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How to Colour match

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Choosing fabric and paint when decorating

There are so many colours and shades that it’s often puzzling what to choose, and even more daunting trying to consider what colour would look best with another. So, we thought we’d give you a few handy tips to help you make a flying start. A good place to begin is by choosing a colour you like. You may want to choose a particular theme for your room, too, such as florals or stripes.

Choose the fabric

Choose a piece of fabric when selecting paint. The paint colour doesn’t have to match the fabric exactly – it can be slightly lighter or darker – it really just depends on the overall ‘look’ you want. One idea is to choose a multi-coloured fabric that incorporates the colour and theme. What is the dominant colour in the fabric? Make this the main colour in the room – paint the walls, or the architectural details, such as cornices, in a similar shade.

Use the fabric you have chosen as a main piece eg for curtains or blinds, or to cover a sofa. Then, you could look at other patterns that pull together the main colour, which can be used on cushions, pillows, or lampshades.

To help you decide what colours work well together, use a colour wheel. Warmer colours are on the left, cooler colours on the right. These hues can be used in a few different ways: colours next to each other (called analogous colours); colours directly opposite each other (complementary colours); a colour either side of the one directly opposite (split-complementary); three colours with equal space between them on the colour wheel is a good for ‘lively’ spaces, such as a child’s bedroom (triadic colour scheme).

What’s the focal point of the room?

A focal point may be obvious (like a fire surround), but sometimes it’s not quite so clear. If this is the case, you could try accentuating your windows. Choosing lighter-coloured curtains and darker walls will take the eye to the windows as a focal area. You may wish to make a piece of furniture a focal point – choose the same colour for your curtains and walls if you’d like your sofa to stand out.

Do you need paint colour mixed to match your fabric?

To match exactly, take the swatch of fabric to a paint shop that has a paint spectrometer, an instrument used to measure heat and light. This works out the exact shade of paint to match the swatch. However, this only works well on a ‘solid’ fabric colour. 

Remember to check colours in daylight and at night to make sure you achieve the effect you want.

If you would like help or advice on how to colour match fabrics we would love to hear from you.  Call us on 0115 920 1813, or email .

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