17th October 2017

Choosing your colour scheme

Choosing your colour scheme

Welcome to Aark London and to our blog page.  I have recently set up Aark London after many years running Tyler Mandic, a leading architect and construction company, with my husband Peter.  Over the last 20 years I have designed and renovated some of London’s most beautiful homes.  I learnt a lot about how colour works and how to achieve the effortlessly sophisticated look that is so desirable yet so hard to achieve.


In your home, nothing will influence the overall look and feel of a room more than the colour scheme that you choose, so your first step is to agree on one.

Where do you start? The first question is whether you want a light, clean and airy, or dark, moody and atmospheric scheme? Or maybe somewhere in the middle, light but not too light?  Which scheme make your home appear larger?  Answering that question will probably point you in the right direction.


When it comes to colour in a small home, opinions are divided.  Most people will advise you to stick to an exclusively pale and neutral palette, or go for the typically ‘Scandi’ look: pale oak floorboards and furniture, off-white walls, perhaps a touch of silvery -grey.  


Pale and interesting is easy if you are household of adults, or a single person.  With young children, you need thick skin and low blood pressure when you return home to discover your little people decided your living room wall is an excellent surface to show their artistic abilities…..

There is, however, a school of thought that says quite the opposite: some designers swear by going dark to enlarge your room. From my years designing homes with Tyler Mandic, I can say from experience that deep dark colours do have the knack of making walls disappear and enlarging the space.


Many will opt for the middle way and you are quite possibly in that group.

The truth is, all of these options will work, if executed well. From experience, the real trick is to choose your palette - be it light, dark or a mixture of both- and stay true to it. Keeping the colour uniform throughout your home creates continuity and a sense of wholeness.

Don’t break the space with strong contrasts: sticking with light walls and a light floor, or light walls, and dark flooring but broken up with a pale rug, works well.   

You should then focus on different textures within that palette, not forgetting a bit of excitement and contrast. Excessively busy, garish patterns will break up the space, but go too far the other way and you might lose the atmosphere.

In a small bathroom, enlarge the space by making the walls, ceiling and floor all one colour.

The choice you make will ultimately reflect your taste and individuality. It’s your statement for your home, so it’s a very personal decision.  Hopefully we have given you a few pointers to start that process.