ATD 01: The basic principle of choosing the right colour scheme

As High In Style is growing each day and demands more and more of my attention, I’ve struggled recently with finding time to keep Inside KB Studio on tract and updated. However, I’ve been getting more and more help with the mag, which is great. We are all on the same journey, totally believing in the mag’s mission. In return, I mentor and give guidance to the team, which is so much fun to do. I’m passing on everything I’ve learnt on my own life journey  so far and it’s truly rewarding to see the progress we are all making. With a fraction of my time spared, I can now, hopefully, refocus on creating great articles for here.

So I’ve decided to revive the “Ask The Designer” section of this blog first and really structure it better so it’s easier to follow. So today, I’m kicking this series off with one of the most confusing processes of a design project- choosing colours for your space. Now, while researching this, I found advice on how to paint swatches/paint samples on large pieces of paper, or painting directly on walls but I was quite surprised that not even one article mentioned the techniques I use. You get all the advice about how to paint large pieces of paper placing them on each wall, or to paint directly on walls, but what about the steps before that? Those vital steps that could safe you time and money, and help you to avoid mistakes? Where do you actually start?


I normally start with inspiration. And the best, and the easiest, source of inspiration,  I found with my clients, is art. Yes, there are other sources which I’m going to cover soon but for now, art always works for me. Art is so personal, it should be an expression of yourself. You should be able to see some of yourself in it. It should be “totally you”. There are 3 ways of obtaining such art: either you paint your own, find a piece that is already on the market, or hire an artist that fits your style to commission your own piece. Some artists like to know who you are before they start. They visit you in your home and talk to you about your lifestyle, your personality, travel and life experiences. They try their best to inject some of the key events / or influences of your life into the piece. Once you find it, use this ONE piece of art as your personal source of colours.


Yes, that many. Why? Because the next step is “the filtering”. But before that you need to pick at least 4 colours from different colour groups. Go by instinct. Don’t get confused and overthink every option. Your gut will do all the work for you. Don’t include any shades or tones. So if my piece of art has – purple, pink, green and navy that speaks to me the most, then these are my colours for now. When choosing the colours, consider which one would work well as a neutral and which one would be great as an accent colour.


Now the big one. The filtering system. You need to decide which one to put on walls and which one will be best as the accent colour. You need to be open-minded and not to limit yourself. Step outside of your comfort zone, if necessary. You might even surprise yourself with the result. If you really don’t know where to start, put all 4 on the walls to see how they would turn out in the space. You need to see and visualise how they would work in the room and what kind of vibe they create. If they are all strong, dark, or are primary or secondary colours, you have two options here: one – find a neutral colour as a base / for walls and floors and use these as accents only; two – go down few shades to get tones or tints depending on whether you want more warmer or cooler canvas. When it comes to working with shades and tones, don’t get yourself confused by getting too many swatches. Our brain can handle only few at times. I’d say 3 max. and eliminate as required. You are already on the right tract so you don’t need to get anymore and get yourself really confused even more.


Colour is very intuitive and very personal. Don’t consume or listen to other people’s advice. If you need help, you should seek guidance instead. For example, many are preaching about north-facing spaces are too cold and south-facing are too warm etc. You may be advised to use specific tones or shades for your room. Ditch that! Nobody can feel what you feel. You need to see how the colours work for YOU. If you follow these “rules”,  you are already limiting yourself subconsciously. You really need to feel the vibe yourself to find out if that applies to your space. What I do when I work with my clients is giving them guidance rather then rules.

Choosing your colour scheme can be a very confusing and stressful process. Hopefully, if you follow these techniques you will choose the right colour scheme for you and your home. Take your time and remember: be open-minded, try our various colour groups before you pick the right one for your walls and the rest, and most of all listen to your gut. xkb