costly mistakes.
Gemma’s advice on how to make a mood board:
- Order samples of various materials you are thinking of putting in the room. Flooring, tiles, cabinetry, paint & fabrics are all good starting points.
- Display all of the materials on a large white board to keep it clean and simple.
- Mix & match the different samples until you find a combination that you love.
- Use small accessories to add depth to the mood board and use different textures to make it come to life.
- Take a clear photo of your mood board to keep referencing back to.
When it comes to styling a space or a room, where is the best place to start?
If you're feeling stuck, and not sure where to begin, then I suggest you start with a statement piece to create focal point for the room. A sofa is a good example for a living room space for example, as that is generally the main piece of furniture in the room and something you can take pride in.
How should you go about choosing the colour of this statement piece?
I fell in love with the Eden sofa from Sofa Workshop, and I knew at first sight that it was the right sofa for me. I was deliberating between two colours, either cobalt blue or emerald green, and later decided to go for blue after receiving some samples. Sofa Workshop have over 1000 different fabrics to choose from and they offer free samples, so I was really spoilt for choice!
Once you've got a statement piece sorted for the room, you can use this as a core to help design the space around it. I used my Eden sofa as a starting point for the rest of the room, and chose complimentary colours to surround it.
How can we check that the colours we choose are complimentary?
A quick way of understanding what colours work well together is by learning the colour wheel and investing some time into researching the primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Generally speaking, colours on opposite ends of the colour wheel are known as 'complimentary colours'. This is a good starting point for those who are new to exploring colour.
Blue and yellow are on opposite sides of the colour wheel, so my floor lamp and pouffe offset the sofa perfectly, which makes it stand out more.
When it comes to adding accessories to a room or space, should you start big or small and is the colour of these items important?
Let's face it, no-one wants to spend hundreds of pounds on a new rug or custom-made curtains just to realise that the colour wasn't right for the room. Smaller accessories are an inexpensive way of experimenting with different colours, and are very easy to return if not quite right.
Spend time titivating with various accessories until you create a colour scheme that works for the room. Remember that colours don't need to be too matchy-matchy as this can end up looking monotone. Instead, try clashing different colours until you find a combination that appeals to the eye.
Gemma’s favourite accessories to experiment with...
- Photo frames
Finally, what’s the best way to use colour to add a bit of your own personality into the decor of your home?
So many people get too caught up in the latest trends, and worry about what's 'hot' and what's not. The most important thing to consider when creating a colour scheme in your home is that it makes YOU happy. Everyone has different colour tastes and preferences, and that's totally ok. So, if you're drawn to a specific colour combination, just go for it! You need to learn what colours make you tick, and with this comes the confidence to design a room.