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Colour in the Home – What Paint to Choose

One of the things we are planning to do this autumn is paint the downstairs of our house. We live in a rental property so are limited in what we can and can’t do decoratively. When we moved in our living room was a very bright yellow and purple combination that the previous tenants had picked. It was a bit of an assault on the senses  to say the least, and not a colour combination that is really suited to a 160 year old cottage. When I approached my landlord about redecorating they said yes but on condition that we use either magnolia or white, which I had absolutely no problem with as I wanted to turn the living room into a space that felt calm and relaxing.

In the end we went with magnolia, and it was a decision I came to regret soon after as it just didn’t suit the room at all. Instead it gave the room a slight feeling of being permanently dirty (which I suppose with two very messy kiddies is highly plausible!). We have lived with the magnolia now for ten months, almost four seasons, and my dislike of it hasn’t lessened at all.

Our dining room is another room that is high on my hit list – when we moved in it was the polar opposite of the living room. Where the living room was a riot of colour the dining room was downright depressing and appeared to have been painted in prison cell grey, with the exception of one wall which has quite a lurid wallpaper situation happening. Even though grey has been quite in fashion recently, and when used correctly it looks absolutely beautiful, the shade used in our house really isn’t suited to a North facing room. It makes our dining room feel quite oppressive, and not somewhere I would want to entertain guests in.

So, our plan is to paint the entire downstairs of the house, including the kitchen, white, and to try to give the house a colour scheme that suits its age and style once again. While white sounds like a good idea I know I will have to be very careful in choosing the right shade as every single room in the house is North facing (with the exception of the living room which faces North West), so it is never really swathed in natural light at any point during the day. The wrong shade of white will make the rooms feel cold and sterile – not the cosy country cottage feeling I would like to achieve.

I have spent a bit of time recently reading up about which colours are best to use, and also what certain colours signify (for example yellow signifies happiness and optimism, whereas red symbolises love and passion). I found a lovely little infographic on the Inhabitat website that was put together by Distinctive Chesterfields, which delves a little deeper into this.

Colour in the home. Colour infographic. pushingthemoon.com


I would love to (if budget allows) use Farrow & Ball paint – their Wimborne White shade appears to be the best option for our north facing rooms. It should hopefully give the rooms the light and airy feeling I’m craving without making them feel positively arctic in temperature.

Unfortunately though, budget is a big constraint and however much I would love to go for the Wimborne White the sheer amount we would need could prove to be rather cost prohibitive. So, that means this week I shall be taking a trip to my local Homebase (one of my favourite ways to while away an hour on a rainy day) and picking up as many paint swatches as my chubby hands can carry. Operation “White House” has begun….

This is a collaborative post

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