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The best and worst colours to use in your home

Henderson suggests investing in a timeless and elegant colour combination that will endure for the master bedroom. Picture: Supplied

Henderson suggests investing in a timeless and elegant colour combination that will endure for the master bedroom. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 19, 2019


The Mattress Warehouse recently worked with local interior designer and colour expert ,Gareth Henderson of gih Studio, to determine the best and worst colours for the rooms in your home based on colour psychology.

“Colour is undoubtedly powerful,” confirms Henderson, “but colour alone shouldn’t be examined in isolation.” Henderson credits several design principles as key influencing factors when it comes to decorating a room. “You should also consider elements such as light, proportion, size, scale, texture and line.”

Choosing a primary colour for a room doesn’t mean you have to paint the space from head to toe in your chosen hue. Introduce your primary colour using subtle, selected tones in key areas or by creating distinct focal points against a neutral background. Add your chosen colour by using paint, fabric, artwork, furniture or carefully-selected ornamental embellishments.

Henderson selected three of the best and worst colour choices for rooms in the home. Take a look at his suggestions:

The kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home and yet is often overlooked from a design perspective. Many kitchen appliances come in plain colours, like industrial metallics. That doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of colour to your cooking den. “You want a kitchen to be light and welcoming,” says Henderson. “The kitchen is often a busy family hub that is full of activity, so keep the kitchen colour design simple and charming.”

The best:

green, midnight blue, soft pink

The worst:

mud brown, orange of any tone, dark green

The master bedroom

Bedroom trends come and go. If you have a bank account that can accommodate a complete bedroom makeover every year then count yourself lucky! For the rest of us, Henderson suggests investing in a timeless and elegant colour combination that will endure. “Your master bedroom colour choice should be calming and restorative. Create a safe sanctuary with colours that help you relax,” explained Henderson.

The best:

dark green, mustard yellow, deep blue

The worst:

metallics of any kind, bland beige, orange

The spare room

The spare room shouldn’t be too masculine or feminine. You want a look that will suit any person using the room. That’s why Henderson recommends using classic colours, like grey, khaki or white. “White is a go-to for minimalists because of its context of being clean and basic,” he explained. “You cannot go wrong here unless you mix your whites. Stick to one white and run with it, otherwise things start looking drab or dirty.

The best:

stormy grey, desert sand khaki, classic white

The worst:

dark purple, black, mustard yellow

The bathroom

White has often been the colour of choice for a bathroom because of its association with cleanliness. Interior designers are now recommending non-traditional bathroom colours to liven up a bathroom. 

The best:

black, shades of purple, yellow

The worst:

orange, flesh tones, brown

The living room

The living room is your home entertainment area - both for the family and friends. “You want to promote energy and conversation but your also want to be able to relax,” said Henderson. He suggests selecting a soothing, calming colour. Overwhelmingly bright colours, like orange or shocking pink become offensive on the eye and date very quickly. “Grey used to be the on-trend neutral choice,” said Henderson, “while it’s still a safe choice for a room colour, there’s a growing trend for greens and blues, which are fast becoming the neturals of choice.”

The best

: white, shades of grey, deep blue

The worst:

orange, brown or lifeless beige

The dining room

A dining room is a social space. It’s where we meet to enjoy a delicious meal and the company of others. So, don’t be too boring with your dining room colour choices. You want to inspire energy and excitement. Did you know that red stimulates activity and some studies have proven that the colour red actually increases one’s appetite? 

The best:

passionate red, purple, green

The worst:

dark blue, grey or black of any shade, orange

A child’s room

“Decorating children’s rooms are so much fun” enthused Henderson. “This is where you can let your inner child loose and create some marvellous pieces using fun, striking colours that would be out-of-place otherwise.” A child’s room can be bright without looking gaudy. He recommends orange because it’s a unisex colour that has warm appeal and high energy levels.

The best:

bright orange, sunshine yellow, light green

The worst:

brown, any shade of beige, grey

Entrance foyer or hall

Your entrance hall, or foyer, is often the face of your home. It’s the first introduction a visitor has when they arrive, so put your best foot forward. “Inviting colours, like yellow or neutral colours like white or grey work well in a foyer,” said Gareth. “Even if your entrance hall is small, you can still make quite a statement with a few personal touches and focal colour.”

The best

: ethereal white, shades of grey. sunshine yellow

The worst:

black, any tone of purple, dark blue

For further info, click  here

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