Would a subtle, neutral tone be best for the office or should you go bold to create that wow factor? And what paint colour is best for creating a relaxing and cosy living room? Our Colour Advice page gives you lots of paint colour ideas and tips for your residential or commercial project.

We also look in-depth at colour meanings and what images and feelings they portray to help you whittle down your paint colour ideas and choose the right colour for your interior space. 

When it comes to choosing the right paint colours for an interior space, your own or your client’s personal taste will have a lot of influence on the final decision. Also, many of our paint colour ideas nowadays will come from the world of social media – visual bookmarking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest open us to a world of creative and imaginative ideas from around the world.

Avko Interior’s Guide to Colour

Ten top tips for choosing paint colours for your interior

1. Light-

Light affects colour quite a lot, whether it is natural light or artificial light you should observe how light moves in the room you are decorating, in particular at different times of the day. You also need to take into consideration the aspect of the room using the below guidelines:

  • North Facing Room- can be cold and gloomy, pick colours from the warm side of the colour wheel
  • East Facing Room-these rooms experience the most variations of colour throughout the day
  • South Facing Rooms- they get lots of light so it is recommended that colours such as pale blues or greens are used to make the room feel cooler and fresher
  • West Facing Rooms- in these rooms there is mostly light during the latter of the day so colour should be tested for evening sunlight along with artificial light.


2. Historical Features-

The period of your property is also important when it comes to making decisions on colour. You should remain respectful of your property’s heritage and you should ideally choose colours which are in keeping with the era.


3. Flow of Rooms-

You should take into consideration the flow from room to room and before making any final decisions, think about how each room scheme would look as a visual progression.


4. Keep it personal-

You should ultimately choose colours which are right for you and colours which you will be able to live comfortably with long term. We all have our own individual preferences when it comes to colour.


5. Existing Furniture and Fittings-

If you have furniture you wish to use in the room then you will need to take into consideration these items. Perhaps take a picture of any items of furniture with you when you are paint shopping.


6. Theme-

Decide on an overall theme for your room such as earthy/organic, vintage or modern aesthetic. Pick a theme which best reflects your personality and objects you own.


7. Mood boards/Colour Scrapbooks-

Collect fabric samples, colour swatches, pictures of inspirational room’s designs and arrange as a collage, with the samples in the general order of the room, e.g. carpets at the bottom, curtain near the top of the board. You could alternatively arrange these in a scrapbook. Also take photographs using the camera on your mobile phone to make a visual note of any colours you see when out and about.


8. Using samples-

Test chosen paint colours by getting sample pots and painting out a large square of wall and observing how the colour changes during the day.


9. Decorating styles-

There are four main decorating styles, these are Contrasting, Complementary, Co-Ordinating and Contemporary.

  • Contrasting- Coloured walls with lighter, often white, woodwork
  • Complementary- Two, three or four shades are combined in a scheme, with the main colour used on the walls and then the complementary colours used on areas such as window frames and skirting boards
  • Co-ordinating- Three or four different shades from a single colour group are used on walls, woodwork, fireplaces, ceiling and furniture to create a harmonious, co-ordinated look
  • Contemporary- A single colour is used on both walls and woodwork to give the room a contemporary look. This is usually a pale, neutral shade and can make a room appear larger and creates a calm and relaxing atmosphere.


10. Buy the same batch-

It is essential that when decorating you buy enough paint to cover the area you are painting. If you do happen to run out then make sure you try to purchase from the same batch.

What do all the different colours mean?

Red - encourages appetite, warmth, love, adventure, optimism (dining room)

In interiors, red is often used to make a bold statement and is often used in restaurants to increase appetite. It is also used to create a warm, cosy environment in a room.

Pink - calming, warm, love (girl’s bedroom)

Pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. It is also a symbol of hope and a positive colour which can bring warm and comforting feelings. It can also calm and reassure our emotional energies.

Orange - stability, reassurance, warmth, excitement, enthusiasm

Orange is a colour which is either greatly liked or disliked. It is known to encourage activity and stimulate conversation.

Green - nature and energy, calming and restful, balance, money (bedroom)

Green is used in interior environments that are meant to soothe and encourage mental relaxation.

Blue - calming and soothing, promotes intellectual thought, serenity and protection, productivity, associated with water and peace(office)

Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main colour of a room. It is considered calming, relaxing and serene and is often used in bedrooms and bathrooms. Since blue is a symbol of rest, it is often found in health care design and in residential buildings.

Yellow - sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellect, increases metabolism, most likely to strain eyes or cause eye fatigue (kitchen)

Different shades of yellow convey different messages; a light yellow colour might bring warmth and softness whereas a bright yellow can increase liveliness and encourage innovation.

Lilac - spiritual matters, feminine (living room)

Lilac is a lighter version of purple and can bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does.

Purple - creativity, joy, magic, royalty, wisdom

Purple is associated with luxury as well as creativity. It can give a sense of depth to a room and create a dramatic effect.

Brown - security, stability, practical, Earth

Brown can conjure up images of yummy foods such as chocolate, coffee and cookies. It is also the colour of the earth.  The psychological effects of the colour brown are often described as reassuring, safe and stabilizing. 

Black - death, eccentricity, drama, evil, slimming

Black is used in interiors to create depth and can provoke strong emotions of power and authority. Although on the negative side it can create a sense of emptiness so needs to be used carefully in an interior space.

White - purity, innocence, empty, spacious

White is known as the ‘presence of light’ and the best colour to use to represent cleanliness. Both snow and clouds have soft properties which reflect the emotional effects of clarity and purification.

Stuck for inspiration?

Follow us on Instagram or checkout our Pinterest boards to get some ideas. We're always posting on there to keep you up to date with the latest trends and ideas from the interior world.