Using colour with confidence is something that many people seem to struggle with in their homes. Interior design might be more permanent than, say, fashion, but with this colour confidence workshop Michaela Mildenhall gives you a whistle stop tour of the basic principles of colour confidence within the home.

Colour Popping

Starting small is the best way to increase confidence in general. “Colour popping” is a great way to bring in really strong colours to a neutral setting without having to use a lot of different hues in the overall decoration. This means using bright colours such as yellows, reds or strong blues on accessories such as cushions, throws and vases. Cushions are often seen as the “handbags” of interior design products as they are inexpensive and easily replaceable. For example if you have a plain grey sofa – yellow cushions would make a great design gesture as the colours work so well together.


The feature wall is of course becoming a very popular way of bringing colour into the home – either by using bright paints, or vivid wallpaper patterns. If using paint, don’t just stick to one tester pot – get quite a few, and be bold in your choices, they are only tester pots after all – who knows, you may discover a colour that you fall in love with once you see it on your walls! The same applies to wallpaper – get as many samples as you can lay hands on before making a final choice.

Immerse yourself in colour

By now you may have increased your colour confidence considerably by employing some colour pops and feature walls, but now I dare you to take it a step further! Becoming more aware of colour on a daily basis will help you to get really creative. Colour websites, such as Design Seeds, or blogs by colour lovers like the wonderful Will at Bright Bazaar will really get the colour ideas flowing.

Why not be inspired by the colours you see on holiday too? They could be the pretty pastel colours of macaroons from Parisian patisseries, or the bright azure blue of ornate Moroccan doorways. These memories are a top way to fuel the imagination – you could even start a colour mood board!


Trends are also a useful guide for the use of colour. Pantone, a colour forecasting agency, releases a “colour of the year” every year, and 2013 is the turn of Emerald Green. Their website shows us some great colour combinations.

Interiors follow fashion and is usually about a year behind. What do you like to wear? Not beige I bet! So use colours that perhaps you might you like to wear. Think about how you can use trends to express your own personality, and finally remember that trends should be a guide. They are there to help and not to dictate, because your home is indeed your castle, so choose colours that above all else make you feel special and happy.

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Filed under: Home Inspiration

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