Taking the pain out of paint choices – a simple guide to choosing paints

Home owners and designers can agonise endlessly over the unlimited paint options available for interiors. Paint colours set the tone and personality of our spaces making a huge impact for better or worse. Here is an easy to follow guide to choosing paints with three simple colour schemes.

Little Greene – new colour family
Image: Little Greene – new colour family – Aquamarine – Pale 282, Aquamarine – Mid 284, Aquamarine 138 & Livid 263

1. Neutral

Neutral schemes have moved away from cream and beige toward grey tones. Grey can be either warm or cool and it’s best to stick to one or the other, with different shades used to add depth and drama.

Little Greee - neutral
Image: Little Greene – Wall (facing): Wood Ash 229; Walls (corridor): Grey Moss 234 and Cool Arbour 232.

“We firmly believe ‘Grey’ is here to stay, due to its universal appeal and very useable shades.”

Ruth Mottershead of Little Greene.

Little Greene – neutral 2
Image: Paint & Paper Library – Main Wall & Skirting: Squid Ink 698; Cornicing & Ceiling: Lead I 681; Back Wall & Door: Moleskin 218.

2. Off-white

Off-white is a classic choice which maximises light reflection around a room. The pigments used to achieve off-white colours add complexity and can help to extend and lift small spaces. The differences can be imperceptible until seen on a larger scale where subtle changes in shade can add interest.

Little Greene – off-white
Images: Little Greene – Lower Panelling: French Grey Dark 163; Middle Panelling: French Grey 113; Upper Panelling: French Grey Mid 162; Wall: French Grey Pale 161; Vase: Marigold 209.

3. On-trend colours

When opting for a bold, on-trend colour scheme it is possible to have either strongly or softly contrasting colours depending on the impact you’d like to create.

Little Greene – on-trend
Images: Paint & Paper Library – Strongly Contrasting: Temple, Blue Pearl; and Softly Contrasting: Rouge II and The Botanist.

Using one strong uniform colour can make a dramatic statement, particularly when wrapped around mouldings and architectural features of a room so the colour envelops the interior.

Little Greene – on-trend 2
Images: Little Greene – Mid Azure Green 96 (from ‘new colours of England’ paint chart) ; Olive Colour 72.

Little Greene’s ‘The Little Book of Colour’ is a great tool for selecting coordinating and contrasting colours and accents to put a scheme together with ease.

Little Greene – The Little Book of Colour
Image: Little Greene – The Little Book of Colour, £10 each.

Interior designer tip:

With all paints, we advise purchasing sample pots and painting an A4 size sheet of wallpaper lining paper, minimum three coats, so colours can be observed in changing natural light through the day and artificial light in the evenings. You can move the sample around the room using masking tape. It is surprising how different the same paint colour can appear under different lighting conditions.

Little Greene
Paint & Paper Library

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