bathroom decor

How To Choose The Perfect Paint Colour For Your Walls

How To Choose The Perfect Paint Colour For Your Walls - Abstract House

Wall painting ideas are perfect for every home renovator; whether you’re having a full overhaul, starting from scratch on a new property, or just wanting to liven up your current look. Follow our range of handy tips and tricks for certain success.

staircase wall paint ideas blue interior decor
Image: @lick on Instagram

There’s More Than Just Magnolia

Magnolia has always been a classic choice, but it's time to be bold and try out the vast choice of paint colours now available.

Your home interior is an opportunity to express your personality and creative flare. 

Wherever your style is on the scale of ultramodern minimal to retro funk and earthy boho chic, a lick of paint will tie your room together. Don’t be afraid to have different coloured walls in the same room, either. Coloured accent walls are still all the rage and have a timeless elegance.

Perhaps there’s a colour you’re desperate to try, but you’re not sure you’re brave enough to. Consider trying your hand at a half-painted wall or painted wall panelling. Add some drama with darker paint, or why not introduce a playful pop of colour.  

half wall painting wooden wall panelling choose paint for walls

Image: @frenchicpaint on Instagram

It might seem like a shortcut, but a half-painted wall can also give the illusion of higher ceilings. A modern, eye-catching look that also brings a bright, airy feel to a room? We’re all for it.

Choosing Your Wall Paint Colours: Step-By-Step

1 - Matching To Existing Colours In Your Room

Considering your room’s current colour palette is a great way to start. Then, depending on your style, you may pick different partner colours from the colour wheel. 

Your deep blue-violet sofa will really shine against a yellow-orange. Like this sunny golden yellow from Lick. This is because these complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel.

In each of these categories, your options for matching include the pure colour, a paler tint, a deeper shade, or a more muted tone. Take pink: it’s a red tint and its complimentary colour is green. Pure green would look great, but a sage tone or a deeper botanical green could be an even better fit. It depends on whether you’re looking for a softer or a more dramatic look.

Sage green pink wall paint choosing complimenting wall paint colours

Image: @lick on Instagram

Don’t forget that achromatic colours exist too and can provide some balance to your room. If matching two colours seems a bit much to you, imagine them as tiny accent colours against a grey, black, or off-white

Achromatic wall paints often aren’t actually fully without colour and their subtle undertones could make them the perfect partner for a braver colour choice, without being too garish. Darker shades like slate blue and charcoal greys add depth to your space.

Pantone took a new step for 2021 and named two colours of the year: Illuminating, a zingy yellow, and Ultimate Gray. Meant as a message of endurance and coming together, it also gives colour-shy home renovators the inspiration needed to add a splash of colour to their interior.

panatone colour of the year 2021


You could also use a paint colour match service. If you’ve spied a colour scheme you fancy on Pinterest or the perfect accent wall colour to match your bedspread, you can get custom colours for your paint. Valspar’s affordable service at B&Q is perfect for this.

2 - Look At The Latest Interior Design Trends

What’s hot this year is always a good place to start when looking for wall painting ideas. Not all trends are for everyone - and that’s okay. Sometimes figuring out what you definitely don’t want can get you halfway to figuring out what you do.

That 70s avocado bathroom suite everyone’s been telling you to replace for years? Turns out it’s back for 2021. Green botanical tones and rich, precious gemstone shades are in. Think dark mossy paints, deep emeralds, olive greens, and palm tree shades. 

olive green paint ideas lick

Image: @lick on Instagram

Match these with a muted or brighter pink and yellows to emulate tropical botanicals, which are also on trend right now. Turns out we’re all missing sunning ourselves on holiday, so the more exotic the better. Just a splash of paint can bring you the latest craze on a budget.

Along a similar vein, cosy warm colours are must-haves for 2021. They give us joy in the winter and welcome the sunnier months too. Burnt or blood oranges and peacock blues are top of the list. 

For a more modern twist on the Cottage Core trend, Rustic Vogue takes the key principles - characterful exposed beams and panelled walls - and adds bolder colours for a modern finish. Think terracottas and reds against reclaimed wood, greys and warmer neutrals.

Make your home an eccentric cabinet of curiosities by tapping into the maximalism trend this year. After years of minimalism, a return to highly decorative interiors and a growing sense of individualism are exciting prospects.

maximalism interior design trend wall colour inspiration

Image: @lick on Instagram

This trend is all about an eclectic mix of statement pieces, whilst collecting furniture and objects for sentimental reasons. Display your souvenirs of life against a backdrop of deeper shades of heritage colours, as these wall paints pair beautifully with maximalist wallpaper and other home decor.

3 - Consider Colour Psychology

Painting your walls influences not only the appearance of your home, but also its atmosphere and impact on your mood. Different colours evoke different emotion, so colour psychology could play a role in choosing what goes where. 

