"Choose your floor surface first. The choice of colours within floorcovering ranges is limited, unlike the Dulux paint range which has thousands of shades to choose from."

Want some guidance?

Here's a step by step guide to helping choose colours for you and your client.

  • View the case study

    Step 1 - Finding your start point

    • Consider the different aspects of the space you are about to decorate. Who uses it and what do they use it for? Are there existing fixtures and fittings? What is the purpose of the space?
    • Use this knowledge to find a starting colour - this may be an existing feature like a carpet or wooden floor. If you have a totally blank canvas consider the colours that will appeal to the users and purpose of the space.
    • Pay particular attention to the mood you want to create, for example schemes using fresh colours will appear light, pure and clean. This will help you to take the first step towards building a colour palette for your space.

    Top tip: Choose your floor surface first. The choice of colours within floorcovering ranges is limited, unlike the Dulux paint range which has thousands of shades to choose from.

  • View the case study

    Step 2 - design requirements

    • Light plays a huge part in influencing design requirements. Consider if your room is north or south facing, as this will impact the amount of natural light entering the space.
    • Good light conditions mean your choice of colour schemes are broad and varied, with stronger colours working well.
    • For darker areas choose as light a colour as possible, particularly those with a high LRV.
    • What sort of look and feel are you aiming for? Red and yellow tones will add warmth, whilst some tones of blue and green can be associated with a calmer, more relaxed feel.
    • Don't forget to focus on Visual Contrast and the Disability Discrimination Act. Choose colours for walls, ceilings, floors and doors that visual contrast with 30 LRV difference. See the Colour and Contrast CD from Dulux Trade for more guidance as to the appropriate level.

    Top tip: Using a high LRV in poor lighting is great as it reflects light. On the other hand, remember that bad light can result in shadowing and greying. Using warmer toned neutrals can counteract this.

  • View the case study

    Step 3 - create your colour palette

    • Now that you have found your starting colour, you can identify which colours best go with it.
    • Identify the mood of your chosen colour - is it rich, fresh, warm or calm?
    • Now choose which type of scheme you would like: Tonal, harmonious or contrasting?

    Tonal Schemes - Using colours from the same page of the fandeck mean they are all lighter and darker shades of the same colour. Choosing tones of one colour ensures the whole room will co-ordinate effortlessly in a simple, classic scheme.

    Harmonious Schemes - A harmonious scheme involves two or more colours that have a colour in common, such as blue and violet or green and turquoise. These create interesting and versatile schemes that sit comfortably together.

    Contrasting Schemes - A contrasting scheme uses colours that are complete opposites. These exciting combinations create a dramatic and exciting look that often has a contemporary feel.

    Top tip: Professionals are able to colour scheme effortlessly by eye. To make it easier for you, Dulux Trade has selected four stripe cards all from the same colour mood which will scheme with your start point colour.

  • View the case study

    Step 4 - bringing your colour scheme to life

    • Now you have chosen the colours you want, you need to decide how best to use them.
    • In addition to the flooring we would recommend using up to a maximum of 3 additional paint colours in an area. Don't overuse colours for the sake of it, remember that less can be more.
    • Try using the softest colour as the broad wall colour, with a stronger tone to accent a feature wall or painted door. White or off whites work well for the ceiling and trim although this may vary depending on the style of your space.

    Top tip: Accent colours are a fantastic way to draw attention to a specific area, such as behind a reception, within a waiting area or the teaching wall of a classroom.