I am not an interior designer so there might be a real difference between a colour story and a mood board, or no difference at all. Here in my world the difference is this; a colour story pulls together all of the colours you have in a room design, a mood board looks at furniture, styling and texture as well as colour. For me personally I like to have an idea of the colour story so that the backdrop is perfect before I start on a mood board. Even when you are going down a DIY route decorating an entire room is expensive and you can save so much time, effort and cold hard cash by doing a little planning first. So here are my tips for creating a colour story.
TIP ONE – Pick your base colour. When you decide on the main colour for your room think about what you want from the room and what you love. Don’t choose a colour because it is on trend or because you think your room needs it, choose something you love. Blue always makes me happy, it is easy to live with and I find all shades pleasing. And can I say a big pah to those who say blue is not cozy and dark colours are depressing.
TIP TWO – Lay your possible choices by your main colour. To create a colour story you need to see how the other elements will play against this. I pulled together a board using images and colours from the internet. This allows you to see all of your ideas together and see what works, more importantly what doesn’t work What was glaringly obvious for me was that the gold and the pink were not options for recovering the sofa.
TIP THREE – Get the real thing. The internet is a wonderful thing but all of our screens are calibrated differently so to get a true idea of the colours you will need to order samples. You might be looking at your screen right now thinking really that blue but in real life it is delicious. Ordering the samples allowed me to finally decide between the ‘downpipe’ and ‘dark lead colour’ for the fireplace colour.
As you can see from the image above the dark lead colour was not as dark in ‘real life’ so I am now settled on the ‘downpipe’.
TIP FOUR – Pick highlights and lowlights these will give your main colour tone and depth, they compliment the main colour. In this room the grey floor has several tonal compliments for the blue, I also have some great blues and greys in lampshades and art work.
TIP FIVE – Introduce warm tones this should be done even if you want cool and contemporary as cool and sleek can easily turn into clinical and unwelcoming. This can be done with natural materials; wood, leather, metals, wool etc… I have lots of dark wood furniture and some great brass elements in the light fixture.
TIP SIX – Choose a couple of accent colours. Okay this separates the weak from the strong as if you go too far you will create a headache in your home. In my opinion if you go to matchy matchy in your room it looks boring, bland, it lacks personality and does not feel like a home, it feels more like a mid range hotel room. I blame the House Doctor, that woman and her sea of cream needs a good talking to. Ignore her! Pick 2/3 accent colours. In my case I have chosen green that will pop up in the curtains and plants. I will also have some pinks and reds that will show up in the many collected curios from traveling and a piece of my own artwork. Above & below is a great example of how Justina Blakeney displays her worldly goods below. Notice that there are weavings and textiles that break the rule of 2/3 accent colours but they don’t really because the overriding colour story is still the same.
How much planning do you do when you start to think about colour?