A good start point is to go online or look in the many available interior magazines and create a scrapbook of the colours, wallpapers and interiors that you prefer. This will help you form an overall picture of the colours and styles you like.
Try paint testers in a range of shades. This is a great and fun way to ensure the colour you love, looks just as great on your walls, as it does in the colour charts. You can order Dulux testers online or buy them in-store at the Dulux Decorator Centre in Quarry Lane, Chichester.
Apply two coats of your tester to a piece of A4 paper. Hang the paper on different walls throughout various times of the day and evening, to see how the colour changes in sunlight and under artificial light. You’ll find that the effects of light particularly influence whites.
Also different type of light bulbs, affect colour. Whether you have Incandescents, Fluorescents, Halogens, Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) or Light-emitting diodes (LEDs). You can completely change the colour of your rooms, by the lighting that you use.
The direction your room faces does make a difference. It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of colours will look slightly darker and colder in north-facing rooms because the light is cooler and flatter.
Let the tester paint dry fully, and try not to make any decisions until the paint is completely dry.
Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you love it, it’s right.
North, South, East & West
The direction of the room that you are decorating is an important consideration when choosing your scheme. Of course you should choose a colour palette that you love and will compliment your existing furnishings. However some basic colour advice from interiors experts is always helpful.
North Facing Rooms
North facing rooms have a cooler natural light, and by and large, less of it. So it can be difficult to create the feeling of light and space we so often desire. But don’t worry. In these spaces with reduced natural light, the best advice is not to fight nature. Instead embrace the shade and create a dramatic and cocooning interior with warmer shades like pink, gold and yellow tones.
If bold is not your thing, try more subtle greys and whites that contain hints of pink, gold and yellow. As these will add a more delicate warmth to your space.
South Facing Rooms
South facing rooms are a joy to decorate - they are full of warm light all day, so all colours will look good! We recommend really maximising the feeling of light and space in south facing rooms by choosing pale tones. Soft blues will create a wonderfully watery seaside look, while red-based neutrals will create a warmer feel. Greys and whites are good too – those that contain hints of blue, green and violet will ensure the room doesn’t feel too ‘hot’ without adding vibrant colour.
East and West Facing Rooms
The most important aspect with east and west facing rooms is that you consider how you will use these spaces at either end of the day. East facing bathrooms will be bright and sunny as the sun rises, whereas a west facing bathroom will need some warmth for the cold winter morning starts.
East Facing Rooms
The light in east facing rooms often appear to be slightly blue, so it’s best to work with this and choose greens or blues. It is advisable to create as much light as possible but still retain some warmth. Try looking at a pale duck egg colour, which will really come alive in the morning sunlight. Due to the light altering so dramatically throughout the day it is often good to team these with a darker tone on woodwork or furniture, so that the walls seem lighter in contrast.
If you want to use a white, choose ones with a hint of blue, green or violet.
West Facing Rooms
White walls are natural light reflectors and will compliment any colour of furnishing, which is often why we choose neutrals for our homes. But white will really enhance both natural and artificial light in west facing rooms.
If white is a bit too stark for you, then maybe choose a very light neutral. Grey is currently very in vogue, so even the greyer neutrals will retain a feeling of light, although the colour will change from morning to evening. It may seem cooler earlier and warmer later in the day.
Dulux Visualiser App
One useful colour selection tool that you might like try out is the Dulux Visualiser. This is an app for your smart phone that allows you to take a picture of your room and digitally change the colours on the wall, without lifting a paintbrush or buying any paint.
The App also contains the most up to date range of Dulux paints for you to choose from.
You can find more interior design trends and colour inspiration on the Dulux website. Click Here for more.
The Dulux website is also a great resource for interior design trends, colour inspiration, advice and tips. Please make sure you look at the "Decorating Advice" menu.
Houzz Home Interiors App
Another great place to find inspiration on the latest trends and interior design ideas is via design websites and in particular the App houzz.co.uk. The main benefit of this site is that you can get ideas for your next project, without visiting numerous showrooms or buying expensive magazines.
If for instance you are thinking of redecorating a nursery, search "painted nursery", and it will come up with images of projects that people carried out in their own homes or for their clients.
If you see a tag on anything in the images, these indicate that you can find out where the items were purchased and how much they cost.