Colour my world Published on May 5, 2011

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In the last of our miniseries on colour, we're going to look at sources of inspiration for your grand new scheme.

We now have the basic tools to help us understand how to develop a colour scheme.

We know what warm and cool colours are and how they change our perception of space and, using the colour wheel, we know how to develop some basic relationships.

How, though, do we get the initial spark to help us choose which colours to begin with?

As decorators, one of the first things we're trained to do is observe. When we're working with a client, we'll pick up on the colours and styles they have in their furniture, artworks, clothing and so on, and these can be a wonderful leaping-off point for a new decor scheme for your home.

If you look around you now you'll probably see colour combinations that you already really love hanging on your wall or even in your closet!

Pick one of these colours to be the base for your new scheme and then, using the techniques we've shown you, you should be able to quickly pull together some other accents which create a harmonious whole.

Remember, you'll often want to use colours in a lighter tint, rather than the pure colour, so they aren't too overwhelming.

Of course, you may decide that you want to start from scratch and do something completely different. In that case, there's a whole world around you that you can get inspiration from.

What wonderful colours are coming up in your garden at this time of year? What stylish combinations are you seeing in the pages of magazines like our very own Ottawa At Home? What were the colours in that lovely painting you saw in the National Gallery recently?

Inspiration is all around you and, if you start off with a base colour which you really love, you're well on the way to achieving a result you'll be proud of.

Next time we'll start looking at some other easy techniques to help you decorate your home. Thanks for reading, and speak soon!


Graham is the owner of Blueberry Interiors, an interior decor consultancy, specializing in modern design themes. You can keep up with him here at Ottawa At Home, on Twitter by following @grahamcowen, or you can reach him directly at


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