Your Colourful Questions Answered: Part Six

Written on 28th July 2022

Today, our brand ambassador and king of colour, Patrick O’Donnell, is back to answer your most commonly asked questions. From renovating attic rooms to choosing trim colours, he’s ready to help you tackle your decorating dilemmas.

I have an attic room, should I paint the ceiling the same as the walls or leave it white?

If you paint the ceiling in a very contrasting colour, the angle of some attic ceilings can create the illusion of low walls. So, because of this shifting perception of proportions, it’s often best to commit to one colour all over. The choice of colour is up to you and how brave you feel.

The safest option is to consider a neutral that flatters the natural light. If the room is flooded with light due to generous skylights, then the world is your oyster and anything from gentle whites to bolder mid-tones will work. However, if natural light is at a minimum, err towards warmer shades. String would be a lovely option with just the right amount of yellow for warmth and would pair well with Wimborne White for woodwork or you could try the wonderfully versatile Light Blue teamed with Slipper Satin.

Walls: Dead Salmon No.28 in Modern Emulsion

Walls: Inchyra Blue No.289 in Estate Emulsion | Interior design by @minkinteriors. Photos by @snookphotograph

Neutrals to use in a north-facing room?

Think of warmer tones for north-facing rooms, so primarily red or yellow-based colours. Cord has underlying yellow tones, whilst Oxford Stone is a versatile neutral with a red blush. Don’t rule out more mid-toned colours either, for example Setting Plaster will bring relief and warmth to an awkwardly lit room.


Earthy kitchen tones that stand the test of time?

Earth tones bring gentility and balance to any room scheme but as kitchens are often a big financial commitment, getting the colour right, especially on cabinetry, is paramount. Mouse’s Back in Modern Eggshell is a wonderful option for cabinets and teams perfectly with a flattering off white on walls, such as Shaded White in Modern Emulsion. You can carry the Shaded White onto your trim to keep things simple or create a soft contrast with School House White. You could even introduce a contrasting accent with a kitchen island, pantry cupboard or just painted legs on your kitchen table: Inchyra Blue would sit beautifully with this palette.

Cabinets: Light Gray No.17 in Modern Eggshell, Island: Picture Gallery Red No.42 in Modern Eggshell, Walls: Old White No.4 in Modern Emulsion, Ceiling: Lime White No.1 in Modern Emulsion | By @alicegraceinteriors

Walls: Hardwick White No.5 in Modern Emulsion, Cabinets: Hardwick White No.5 in Modern Eggshell | Jannik Martensen-Larsen

Favourite bold and interesting colours to use on trim?

If you have a lighter wall colour, using a much darker trim colour can work a treat. This technique helps to make a room feel more spacious, by ‘framing’ the largest surface area with a darker contrast. Some lovely combinations are Drop Cloth on walls with Inchyra Blue on trim or Jitney walls with Paean Black trim. If you want something bolder, Oval Room Blue on walls with Bancha on trim is a smart option or Sulking Room Pink framed in our darkest green, Studio Green, is another fantastic combination.


Colours to brighten up a dark home office/study?

It all depends on your aspect: Green Blue will bring some cheer in an east-facing office, while Joa’s White will deliver an off-white warmth to west-facing spaces. Don’t overlook embracing darks too, as they can help focus the mind. Calke Green with its rich, verdant tones is both elegant and wonderfully calming too. If you’re trying to create a creative space, yellow and orange tones are known to inspire. India Yellow will bring a great big dose of ochre warmth here.

Walls: Hardwick White No.5 in Estate Emulsion |

Walls: Treron No.292 in Estate Eggshell | @simplifythechaos

What colour should I use in a living room with little natural light?

Depending on your aesthetic, Ball Green will bring charm to a rural space and teams wonderfully with the charming warm white of White Tie for your woodwork and ceiling. For an urban setting, Charleston Gray with its underlying red notes is a smart option and pairs well with a tonal neutral on trim like Skimming Stone or Strong White for a more contemporary feel.


If you have a colour conundrum that isn’t covered here, don’t despair. You might find the answer in the rest of the series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five.

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