Downsizing Your Colour Selection To Create A Colour Scheme

Coming off our first article in the colour series, Choosing colours for your interior, we ended up with more colours than needed for your interior project. As such, in this part of the colour series, we’ll be focusing on downsizing your colour selection to create a colour scheme. 

Depending on the project, getting a colour scheme can be a “straight-to-the-point” process. Sometimes, you already know what to do and other times, the process is kind of a winding one. Most times, designers get inspiration for their color schemes from other images. The problem with this is, it can set you on a stiff path; you can’t see beyond the colours in the pictures and you find it hard to adjust the colours to suit what you really need. In other words, it stifles creativity. So yes, getting inspiration can be a stifling process too.

So we are taking the original approach of selecting probable colours (which we did in the first part of the series) and working our way up to a colour scheme. To create a colour scheme, you need to have a basic understanding of colour combinations. Here is an article from Smashing Magazine and another from Tiger Color that explains the different ways to combine colours with reference to the color wheel. Your grasp of the color combinations would help you define what type of scheme you want for your space, whether its monochrome or analogous. This would help in downsizing your previous color selections to create your color palette.

You probably ended up with at least 6 colours or a little more based on the factors we considered while selecting the colours. That’s a little too much except you’re going for something like a colour splurge. Even that has to be properly articulated and there has to be a purpose for choosing each colour in your splurge. Here are three simple steps to turn your colour selection to a scheme.

1. Dealing with your favourite colour

Image credit; Etsy.

If it’s not a personal project, then your personal preference shouldn’t take the front seat. If your favorite colour doesn’t fit into the other criteria, especially user preferences or what’s best for the space, then remove it. If the color scheme is for your personal space, keep the colours that you are most comfortable with and take out your least comfortable choice. While risks are worth taking sometimes, if you’re on a limited budget, stay in your comfort zone; so you don’t get stranded with a colour(s) you won’t be changing soon due to financial constraints.

2. Keep what’s important

Image credit; The nest.

What’s important for your project, is it lighting? the mood you want to create? or your canvas?  Look at all the factors you considered in selecting your colours, and remove selected colours that fall into the least important factors. This way, you would successfully knock out the set of colours that fall into the least desirable factors.

3. Working with multiple factors of consideration or criteria

After removing the least important factors, you will still be left with two or three factors that you consider important for your project. You can let go of colours that do not meet up with the other considerations. For example, if lighting, aesthetics and mood are your remaining factors after the previous elimination, you can pick a colour from aesthetics that meets your criteria for lighting and mood. In other words, let go of colours that meet up with only one or two criteria and not the others.

A beautiful interior with bold colours. Image credit; Decorilla.

Now that you’ve gone through the downsizing process and chosen your base colour(s) using your understanding of the types of colour schemes as a guide, you can now successfully create your very own colour scheme.

In case you missed the previous parts in the series, get started with Choosing colours for your interiors, a guide to colour selection. And follow up with Dulux Color Forecast 2016 is a rebel, and we love it! If you would like to contribute an article to the Colour Series, send us a mail via And don’t forget to leave a comment 🙂 .

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