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How to help someone choose colour


From colour tips and information – Resene colour articles

Chances are you may be asked once, or many times, to help a family member or friend choose colours for their projects or give an opinion on colours they have chosen.

Colour palette inspiration

Ask the right questions

Asking the right questions will sort out whether they are trying to co-ordinate with existing elements such as;

It is very important that you see what it is they want to co-ordinate with. If elements are going to change then it is wise they pick up samples of things they like so a colour scheme can work towards this aim and not oppose it. For example; if a colour is chosen and painted and then they seek out carpet how will they feel if the colour of the carpet;

Orange and white kitchen
For project details view the article, "Fun, brave and creative"
Grey on grey bedroom
For project details view the article, "Going grey grey grey"
Bright bathroom
For project details view the article, "Signature liveliness"

What mood would they like to create?

Talk about the ambient mood created by the colours i.e. cool white, hot red, bright yellow, sharp green etc and get them to give you words so you can relate it to a colour. Words help define mood and can help bring together the colour scheme…

CALM = soft and deep blues, violets or greys or pale and tranquil aqua, greens or lilac.

COOL = watery or chalky muted colours, greyed whites, beiges, blues and greens.

WARM = gentle neutrals or pastel, taupe, pink, beige, stony brown and terracotta.

SUNNY = mellow cream, yellow, gold, apricot and orange.

FRESH = sharp clean yellow, green, lime, teal and violet blue.

TRANQUIL = restful blue, purple, green and deeper tones of brown.

CLASSIC = elegant and timeless red and burgundy, navy blue, green and gold.

FUNKY = trendy bright clear hues and whites, charcoals, metallic – anything on trend.

Mural feature wall
For project details view the article, "Succulently lined"
Art inspired colour theme
For project details view the article, "Art starter"
Contrast panel wall
For project details view the article, "Vibrantly mid-mod"

Try out the colour

If your family member or friend has seen the colour, they like have they tried a Resene testpot or Resene A4 drawdown paint swatch to make sure it works at their house, with their things, in the natural and/or artificial light? Where possible they should test their colour by painting all of the Resene testpot onto an A2 piece of card leaving a border around the edge, then, once dry, move it around the room or the exterior to see the colour in different light or room situations.

Keep checking....

Keep asking them at each stage of the colour decision process if the colour being viewed makes them feel good.

Choosing colour is an emotional decision, not just a practical one.

Keep checking with your family member or friend to ensure they are getting what they want, for their house. Offer alternatives and options. It is important that they feel you have helped them NOT that you have pushed them into a decision that doesn’t feel good for them.

Look out for traps

If your friend or family member says “What would you choose?‟ it is important to reassure them that your job is not to live at their house by taking control of their choices, but to show them what they might have - then step back from the actual decision making process. This allows them time to trial colour, to grow accustomed to what the colour can do for their environment and to be happy that the choices are good ones for them.

Blue and grey kitchen
For project details view the article, "Decorating your kitchen"
Blue and white bathroom
For project details view the article, "Top bathroom decorating trends "

January 2021.


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.