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How to Use Colour in Interior Design Effectively

Understanding how to use colour in interior design requires a deft hand and a well-rehearsed balancing act. That's because colours can be fickle and fussy. Luckily, a few key colour rules and schemes will help you add colour to your design without it looking like a rainbow has exploded in your living room. Discover a few of our favourite ways to use colour in furniture and home design.

The 60-30-10 Rule

For those just learning to use colour in interior design, the 60-30-10 is a classic design staple and a great stepping stone towards creating an eye-catching colour scheme.

This rule calls for using three colours. The "60-30-10" refers to the percentage of space each colour will occupy in the room. First, you'll want to choose a dominant colour that will feature on sofas, chairs, and other large items in the room. Usually, this will be a more subdued hue that can occupy plenty of real estate without overwhelming the space.

Your secondary colour covers soft furnishing like accent chairs or bedsheets. With this colour, you can be bolder and let your personality shine through, like with our leaf green Limon Clara throw, which will effortlessly add a pop of colour to your space without overwhelming it.

The final colour bridges the gap between your first two choices and balances the design. Use this shade for smaller elements like lamps, cushions, and other decorative pieces.

Monochromatic Designs

Monochromatic colour schemes focus on layering the same or similar tones throughout the room, from the skirting boards to the ceilings, including furnishing. For a classic and oh-so-classy monochromatic living room design, pair our Macey Swivel Chair in midnight black with our black and white Viva Side Table. The multiple shades of black punctuated with white accents will add depth to your design and intrigue to the space.

The mere mention of "monochromatic" makes most of us immediately think about black and white, but this scheme doesn't have to look like a Charlie Chaplin movie; it can incorporate any colour you like! Pair our vibrant Madison sofa with complementary shades of green for a nature-inspired monochromatic look in your lounge.

Pair Complementary Colours

Playing with colour in interior design can feel a little daunting. Does purple go with red? What about blue and pink? Following the complementary colour scheme is a great way to avoid a colour catastrophe.

To use this scheme, harken back to primary school art class and the colour wheel. A complementary colour scheme uses only two shades directly opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as yellow and purple or green and red. These pairings offer high contrast and a striking visual impact but use this intense design energy sparingly.

Analogous Colour Scheme

If art class was a little too long ago and you have trouble navigating the colour wheel, an analogous colour scheme may be your best bet. The idea behind an analogous scheme is to pick a central colour along with the two colours on either side of it on the wheel.

Take our Vintage Dining Chair in espresso brown, for example. To create an analogous colour scheme around this chair, you might pair it with sandy beige and umber furnishings. Combining these three colours creates a warming palette that exudes a grounded feel, perfect for a rustic dining room.

Warm and Welcoming Vs. Cool and Calming

Did you know colours have temperatures that can affect how they are perceived? The basic colour wheel is split into warm and cool tones. Warm tones include red through yellow-green, while cool colours run from green to red-violet.

Beyond their upbeat and welcoming feeling, warm colours advance, soaking up space, making a large room feel smaller and more intimate. If you're working with a large open-plan lounge, consider layering soft furnishing in warmer tones, like our Limon Nathan Cushions, around the space to foster a more cosy vibe.

Cool colours remind us of the water and sky, washing a sense of calm over the space. As the more subdued of the two, cool colours recede, making smaller spaces appear larger. If space is a premium in your place, consider cooler tones for your big-ticket items. Our Jude Dining Chairs come in a luxurious moss green that will look amazing while easily slotting into a smaller dining area.

Find a Hue that’s You with Target Furniture

These rules and schemes will help guide you on using colour in interior design, reign in the chaotic nature of colour, and form a more cohesive look. If we've got you itching and scratching to add a little colour to your home, check out Target Furniture's range of lounge suits, chairs, and more to find a hue that suits you!

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