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Paint colour: choose wisely

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Choosing paint colour is a real challenge. Warm, cool, light or dark: the choices are many. Colour is the key element in any decor; the right colour will enable you to create a stylish and unique atmosphere that truly reflects your personality. Colour choices should be based on personal taste, the size of a room, lighting, furnishings, the ambiance you’re looking for, and current design trends. With some creativity, skill, the right advice and tips, you’re well-equipped to decorate your home, without spending a fortune!

Factors to consider

Choice of colour is often influenced by decorating trends but remains above all a question of personal taste. Since it is your interior, you want it to reflect your personality and tastes and those of your family. For instance, why not give your kids the opportunity to choose their own room colour? If you don’t agree with their choice, try to compromise by using the colour they’ve chosen for their bed linens or accessories.

Whether warm or cold, dark or light, colour impacts the perceived size of a room.

Kitchen with two dark shadesWarm and dark colours:

  • Tend to make a room feel smaller and more intimate.
  • Cover imperfections on walls and trim.
  • Seem to lower the height of a room when used for the ceiling.




Light blue bathroomCool and light colours:

  • Make a room seem larger and airier.
  • Reflect light, which makes them ideal for hallways, corridors and rooms with little or no natural light.
  • Seem to raise the height of a room when used on the ceiling.





Basement living room with recessed lightingLighting is crucial, which is why light fixtures should be installed at the very start of any decorating project.

  • Incandescent light creates a warm, faintly yellowish glow and is perfect for the living room since it is not too intense.
  • Fluorescent light is both intense and energy efficient, which makes it ideal for illuminating work areas such as the kitchen counter. It produces a cool, bluish-tinted light.
  • Halogen lamps produce powerful and efficient lighting similar to natural daylight.
  • LED lighting provides normal room lighting; you can also create special effects with different coloured bulbs.
  • Natural daylight affects colours according to the season and time of day; a sunny room will appear clearer and brighter than a room with no direct sunlight.



Grey and white living roomFurniture, carpeting and curtains are also important factors to consider when choosing wall colours. The ultimate goal is to create a harmonious look. If your furniture is very colourful, try to soften the effect by using natural, neutral hues such as flax, cotton, sand or wood. Choose armchairs with upholstered backs so that you are free to place them as you like rather than always up against the wall.






Bedroom with a large windowColour tips and advice

  • A room with large windows lends itself better to darker, warmer colours than a small, windowless room. To add warmth to a north-facing room that receives little or no sunlight, decorate with a warm colour like yellow, orange, red or lime green. In south or west-facing rooms where sunlight is stronger, you can afford to use cooler colours such as blue, violet or mint green.
  • Test a paint colour in several areas exposed to different types of light and observe how the colour varies over a whole day and evening.
  • Each paint finish has its own properties. The more matte the finish, the better it will hide imperfections and uneven reflections. It is, however, harder to wash. The glossier the finish, the easier it is to wash, but it will also mask imperfections less effectively. Paint finishes come in the following order: gloss, semi-gloss, pearl, eggshell, satin and matte. Semi-gloss is best for hall or corridor walls and for windows and frames. Use a matte finish on ceilings and satin and pearl for the rest. Kitchens, bathrooms and basements have their own antifungal paints.


Child’s bedroom with rectangular shapesColour zoning allows you to highlight a wall, a picture or an architectural feature like a fireplace. It consists of painting a shape, such as a rectangle or square, directly on a wall with a colour from the same colour family as the main wall colour, or with contrasting colours.

• To brighten up a wall, paint vertical or horizontal patterns or stripes. Start with one base colour, then paint stripes in other shades that can be either lighter or darker and of equal or varying widths.




  • Bathroom with contrasting mouldingsMouldings are meant to be seen. Paint them in contrasting colours in a pearl or semi-gloss finish. Use them to create depth and add style to your walls.
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