How to select the right colours for your space

The science behind choosing a colour scheme

Choosing a colour to decorate your space can often be a challenge. How do you know what colours go together? How do you know if you’ll create the right mood? Well, there’s a science behind choosing the right shades that’ll help you start your selection journey. It comes in the shape of a colour wheel.


The colour wheel provides a visual representation of the colours that blend well together. It removes all the guesswork. Most models are made up of 12 colours, but the colour wheel could be expanded to include an endless number of shades.

What is the colour wheel

Primary Colours: Red, blue, and yellow. Cannot be made from mixing other colours.

Secondary Colours: Orange, Purple, and Green. Can be made by mixing the primary colours together.

Tertiary Colours: The six shades that can be made from mixing primary and secondary colours.


Some important colours are missing from the colour wheel: black, white and neutrals – shades of grey, cream, beige and brown. These are all essential ingredients in any colour palette and can help soften bright colours when paired together.

What about neutral colours
Neutral colour palette

Warm and cool colour schemes

  • Warm colours advance and therefore, bring in the space. Whereas cool colours recede and expand the space
  • Warm colours are a good choice for social spaces as they can be more stimulating for a room that sees a lot of activity and can make a large room seem cosy.
  • Cool colours are a good choice for small rooms that you want to appear bigger and where privacy, concentration and rest is important
Warm and cool colour schemes
Cool colour palette
Warm colour palette

Monotone schemes are created using the same colour in varying depths. It’s one of the safest and easiest schemes to work with and is light on the eye.

Monotone Colour Schemes

You could try

Use GoodHome durable galway paint as your leading palette

Galway colour patch
andalusio, monaco, delaware colour patch

  • A harmonious colour is one that sits next to, or very close to another on the colour wheel. This forms a rhythm within the space.
  • It’s important when using harmonious colours to consider the proportion of each colour used. Think about splitting colour by 60/30/10 rule
Harmonious colour schemes palette

You could try

Choose 2 neighbouring colours like GoodHome durable milltown paint and GoodHome durable gran via paint

Miltown and Gran Via colour scheme palette
Delaware, north pole and toulon colour schemes palette

  • Complimentary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel and contrast when they’re put together. However, this isn’t necessary to achieve a contrast.
Contrasting or complementary colour scheme

You could try

Choose 2 complementary colours such as GoodHome durable kyoto paint and GoodHome durable gran via paint

gran via and kyoto colour palette
delaware, noth pole and milltown colour palette

  • These are colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel
  • These tend to be quite vibrant to use them successfully. They should be carefully balanced e.g. let one colour dominate and use the two others for accents
Triadic colour scheme
Gran via, Marseille and chelsea colour scheme

and pair them with some supporting colours such as GoodHome durable liberty paint, GoodHome durable whistler paint and GoodHome durable nice paint.

Liberty, Whistler and Nice colour scheme