Thursday 22 February 2018

Make a statement

Layer on warm shades of pink, damson and soft orange to create a rich, autumnal mood;
Layer on warm shades of pink, damson and soft orange to create a rich, autumnal mood;

Anna Shelswell-White

Make a statement with a larger piece and hang it against a wall that's in a neighbouring analogous colour;

As we head in to winter, designers are looking for shades that warm up the ubiquitous greys so popular at the moment. Time at last for hotter shades of orange and red. But beware, hues like these are from the same side of the colour wheel and are called analogous colours - and decorating with them can take some skill. Unlike complementary colours, which are on opposite sides of the colour wheel, analogous shades share a similar tone, making them a daring choice if you choose them as your base colour scheme.

However, use them cleverly and you can create a space that's inviting and not too in-your-face.

"When decorating with an analogous colour scheme, choose a colour that will be your dominant feature and a second colour to support it," says co-founder of and stylist at ETC (, Lesiele Juliet.

"Mexican architect Luis Barragan often used pink as his feature colour paired with orange to contrast, exercising the analogous principle to perfection - it's important that the colours complement and don't compete with each other."

One of the most effective and quick ways to go all out, with analogous colour schemes, is through the use of paint. Paint can either create a soothing space when the analogous hues are pale and muted or they can be invigorating if the combinations are bold and saturated, as with reds and oranges.

Edel Nicholson of Irish paint company, Colourtrend, advises: "We would recommend trying out various tones and tints of your chosen colours. For example, a deep rusty red with a mid-orange colour is a safe way to experiment with an analogous scheme because they already have created harmony," she says.

And if you're afraid of clashing or creating a theme that's just a little off, it's important to play with shades and richness. Edel continues: "Going a little wild with the intensities of colours should avoid creating any clashes. Pick the dominant or deepest colour for your feature area (eg, chimney breast or picture wall) and the less intense colour for the rest of the room to balance out this intensity."

If you're not quite ready to completely transform your walls with, solely, orange and red paint then choose an accent colour to incorporate.

"We also love a rich buttery cream colour as an accent within a warm and comforting interior scheme," Edel says. Similarly, introducing furniture pieces within a space that has a neutral backdrop, also works, paying homage to autumn/winter but staying sunny enough for spring.

As these hues are energetic, warm and invigorating, it's also important to think about which room they will be used in. If, for example, it's a living room that encourages socialising and activity, then these colours are perfect. In a bedroom, on the other hand, where you need a relaxing vibe, they may not be the best choice.

So, before you go brash and bold, remember that choosing analogous colours that suit the room's use, should be your very first step.

Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine

Sunday Independent

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