Creating a look around a single color is one of the most stylish ways to decorate. The key to build a scheme around it is to offset the shade with the perfect partners. From fiery hues to calming blues, follow our rules for success.
1. Yellow. Yellow is not the easiest color to decorate with, but if you get it right, yellow can be sunny and uplifting. Temper the heat of strong citrus hues with cool greys. Here, tongue-and-groove paneling in a slightly softer shade than that of the vibrant accessories is teamed with a fresh off-white on walls to keep the mood calm and soothingly restful.
- Use strong yellow with care, limiting it to certain areas, as this potent shade will easily overwhelm a room.
- Continue color schemes by painting a few key pieces of furniture in your chosen color. Keep the rest of the furnishings fresh and pale or in greys and natural shades.
- Choose off-white, grey, stone or sand shades for the majority of the walls, flooring and furniture to offset a dominant yellow.
- Introduce interesting accents with bold prints and patterns on cushions and throws.
2. Orange. A more contemporary choice than strong reds, orange works best when used in moderation – it makes a bold statement on a single wall, chimney breast or stairwell. Confined to an alcove, as shown here, it provides a striking background for a display of accessories. Add to the dramatic effect by partnering with strong geometric or tribal patterns but balance with plain natural materials and textures .
- Keep walls and woodwork bright white and use orange sparingly as an accent color.
- Paint wooden floorboards a muted, neutral shade or opt for textured natural floorings in earthy colors.
- Top with bold rugs in browns or black and white geometric designs.
- Add distinctive furniture combinations, teaming pieces upholstered in unbleached linen with more ethnic items.
- Complement with boldly patterned accessories in lively reds or oranges.
3. Green. Fresh, moss greens work best in a hall, garden room or conservatory – rooms that link to the outside. A good way to use these shades without the effect feeling overpowering and heavy is to feature them on half a wall and choose a paler/fresher shade for rest of the wall. Darker, natural textures and tones, such as woven willow, wicker or wood, which mirror the colors of the natural world, are good partners.
- Pick one shade of green to use throughout a room.
- Enliven with prints and patterns on delicate botanical themes.
- Choose textured, natural floor coverings such as coir or sisal in mid tones.
- Mix traditional wooden or painted furniture in rustic styles with elegant accessories featuring colors or prints that link to the natural world.
4. Blue. If you select a soft, grey blue with plenty of warmth in it, it is possible to paint everything in a room with the same shade, and the result will be calm and restful rather than chilly and austere. This color scheme tends to work best in smaller rooms. Complement with a white ceiling and floor and pale-painted furniture, which reflect the light, giving the scheme an ethereal quality.
- Choose a tranquil blue that is both warm and watery so that you can decorate a whole room successfully without it overpowering the space.
- Partner with cottons and linens in simple homespun stripes and checks for a utility feel reminiscent of an old dairy.
- Introduce accessories only in shades of blue that sit well against your wall color: it is possible to mix quite a range of hues successfully.
- Lighten the mood with fine china and glassware, partnered with blue runners and rugs or opt for a pale flooring such as seagrass.