Developing a colour palette for your home without spending a fortune

Developing a colour palette for your home without spending a fortune

As many of you will know, we started a complete home renovation process last autumn. Toward the end, it involved every single wall of our house being totally re-plastered, leaving us with rather a blank canvas to decorate.
Filling a plaster-pink home with colour is an exciting but daunting process. We wanted to get it right the first time, simply because we don’t have a large budget to spend correcting mistakes.
Long before the renovation started I had dreams of an interior design magazine-perfect home with stark white walls. After the builders left and we moved our furniture back in and observed the light, we realised our quirky Edwardian end-terrace, stuffed with vintage furniture and cherished hand me downs wouldn’t suit all white walls. The rooms craved colour.
A lot of planning went in to getting it right. We left the rooms bare for a few weeks to allow the plaster to dry out, and this time gave us the opportunity to watch the light in each room. Along with taking natural light into consideration we spent time working out the placement of lamps and picking out light fixtures and working out what kind of changes they would give to various colours of paint. We also took into consideration the furniture and art we already own and whilst we would like to replace a few pieces (our sofas are very old and way past their best). We focused on the pieces we love, like a vintage sideboard, a large map of Europe, a vintage dressing table and a mid-century bookcase. The shades from these pieces needed calming but interesting backgrounds, so we made sure to keep these in mind.

First off, as always, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Each room in our house has a Pinterest board and over time I have slowly added images that give me the right vibe. The whole room might not be exactly right, but the curtains might be the perfect pattern or the sideboard in the corner could be just like ours. Pinterest, and actually interiors blogs, expose you to a vast amount of ideas in one go, and whilst it is useful it can be quite overwhelming. I tend to “like” (clicking the heart button) interiors ideas on Pinterest as a form of bookmarking before eventually coming back in a few days time and deciding if it’s a case of loving the idea in “real life” or in my “wildest dreams”. If after a couple of days it gets a tick in the “real life” box then I pin it to my relevant Pinterest board and then I know I’ve collected together a useful selection of images that I won’t have to spend a month scrolling through.

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Online isn’t the only way I collected ideas and inspiration for our colour palette. Like most people I love a good peek though interiors magazines but I no longer part with money for them (although my friends did very sweetly buy me a stack when we first started our renovation). I actually visit our local library where they carry a huge selection of magazines (you can actually request they stock the publications of your choice) and have a good old-fashioned read before either photocopying or scanning the image onto my phone.
And as I am sure most of you do, I carry my phone (or a camera) with me most places, constantly snapping away. It occurred to me one evening as we travelled back from yet another DIY mega store that the beautiful deepest blue of the sky was exactly the colour I thought could work in our bedroom. I had been pinning deep blue coloured bedrooms for a few weeks but had yet to find the perfect shade.
So I grabbed my phone and took a photo of that deliciously inky blue sky. I continued to snap colours and patterns on my travels and now I’m convinced I have the exact shade of green for guest bedroom curtains, along with some great ideas for my office.
Back at the start of the year I stumbled across the genius Dulux Visualizer app that uses augmented reality to allow you to virtually paint your walls but also to match images you have captured to their huge selection of paint shades. Dulux Visualizer helped me match that moody blue to their Breton Blue shade from their Dulux Timeless range and I’m chuffed to bits with how it turned out (just need to get around to painting the woodwork in that room – a task we keep putting off.)
In summary here are some useful ways to develop a colour palette for your home on a budget:

Take inspiration from the furniture and art you already have.
Observe the natural light in the rooms.
Consider how you will use artificial lighting.
Understand what the room is being used for.
Create Pinterest boards for inspiration but use it wisely.
Visit your local library to source images.
Take photos of your surroundings.
Use Dulux Visualizer to help you bring the colour to life in your home.You can download this app on iTunes or Google Play.

Images: Dulux

P.S. I’d love to know how you picked out the colours for your home!

More thrifty posts:

  • Getting Intense with Comfort Intense
  • The tale of a small boy, an orange and Comfort Intense Fresh Sky
  • The Realities of Home Renovation (Pt.1)

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