The top 3 mistakes people make with colour

by Creative Style Interiors


Most people think that choosing colours can be quite tricky. They don’t realise just how tricky until they are drowning under a pile of colour chips of over a hundred different shades of white! There are a few secrets of colour that those in the know use to create fabulous colour schemes. If you’re making one of these colour mistakes… here are some quick tips to fix them!

Colour Mistake 1. Mixing colour bases

Every paint colour, including most whites and neutrals, is formulated with a base colour. They can also be categorized into ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ colours. Can you see the differences in the swatches below?


When it comes to whites, greys, taupes, beiges and other neutrals, identifying the colour base can be a problem for the inexperienced. The best way to choose neutrals that will harmonise is to overlap the paint chips; if they have different colour bases, you will notice those colours coming forward… just like the red and yellow tones are coming forward in the image below.


Colour Mistake 2. Getting the proportions wrong

The secret to a fabulous design scheme is using the correct proportions of colours. Getting this wrong can cause your scheme to overwhelm the space. Utilising the 65:25:10 rule is a great guide to creating a colour scheme that’s pleasing to the eye, and also allows you to create a focal point within a room. You can see the difference between the two colour schemes below.



65% – the colour of the walls, floor, large surface areas and furniture adding up to 65% of the room.

25% – the colour of furniture, furnishings and woodwork.

10% – the colour of accent pieces such as decorative accessories, feature chairs, rugs, etc.


The 65% colour doesn’t have to be a neutral. It’s perfectly acceptable to invert your 65:25:10 scheme so your ‘accent’ colour becomes your main colour.


Colour Mistake 3. Ignoring the room itself


Some DIYers see a design concept on websites like Houzz and Pinterest, and attempt to recreate the exact same look without considering the aspect, light, size, scale and architecture of the room as well as the existing elements such as flooring and window coverings.

Colour has the ability to give the appearance of space or confinement, darkness or light, warmth or coolness. For example, painting the walls of a small, dark room in a bold colour can have the effect of closing in the room further, while a lighter, brighter colour can open it up. However, if you have a large room, you can use the bolder tones to give the space a more cosy feel.


In heritage homes, decorate with respect to the era of the house… While it may be tempting to paint everything white, it’s not always the best look for an older home. Try updating with a tone-one-tone colour scheme with pops of colour in keeping with the style of your home.


If you want to get your colour scheme right the first time, but need some professional help to get you started, give Creative Style a call on 0416 190 792 or email [email protected] to book an appointment with Jenny.

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