By Founding Member Annie Doherty from House Doctor

History shows that we used to mix many colours along with different patterns into rooms without a second thought. Over previous decades this trend changed and colours and patterns were simplified and often used on their own. Now the design pendulum is swinging back, as people are realising that both pattern and colour do not have to be seen in isolation and can be used harmoniously.


If you want to incorporate a new colour into your home, remember there are no such things as bad colours, just bad colour schemes and Mother Nature is a wonderful guide to finding beautiful colour combinations.

The easiest rule to follow when creating a colour scheme is the 60% 30% 10% proportion rule.

This is where for 60% of your room, the colours chosen are in a neutral tone. This large percentage will consist of the flooring, walls and ceiling. The floor is usually the darkest shade whilst the ceiling is usually the lightest of the chosen neutrals.

The next 30% will consist of your large pieces of furniture, woodwork and window treatments, such as blinds and curtains, and will look better if they contrast or compliment the neutral 60%.

The final 10% is what adds the interest or a pop of colour to your room. This will be via your accent pieces. They usually consist of the darkest and strongest hues in your colour scheme.


Consider them the jewellery of a room, the pieces you use to complete the look. Cushions and throws, artwork, lampshades, a rug and small decorative accessories can refresh a room scheme instantly.

The Dulux 2018 colour of the year is ‘Heartwood’, and the Pantone colour of the year for this year is called ‘Ultra Violet’, which are both exciting colours that can look amazing if used well. Crown Paints feature Trends that can encompass a number of colours they see being strong for the year.

Peruse any interior magazines in the spring and autumn editions and you will often read features or editorials on the upcoming key interiors trends. This is because the early part of the year is when many of the Home, Furniture and Interior Design Trade shows are held in the UK and Europe. If you were to attend any of these shows you’d have an idea of what will be appearing on the High Street later that year from what new products are being released. This is much the same as with the fashion industry.

If you want to incorporate this year’s hottest colour into your existing scheme the easiest way is to place it in small doses throughout the room. Using colour in isolation just once in a room often looks unplanned, however using the colour in three or five different layers of accessories, all of varying size and percentage, will look cohesive and well thought out.

Often, I am asked if it is expensive to completely change a colour scheme in a room. The House Doctor ethos has always been to save clients both time and money, with a forumla that enables any homeowner to be able to change their style and colour choices for minimum cost and effort.

How we do this is to follow the proportion rule given above, by making floor and walls neutral and you can then add into the room the new colours and on trend accessories. So in essence, if you re-decorate once with your larger percentages in neutrals, it is very simple and cost effective to remove the smaller percentage of more vibrant colours and swap these out every time you fancy a change or want to refresh without a lot of cost and effort.

Author: ltiwebHome