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Paint colour mistakes we should all avoid.

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Choosing the right paint colour for a room can be a difficult choice. Agonising over the difference between ‘Sunshine Yellow’ and ‘Daylight Yellow’ can take weeks. But getting it right is well worth it, as it sets a room’s mood and affects how your furniture looks. So, to help you on your way, interior designers share their dos and don’ts…

Mistake 1: Painting a ceiling flat white

The biggest wall in a room is the one most of us don’t even think about. ‘I never paint a ceiling dead white because all white paint has a bit of grey in it, and it takes the room down,’ designer Athalie Derse says. Her suggestion: Choose a cream shade instead.

Mistake 2: Making sure the room matches completely

It’s tempting to keep things easy and bring a fabric swatch of your sofa to the paint shop with you to help choose the colour of your walls. But, while making sure the different colours in a room complement each other is obviously important, it doesn’t always have to be the priority. ‘You never want to match your walls to a colour in one of your fabrics,’ designer Sallie Giordano says. ‘It will be too strong. Find a greyed-out version of the same colour.’

Mistake 3: Leaving out ‘palate cleansing’ elements

Once you fall in love with a colour, it’s easy to go overboard. ‘The biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to be colourful and exciting is to forget that you need to balance it with neutrals,’ says designer Todd Klein. Architectural elements in white or simply a few grey throws can give your eye a place to rest.

Mistake 4: Playing it too ‘safe’

Conversely, if you go with a palette of neutrals, don’t forget to add a few stronger colours. ‘One of the biggest mistakes people make with neutrals is not using enough contrast,’ designer Betsy Brown says. ‘You have to interject elements that add intense personality. Make it gutsy, or else it’s boring.’

Mistake 5: Using wildly different colour schemes from room to room

You know it when you see it: The neutral living room says ‘relaxed, coastal chic,’ then the vivid bathroom goes ‘1920’s decadence.’ ‘Even when I don’t use the same colours everywhere, I still like the rooms to feel connected,’ Mona Ross Berman says. ‘The bedroom should never feel like it’s in a completely different house from the living room – the whole house has to make sense as one.’

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