Decorating with bright, bold colours can be a little intimidating without a colour guide – and as much-loved interior designer Sophie Robinson said in her guide to using colour, a fear of bright hues often leads the less-adventurous retreating back to reliable magnolia.
Colour in the home is often seen as something that either works or it doesn’t. And while that’s sometimes true, we’d argue there’s a case for just about every colour pairing, even the wildly unusual.
But if you’re just preparing to dip your toe into the colour pool and need a little nudge in the right direction, we’ve developed a fail-safe colour guide that breaks down home favourites. We’ll show you which shade works for what element of your home and what colours pair best together, including a few surprises.
Variations: Deep red, burgundy, wine, maroon, cranberry, crimson, strawberry
- Limited furniture
- Accent walls
- Decorative extras
Red is one of those colours that has the power to stop people in their tracks. Most of the time it’s used as an accent – with a bold chair, a warm front door, or as the dominant colour in wallpaper – but don’t be afraid to really wow with a striking wall. Generally, the deeper the shade of red, the less eye-watering it’s likely to be.
Colours that go great with red: Black, navy blue, gold, white
Surprise colour match: Cranberry and mustard
Variations: Mustard, lemon, cumin, yellow zinc
- Accent colours
Yellow is a colour that’s easy to overdo, but when it’s done tastefully, it can add a lot of warmth and sophistication to a room. Mustard is a particularly popular colour at the moment, used in a fun, modern prints and made less brash in soft velvets.
Colours that go great with yellow: Slate, navy blue, concrete, cranberry
Surprise colour match: Mustard and teal
Variations: Emerald, pine, sage, mint, eucalyptus, kale
- Wall colour
- Accents (plants!)
For obvious reasons, green is a fantastic colour for evoking the outdoors, especially when paired with natural wood grains. Light shades of green like sage and mint work really well for country-style homes with shabby chic interiors, while dark, earthy hues – though bold – look a little more modern.
Colours that go great with green: Gold, black, teal, grey
Surprise colour match: Kale and baby pink
Variations: Navy, midnight, cerulean, teal, duck egg
- Wall colour
- Velvet furniture
Blue is quite possibly one of the most versatile colours there is for a home – you can go dark for a cosy den or keep things light and bright for a neutral, airy look. There are very few colours that don’t go with blue, depending on what shade you choose, which makes it a particularly fail-proof wall colour.
Colours that go great with blue: Grey, mustard, baby pink, gold
Surprise colour match: Midnight and rose gold
Variations: Slate, smoke, mist, granite, pewter
- Calming walls
- Neutral furniture
- Wood finish
In recent years grey has been the “it” colour for interiors, as it’s a great neutral that has an undeniable air of sophistication. It’s especially good for those embracing the Hygge trend, as it follows the Scandi culture of paired-back interiors, and can be dressed up or down, depending on secondary colours.
Colours that go great with grey: Rose, mustard, midnight, white
Surprise colour match: Mist and plum
Does your home already have its own unique colour guide? Let us know your favourite combinations in the comments below!