Reds are intense colours, ranging from deep wine colours to peach-tinted terracotta. They get your adrenaline pumping and really make an impact. Create a great first impression in an entrance hall and stimulate conversation in the dining room.

yellow wall paint bedroom decor idea feature wall

Image: @lick on Instagram

Yellows are exactly how you’d expect: bright, happy, energising. They make great focal points for kitchens and bathrooms. Stick to warmer shades to brighten north-facing corners of your home.

Blue is believed to have a range of health benefits, including bringing down blood pressure, invigorating the mind, and promoting serenity. They create a relaxing environment for your home office, bedroom, and living room.

Combining the calmness of blue and the optimism of yellow, green is the ultimate colour of balance and restoration. This makes it perfect for a nature-inspired bathroom or bedroom in which to unwind.

Regal purple evokes fantasy, nobility and luxury. Whilst it is suitable for many spaces, consider using it in an entrance hall or dressing room for maximum effect.

purple paint regal decor bold paint colours for walls

Image: @lick on Instagram

Neutrals help create a well-rounded palette in your rooms and home interior. They are flexible and can be both warm and cool to compliment a range of other colours. Blacks and darker greys add power, drama and mystery, whilst whites and creams feel secure and warm.

4 - Picking Your Paint Brand

Now you just about know what you’re looking for in your wall paint colour, you have to pick a brand that’s within your budget and ethical standpoints. Then comes the nitty gritty of picking a wall colour and trying it out. 

An eco-warrior will want to choose sustainable paints or those made from natural materials. Frenchic, Graphenstone and Little Greene are all planet-friendly choices. Lick, in particular, are quickly becoming much-loved for their sustainable credentials. Plus their ocean plastics removal and tree-planting partners means every purchase you make will contribute to cleaning up our act.

At Abstract House we echo Lick’s eco-friendly values. All wood for our frames and all paper for our fine art prints come from FSC certified, sustainable sources. Our packaging is also 100% recyclable and totally plastic-free. Together we will help preserve our forests and planet for future generations.

High-end wall paints give you an expensive finish. Farrow & ball offer many quality heritage shades. Fired Earth continue to wow with their pigmented colours, whilst long-standing London luxury brand Mylands continues to get the Royal seal of approval.

the dulux dog how to choose wall paint colours blue wall ideas

Image: @duluxuk on Instagram

For an affordable classic, Dulux is a sensible and reliable choice. Crown also offers good pricing, as do the custom paint-colour frontrunners Valspar.

5 - Get Samples. Let Them Dry!

Paint your sample on a generous piece of card (at least A5 or larger), let it dry, and place it in different places around the room to test what it looks like in varying levels of sunlight. Try it out at different times of day too. This way you can see the emulsion paint in all its glory, including faint undertones.

Having the dried paint mobile is very useful, which is why testing a patch out on one wall isn’t recommended if you’re wanting to paint all four that colour. It also means you can lay it down on furniture, kitchen worktops, fireplaces and other features too - just to check you like how it looks with everything in the room.

Wall Paint Ideas: Our Top 10 Favourites

Brave Ground | Dulux Colour of the Year 2021

Brave Ground Dulux Colour of the Year 2021

Image: @duluxuk on Instagram

Rich, earthy and timeless. A new classic for any home.

Red 03, Deep Terracotta | Lick

lick terracotta paint red paint warm interior colours

Image: @lick on Instagram

A soft take on terracotta. This wall paint colour is simply divine.

Under the Wave | Fired Earth

Fired Earth Paint Under the Wave Blue Green Wall Paint Ideas

Image: @firedearthuk on Instagram

A deep, sultry blue-green shade. Perfect for half-wall painting.

Marine Blue | Little Greene

Little Greene Paint Marine Blue


A confident shade to make a statement. Ideal for tapping into 2021’s love of warm colours.

Green with Envy | French Chic

sage green paint bathroom wall paint ideas frenchic

Image: @frenchicpaint on Instagram

A luxurious sage green. With green on trend, particularly in kitchen and bathrooms, we can see this wall paint turning heads this year.

Nakajima | Graphenstone

Graphenstone Paint green wall tropical botanical interior design

Image: @graphenstonepaintsuk on Instagram

Another green to keep your eye on. This one’s for the tropical lovers.

Off-Black | Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball Paint Off-Black

Image: @farrowandball on Instagram

A softer off-black colour. A staple for all interiors.

Rock Solid | Crown

grey paint wall colour steel grey interior design crown paints

Image: @crownpaintsuk on Instagram

A beautiful steely grey to add depth to a colour palette. A very versatile paint colour for your walls.

FTT-001 | Mylands

metallic gold paint Mylands emulsion choosing a wall colour

Image: @mylands_london on Instagram

A metallic gold inspired by the British Film, Television and Theatre industries. A great paint for an accent wall.

Nana's Pearls | Valspar

Valspar Paints pastel pink bedroom wall

Image: @valsparpaintuk on Instagram

A pastel pink. Gentle and sophisticated.


After navigating that minefield with the help of Abstract House, it's finally time to crack open the tin of your perfect paint.

Lead image: @lick on Instagram

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About The Author

Abstract House is the world's leading sustainable online art gallery.

Creating original art and frames in London using premium and sustainable materials. Learn more...

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