If you are looking to add your own stamp to your new home, one of the first questions you might ask is how to pick the right colours.
Different colours can create different moods and may alter our perceptions of a room and the surrounding area.
Planning is key says Louise Turley, Interior Designer for Bovis Homes.
"By creating a mood board you can minimise the chances of this happening by exploring your scheme on paper and having the option of changing anything that you don't like".
Make sure you pick a theme you would be happy to look at every day and always ensure the other people in your household have an opportunity to share their views as well. Depending on whether your aim is to impress or just simply create a relaxing, homely space, it's important to remember that choosing colours is down to personal taste. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the wide range of paints on the shelves but you can help minimise the confusion by following our simple guide to sourcing inspiration and choosing colours based on the principles of colour theory and colour psychology.
Now that you've got a theme, start collecting relevant cut-outs from photos, magazines, fabric samples, wallpaper patterns, paint sample sheets, posters and adverts to help build your mood board. Pin whatever you collect to a corkboard, or just keep these bits and pieces in an old shoebox where they can all be stored together.
You want all your samples to be loose so you can rearrange, overlap and play around with the variations until you feel happy with it.
It's better to be overflowing with inspiration than to have nothing to hand. When you start out, don't be too protective about what does and doesn't become a part of your mood board.
Add as much as you can, and then as your board starts to develop, take away anything you're not happy with. This should give you a focussed (but still bustling) set of colours to choose from.
Is a board too much effort? Try Pinterest!
If physically collecting samples and cut-outs sounds too time-consuming then give Pinterest - the image collecting site - a try. You can set up boards for different themes and pin any images you come across on the internet to your digital mood board.
As a good example, check out our blue hues board with some of our favourite azure interiors. It's quick and easy to fill up your board with ideas from around the world, and you're bound to find some inspiration on Pinterest from other pinners.
The colours will largely depend on the theme you've chosen. However, you should also factor in the style and colour of your furniture.
The next step is to choose one or two main base colours. As a rough guide, you'll probably use these colours for 80% of your paint.
Then, pick some complementary or accent colours which will often be used sparingly.
Using your interior
Each house is built differently. Be aware of connecting rooms and make sure that the colours you choose for adjoined rooms work well together. Here are some top tips to keep in mind:
Start by deciding the mood that you want to achieve; for example, you might choose a vibrant colour such as red in the dining room if this is where you plan to entertain and you want to create energy. Bathrooms are typically a place to relax, so you may opt for green or blue.
Careful of trends
Bold or strong colours can get boring easily and may quickly look out of place to the rest of the home. You don't want to redecorate constantly, so only go for trends if you know it will be a long-term investment.
Adobe Colour tool is useful if you want to create colour schemes and if you're on a smartphone or tablet, why not try the free Dulux app which will let you paint your walls "virtually" using the camera on your phone. This way you'll be able to test out combinations of colours without having to buy any paint.
There are many online tools available, which will help you source inspiration and discover if different colours will complement each other, enabling you to create the perfect living space. Do remember that choosing colour will be based on your own personal tastes so don't be afraid to listen to your gut instincts, provided you've applied a bit of colour theory and tested out your chosen colours. Try to keep it simple and keep in mind the overall effect and mood that you are trying to achieve but most importantly, have fun.