Choosing a colour scheme

We quiz the team behind our lifestyle collection on how to test ideas, choose a colour scheme and build a unified look.

When it comes to updating a room, choosing a colour scheme is often the starting point, but it can also be tricky. We’ve asked Emma Mann, Head of Home Design at Sainsbury’s, for her tips on getting your colour scheme looking just right.

Get inspired

“Take time to gather colour inspiration – it might come from a piece of wallpaper, a favourite shirt, a photograph, or pages from magazines. Create a moodboard, or start a Pinterest board, until you find the colours you like.”

Test your colours

“Never buy paint colours based just on a paint chart. If you’re painting walls, always get a few tester pots and paint lengths of lining paper. Pin them to the wall for a few days, observing how the colour looks in different light.”

Use a neutral base

“If you’re prone to changing your mind, choose neutral shades and use accessories that can be easily replaced to inject colour. Pure white or even shades of grey can create a versatile, neutral backdrop.”

Hedgerow bedroom

Using accessories

“It’s easy to inject colour through small, affordable items. Lampshades, a new throw or a couple of cushions can instantly update a room. Even enlarging and framing interesting family photographs can create a burst of colour.”

Unify your look

“Unify a colour scheme by choosing patterned soft furnishings or a piece of artwork that combines two or more colours. Then choose one ‘dominant’ colour from this for plain items such as vases, cushions or even flowers to ground the scheme.”

Tip of the week:

Use different shades of the same colour to accessorise a room space, for a coordinated but unified look.