Choosing a color scheme for one room, let alone an entire house, may seem like a daunting task to some. Not afraid of a challenge, we at London design studio Ward & Co are experts in color schemes and understand the subtle art of carrying color throughout the home, using tone and depth to create spaces that suit our clients. .
Using the color wheel to create a cohesive scheme may sound like a cinch for one room, but how do you adopt a color scheme that works from room to room throughout the house?
This may sound overwhelming when starting a project, but when done elegantly, careful color planning can give a home a wonderful sense of connection and flow. Choosing colors and shades can be a very effective decorative tool and a great way to add a touch of personality to your entire home. Vibrant or subtle, color has the ability to completely transform a space.
Expert ways to a whole house color scheme
Here, Rosie, Ward & Co (opens in new tab)‘s Creative Director, shares seven of her top tips for making a bold design statement with color at the center of your home, showing why designers use whole-home color schemes to perfection.
1. Choose a whole house color scheme based on mood
Choosing a color scheme for an entire home takes a lot of thought and dedication and can be influenced by multiple factors, including location and lifestyle.
When choosing a color scheme to match the entire house, we first look at the location of the property, the environment and the situation it is in, which can often lead to an obvious choice of color.
It is very important for us to take the time to have conversations with the client to get a better understanding of their own personality, lifestyle and the overall desired aesthetic for their home space.
In a recent project in Covent Garden’s iconic London Piazza, the apartment’s chosen color palette of luscious blues was perceived as inherently British, a reflection of the exquisite craftsmanship on display throughout. This soothing color scheme created the perfect place to relax away from the lively cobblestone streets below.
2. Use one color to create connection and flow between spaces
Choosing a color scheme requires an understanding of how shades work together. It should flow and be pleasing to the eye.
We recommend using a variation of one color to create connection and flow between spaces. It is important to maintain a sense of continuity, for example by choosing complementary colors where rooms connect, or by using shades from the same color family to form a seamless color journey.
When an entire house is viewed as “one” rather than a collection of individual rooms, there is immediately greater fluidity between different areas.
3. Work with natural light
An important external factor when choosing a color scheme is the level of natural light entering the room and its influence on the perception of colors.
You have to think about how light responds to the situation – how much natural light enters the room and the intended use of the room. Natural light in north-facing rooms is cool and bluish, while natural light in south-facing rooms makes dark colors appear brighter.
The magic of whole-home color schemes is that they can be adjusted to suit the light levels in any room. Don’t think of lighting as a limitation – unusual color combinations work and, most importantly, can be adjusted room by room according to the natural light the room receives and the time of day you use the room.
4. Introduce pops of color with accessories in neutral schemes
By spending more time at home, there are now more people on board with adventurous patterns, textures and bold colors.
If you’re not a fan of bright colors, adding pops of color is a great way to add a playful design. A living room swathed in neutral tones can be complemented by bold, deeper tones through colored accessories such as pillows, lampshades and ornaments. This will bring a room to life and can also be easily changed if you want a less permanent color scheme.
Combine this with the playful use of texture and you can fill even the smallest of spaces with joy. Rugs, artwork, lighting and objects don’t necessarily have to fit into the scheme – they can provide welcome contrast, for example adding a thick jute rug can add texture and depth and balance the space, keeping your eye on the color falls.
5. Add modern elements to historic buildings
The great thing about infusing color is that it can be applied to a variety of spaces, both modern and ancient.
I would say color drenching is more suited to historic homes as there is more interest within the crown molding and baseboards so it provides a contrast. It can be a smart way to modernize a room with period features.
A slightly deeper tone on older woodwork interspersed with a lighter tone on the ceiling can work beautifully. Infused colors also work really well with patterns, so a traditional parquet floor with a bold patterned carpet would be a good choice.
6. Choose the room you visit most as a starting point
Choose the room you visit most as a starting point for the color scheme of your entire home. More often than not, this is the kitchen or living room.
In our aforementioned Covent Garden Piazza project, we showcased a bold use of color infusion in the kitchen, the perfect environment for experimenting with colour. We complemented the stone-topped cabinets with satin gold taps, bold warm tones and added padded leatherette bar stools for a contemporary yet practical look.
7. Arrange colors in spectrums or seasons
Integrating a spectrum approach is essential to ensure that each space offers continuity while maintaining its unique individual character.
When every room in a home complements each other, it can be immensely comforting and of course create a much calmer environment to live in, especially when space is limited.
To deliver this properly, colors must be arranged in spectrums or seasons – winter and spring lend themselves to cooler hues such as blue, gray, violet and whites, while summer and autumn offer a rich palette ranging from pale neutrals to deep browns and shades of aubergine – I am currently fond of olive green.
Is it okay to paint an entire house in one color?
It’s fine to paint an entire house in one color, but this only really works if the color chosen is a neutral (white, cream, light beige, or light gray) with different accent colors across the top, or if you use different shades. and shades of the same color in different rooms, chosen for that particular room.