Different Styles of Decorating
There are many ways of decorating and how you use colour is entirely down to personal preference and your desired feel for the room. There are no strict rules but here are some examples of the most popular ways of decorating.
COLOURED WALLS AND WHITE WOODWORK
The most traditional style is to use a colour on the walls and white gloss on woodwork, often the same white as that on the ceiling. This is a very clean, but sometimes hard look. To soften the contrast, select a white which is more sympathetic to the colour on the walls; this will make the contrast more gradual and you become less aware of where things stop and start, so the confines of the room disappear and it will feel bigger. Suggested complementary neutrals for each of our colours appear online next to your chosen paint colour.
LIGHTER WALLS AND DARKER WOODWORK
A good way to create light and space is to use the lightest colour on the largest surface area, such as the walls and the darker tone on woodwork. This works particularly well if you are using a neutral scheme and gives a more ‘decorated’ feel. The use of a dark colour on skirting boards not only makes the walls appear lighter in contrast, it also creates a strong contemporary look making everything above it feel lighter in contrast, and therefore the overall feel of the room is lighter too.
ONE COLOUR USED ON WALLS AND WOODWORK
Using one colour on both the walls and woodwork is very popular in contemporary settings as it creates a very strong, clean look. Yet this look can also feel extremely calm and make a room feel much bigger, as there are no contrasts to draw the eye.
Ceilings don’t have to be white! The height of a ceiling is determined - not just by the colour - but by the contrast between the wall colour and the ceiling colour. Therefore, if you have a coloured wall and you paint the ceiling a bright white, your eye will be drawn to the strong contrast between the two colours. You become very aware of where the walls end and the ceiling begins, thus the perceived ceiling height drops.
If however you use a white which is sympathetic to your wall colour, the change from wall to ceiling will seem more organic and you will be less aware of where the wall ends – and then the ceiling feels higher. To heighten low ceilings choose a light cool white like James White No.2010 or All White No.2005 and to make a high ceiling appear lower choose deeper and warmer off-whites like String No.8.