Colours in the Home

Stepping into the small entrance-way I was instantly embraced by yellow, my happy colour, a real tonic on a cold but bright winter’s day. After weeks of house hunting, as I stepped into this one I knew it was the one. I was shown the nearby kitchen first, a fair-sized room with large windows welcoming in an abundance of sunshine which illuminated the whole kitchen and the entrance-way beyond. Looking closer I saw that many tiles were chipped or marked as the house was old, but that made no difference, the bright yellow effect was just what the house needed. It just goes to show there is a lot of power in colour.

Colour in the Bathroom

Bathrooms tend to be universally blue, turquoise and beige, the calming colours. It seems quite fitting, probably due to a logical connection between this room, dedicated to water, and the colour of the sea that mean blue and turquoise are most often used. Blue floor tiles, sky-blue tiles around the bath with wave-like motifs, pale-blue shower curtains decorated with fish and sea-horses; does it sound a bit too blue? An excess of any colour can be overpowering, especially in a small room like a bathroom, but generally if all the bathroom fittings are white, they offer a pleasant contrast and you can’t go far wrong with these colours for a bathroom.

A good example of the use of Turquoise in a bathroom. Courtesy of Little Greene



Some pictures of my own bathrooms at home using mostly beige which also works well for bathrooms and provides a calming space.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

It is said that red stimulates both appetite and conversation, so the red palette is a great choice for a dining room or add splashes of red in the kitchen with your accessories. Red is a strong colour, maybe the most difficult colour to use tastefully at home so the trick is to go for different shades of red, discreetly. Although I have to go back to my particular favourite yellow for a kitchen or a breakfast area- a great colour to start your day with hands wrapped around your fave mug of coffee; elbows on the breakfast bar.

The Living Room

Green is thought to be calming and relieve stress, however step outside the house for a moment and think about the inspiration you can get from the colours in the garden, It is tricky to import into the living room and many of my friends seem to dislike green although as with all colours there are such a variety of shades to choose from so don’t be too short sighted.

House plants are often added for a splash of green but often present difficulties and end up looking messy (withering, drooping, dead leaves etc) that only the green fingered amongst us manage to keep alive. To enjoy the sense calm and nature that this colour conveys try a combination of green blends with beige or a soft grey for a relaxing effect,.

Orange is an inviting colour, it promises comfort, warmth and good humour and is also a good choice for a lounge or living room. It is also a bold and stimulating colour, perhaps to be used sparingly, but to be used! Just a touch of orange in a room can give it, and the people in it, that happy optimistic feeling.

For Sophistication

Grand sophistication requires a dramatic colour choice: purple. The colour of cardinals and nobility and exclusivity. This colour can give weight to a room, a suggestion that important events take place within its walls. Sometimes the choice of this colour is to create just this effect, but contrasting accessories can lighten the scenario. A more relaxing atmosphere can be achieved by moving up the light scale and going for lilac or lavender, which create quite a different impression; these colours are reassuring, suggesting a hint of old traditions and retro-glamour.

Traditional and Friendly

Picture a brown room, with brown decor: dull maybe? Now imagine warm wood panelling, rafter beams, an array of wooden bookcases filled with leather-bound volumes, wooden armchairs with plump leather upholstery, plus maybe a cat and a fire-place! A dozen tones of brown compose this vision of glorious wood and leather, both natural materials. Wood, from light pine to dark walnut, is the essential element of basic furniture. Although nowadays lots of plastic and synthetic materials are used, wood still remains the heart of the furniture world. And what a beautiful element it is! Brown, in its many hues, along with green, is the colour of nature, and as such gives a reassuring earthy feeling, traditional and friendly.


Lastly the ‘non-colours’: black and white. Both are used in home decoration, especially white, which gives a light and airy, clean feeling to a room. It is the symbol of purity and peace so its use contributes to peace and harmony in the home although it can be quite clinical and cold although practical. A base white colour can be changed instantly simply by changing coloured accessories.

A white apartment softened by a natural wood floor and some accent colours. Courtesy of lucasfoxbcn.

Black is used for dramatic effect, but not really the best for most modern homes as it is can be negative or depressing, and it makes a room seem smaller but as with any interior scheme adding black accents can have a great effect.

Courtesy of Gatsby.

Just Do It

The famous romantic author Barbara Cartland was known for her love of pink, in every rosy hue, from fuchsia to flamingo! She always wore pink and her home was completely pink! Yes, it’s overdoing it, but again it underlines the importance of colour in people’s lives; if it makes you feel good, do it – even overindulge! Whatever colour you opt for the choice should be mostly instinctive: whatever makes you feel good! Having said that however if you are planning on selling your home colour is a whole different ball game and this is where Magnolia and Beige do their best!

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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Posts by Alexandra Eager (49)