"Where do I start?" That has to be the question I get asked by so many people who are doing a room makeover.
I'm going through the same thing at the moment with our inherited kitchen. The woman who owned the house before us had put in a new kitchen not that many years ago, and of course it's just not to our taste - it's full on gloss white which, considering this is a Victorian house from 1865, is far too modern. It's time for the room makeover, so let me take you through the process I go through.
Step 1: What is the space I am making over?
This is the kitchen and morning room which are joined by an open entrance of about 5-6 feet. I am making over both areas in a way that gives a good flow between the two. The rooms are currently painted a pale blue which is quite cool. There are two large cupboards in the morning room one of which is original. The kitchen has a small window looking onto the garden at the sink, as well as a larger window and door onto a conservatory, a makeover for another day.
Step 2: What do I have to keep?
If you're like me, you've not got a bottomless pit of money, and so there are going to be things you just have to keep. In the case of our kitchen it's three things - the kitchen units (though they don't have to stay the same colour), the floor which is Amtico tiles in a beige/cream colour; and the worktop, again in a beige/cream combination. Are you starting to understand why we need the room makeover? Gloss white kitchen cupboards with beige/cream combos on the floor and worktops (and they're not even the same shades!). But wait for it, the sink is black ... yes, black! Hmmm.
Anyway, that's Step 2, knowing what you need to keep. This helps me to understand part of the colour scheme. In this case, it gives me a base colour, which I'm going to make my secondary colour, of beige.cream.
Step 3: What kind of feeling do I want to create?
This Victorian house was built at a time when it was the last house on the street. As a result, most of the windows, which are large, are on the south side so that the original owners could sit and enjoy the views of the apple orchard. Nice. Except that the apple orchard was destroyed and houses were built in its place. So all of those windows have views of the side of next door's house - about 15-16 feet away. This means that the morning room is quite dark, even with a light, bright colour on the walls. This means that the current feeling to the room is dark, cold, and because there is little to connect the two spaces beyond the wall colour, it feels disjointed.
The kind of feeling I want for the makeover is warm, cosy, inviting, and that there is a flow between the two spaces.
Step 4: What colours do I like that complement the colours I've got to work with?
I love dark hues of blue, grey and green, all of which go well with the beige/cream colours that I'm working with. Now, I know some people think that if you have a dark room you should use a light colour to brighten the room up. Well, that's been done in the room by the woman who lived here before us - and guess what? The room still feels dark. So it's a big ask of light colours in a dark room, expecting them to lighten the space up.
Step 5: What rooms are attached to the space?
The house is a traditional Victorian semi-detached house, and so it goes back a long way. We have 2 reception rooms off the hallway which then leads into the morning room. The hallway is the space we are currently working on and the colour scheme here is dark blue/grey with a multi-coloured wallpaper that has lemurs on it (I am in love with this wallpaper!)
Step 6: What will I select as my primary, secondary, accent colours?
When you think in terms of your colour selection you want to work with about 3 colours. Fewer than this, and a room can look bland and flat, more than this and, well, you might as well go for many colours. Strangely 5 or 6 colours can look messier than a very colourful range of 8-10 colours.
For my kitchen and morning room I'm taking the beige/cream as my secondary colour. The flooring and worktops cover sufficient space to take this to the secondary level. What about the primary colour?
With the morning room coming off the hallway which is dark blue/grey I want to move forward in the colour wheel, and so the dark green (which actually features in the hall wallpaper) seems a good choice for the walls. I am playing with using the same colour on the kitchen cupboard doors. Little Green Paint Company has a gorgeous green, Brunswick, which comes in light, mid and dark. This gives me the opportunity to use the different shades across the walls and cupboards.
And that leaves us with the accent colour. I want a colour that makes a statement, whilst also complementing the green and the cream. As a result I've been playing with different colours against the primary and secondary colours. I've surprised myself by loving how well burnt orange or in the Little Green Paint Company range the Marigold orange goes with the green and cream. This will be used on the table legs, in fabric and on the surround of the clock which I will paint.
When choosing how much of a colour to use in your scheme it's useful to think in terms of primary being 60% of the overall scheme, 30% for the secondary colour, and 10% for your accent colour.
There you have it, that's the journey I go on when choosing a colour scheme. When I get going on the room I'll share before and after photographs with you.
What room are you doing a makeover on? How will these steps help you to create the perfect space? I'd love to read your comments.