The Insider: How to choose your wall colour

The colour of your walls can have a profound effect on domestic wellbeing. While the right shade can soothe the spirits, the wrong will conjure niggling unease: but with millions to choose from, where to start? I consulted the experts...

Seek out the shade

"Blank canvas? Simply choose colours that make you feel happy," says Laura James of Fired Earth. "I get a load of paint cards and just see which shades jump out at me."

Continuity announcer

Without going matchy-matchy, how can colours in different rooms work together? "From our front door to the end of our hall we have one shade," says James, "then the rooms off the hall are each different – but none clashes with it." Consult the palettes in Kevin McCloud's colour books.

A job worth doing

"Think about what you do in a room," says Caroline Gladstone, of the homewares brand Pedlars. "My study is bright pink, as I want to feel enthused when working."

Steamy windows

Hot colours raise blood pressure, while cool shades recede, so are more restful – good for bedrooms.

Good vibrations

If combining from opposite sides of the colour wheel, say red and green, the colours can make you feel edgy. The trick? These contrasts only work when each hue has a similar density.

Lean on me

Fired Earth offers colour consultations; dulux.co.uk is packed with user-friendly tools; and marthastewart. com's "painting ideas" are ace.

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiorsat yourhomeislovely.com

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