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Colour Theory: Decorating Schemes with Strong Colours

17 March 2023

The best way to bring in brighter hues without overwhelming your space…

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Whilst there’s nothing wrong with decorating your home with calming neutral tones and soothing off-whites, sometimes life calls for a splash of colour. There’s no better way to brighten up a room than by giving it a colourful makeover - the thousands of unique and vibrant shades available on the market welcome the chance to be experimental, creative and have fun whilst decorating your interior. 

Here’s our guide to using bright colours to style your space, including some of the paints and style secrets we’ve used to create our own photo studios over the years.

Decorating with bold colours makes lighting and furniture pieces stand out and catch the eye.

It should come as no surprise then that eco plant-based, water-based and water-borne paints contain lower levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and pose far less risk to our health and planet.

Luckily, just like conventional paints, eco paints come in a wide-range of finishes. As well as emulsions, interior and exterior solutions, masonry paints and primers, you can also find hard-wearing, wipeable natural paints on the market (not to mention a great selection of colours and shades).

Hicks' Blue 208 - Little Greene

Blue tones are always a great option: versatile, dependable and effective. There are hundreds of different blues out there so you shouldn’t have a problem finding the perfect tone for your intended space.

We used Hicks' Blue by Little Greene previously for a photoshoot and love its understated yet impactful tone. Reminiscent of a regal colour palette, Hicks' Blue provides the perfect backdrop for our iconic Skipper Pendant in oak and our Beeble Pouffe in the Hallingdal fabric. 

Top tip: Avoid clashing yellow, peach and green shades with blue - unless you intend to achieve a primary colour theme in your space.

The curvaceous petals of our iconic Skipper Pendant leap out from an elegant backdrop of Hicks' Blue by Little Greene.
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Warm light gathers between strips of wood. Flexed to the brink then fixed into an organic sphere inspired by sand-combed shells, our Urchin Lighting Range brings atmosphere in abundance.

Breakfast Room Green – Farrow & Ball

Green might not be the first colour that springs to mind when you’re thinking about redecorating. However, with a expanse of hues ranging from soft sage to dark forest, you'll be sure to find a modern tone that accentuates your interior.

Breakfast Room Green from Farrow & Ball – as sophisticated as it is soothing. A backdrop painted with this modern classic provides the perfect canvas to experiment with other complimentary pastel shades such as soft pink, creamy beige, apricot and grey-toned lilacs.

Top tip: Add more green to your space by incorporating plants he form of plants for a pleasing colour clash.

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Our Earth Silver coloured Arbor Armchair styled with a draping soft pink blanket is an elegant match for the green wall behind. Natural tones, such as the oak of our Gwelsen Screen, also look great against a backdrop of Farrow & Ball's Breakfast Room Green.

Setting Plaster - Farrow and Ball

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A warm caramel beige wall with dark pink undertones provides a great setting for our Gwelsen Screen, Harlyn Mirror Large and Crib Bench (left to right).
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The sumptuous curves of our May Coffee Table flow against a backdrop painted with Farrow & Ball's Setting Plaster. 

Whilst lighter pastel or neutral tones make for very popular and timeless paint choices, opting for a darker shade of pink or terracotta can bring a touch of warmth and vibrancy to a space.

Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball offers just that, without overpowering your interior. Using a colour like Setting Plaster can feel a little intimidating – and we’ve all been guilty of opting for something a little more understated – so try it in a single room or even just on one wall to get a feel for the tone. We used Setting Plaster in one of our photo-shoots to contrast the lighter oak tones of our Gwelsen Screen, Harlyn Mirror and Crib Bench.

Top tip: Pairing neutral tones with darker accent accessories draws the eye and can create a sense of depth in your interior.

Royal blue provides a striking, eye-catching setting for our functional Hanter Wall Lights complete with filament Elva bulbs.

Mazarine 256 – Little Greene

Bright and lively, choosing a statement blue gives you a lot of scope to create a cheerful, playful interior. Go bold with a deep navy, or bright with an aquamarine shade to create memorable impact.

A bold blue shade is perfect for use on an accent wall if you want just a hint of colour; alternatively if you're keen to create greater impact consider painting the whole space or even the ceiling as an additional 'fifth wall'. Pair blues with contrasting patterned accessories and timeless natural lighting and furniture pieces for a unique, modern aesthetic.

Top tip: We find that bold blue tones work well with an off-white colour palette, natural tones and metallic accessories such as the brass fittings in our Wheal Lighting Range.

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Mazarine 256 by Little Greene provides the perfect contrast to the off-white wooden flooring and rich golden tones of our sustainably sourced oak Beeble Pouffe and birch wood Cage Pendant.
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We used Mazarine 256 by Little Greene in a past photo-shoot to intensify the living room-esque backdrop and help bring our Wheal Floor Light and Arbor Armchair to life. 

India Yellow – Farrow & Ball

Add zing with lemon tones. Whilst yellow can often be shied away from within homes, it can be a beautiful, happy tone that adds personality to your space. You can go bold with sunshine yellow, or subtle with a slight off white.

This tone of yellow works perfect with our handcrafted lighting range, whether you opt for ash, oak or walnut. Well suited to refreshing spaces, India Yellow suits perfectly within bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces.

Top tip: consider how your accessories will contrast or harmonise with the yellow. For high contrast spaces, opt for bold blues but for neutral spaces, pared back tones are a great choice.

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India Yellow is the perfect backdrop to our wooden furniture and lighting.

Primer Red - Annie Sloan

A year round beauty – red is the gift that keeps on giving. You can dress your space up with deep greens for a cosy, Christmas scene or you can create contrast with cool toned accessories.

Primer Red by Annie Sloane offers a versatile solution to any space down to it’s easy to style nature. The right lighting design can add depth and texture to your crimson wall to create an artistic statement. Well suited to soothing bedroom interiors or welcoming living spaces this striking tone cocoons you in comfort.

Top tip: When painting smaller interiors a deep done, paint your ceiling and a feature wall the same colour to elongate the space.

tom raffield arame wall light
Nature inspired forms sit pretty upon a Primer Red wall.
tom raffield wheal floor light
No such thing as too much red. The Mooring Floor Light with Red Flex is a wonderful way to carry the red tones through your home.

Oxford Stone and Sulking Room Pink (dappled effect) - Farrow & Ball

Pink is the ultimate soothing tone. Not only is is scientifically proven to provide a sense of calm, it is a neutral tone that is easy to style - making it a perfect bedroom and living room colour.

Using the dappled effect when painting will create beautiful texture that will create an understated, feature wall. Whether you want to lean in to the pastel tones to create a peaches and dream bedroom space or create contrast with bold colour - your home will always look pretty in pink.

Top tip: Pair your pink interior with wooden tones to create a idyllic Scandi inspired space.

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Create the perfect oasis of calm by adding sculptural form to your pink interior with the Verso Pendant.


A sustainable home has a clear connection with nature, uses natural and honest materials and is filled with crafted objects that are built to stand the test of time.

Posted: 17.03.23
Updated: 17.03.23

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