As a general rule of thumb, interior designers advise clients to use five to seven variations of the same colour. Think of it in terms of choosing a full paint strip – on one end, there is a really light colour and the other, a dark colour.
If you use one strip throughout your entire space, what you want to do is bounce two shades lighter or darker than the next room. If you are going to go lighter in the living room, you want to go two shades darker for the dining room, and if you do an accent wall in a deeper colour, it will do wonders for making a space feel rich. Also, keep your bigger furniture items like carpets or windows neutral.
Take a look at a few out-of-the-box colour ideas:
1. Deep Teal & Cognac
These two rich colours always work well together. A deep teal paired with a saddle brown or a soft mustard tone complements grey and natural wood tones. It has a sophisticated look, and they work really well with brown, greys, and whites. Utilising these neutral colours, you can do anything you want when it comes to adding texture.
2. Orange, Brown & Chartreuse
Brown creates the perfect backdrop for these two very different, bold colours. Orange is a colour that you identify with but you don't want to be steeped in. If you want to do a touch of colour it should be original. Chartreuse is the same way and is so underrated. Orange and chartreuse like each other. But stay away from pastel orange – it's wimpy.
3. Emerald & Mint
Green is an incredibly versatile colour and it pairs well with pretty much any other colour – no matter what room you are using it in. The combination of mint and green creates a lot of interest and they are both in the green family but are such different saturations of green, it doesn't look like a green circus.
If you're trying to make it feel bright and fresh, pair these two colours with white walls. Add a deep rich green with brown and all of a sudden it creates a rich, masculine energy.
4. Dusty Purple, Cream & Taupe
These dreamy colours give a room a monochromatic, soothing look. Layering similar colours to create a harmonious room is effective. Working within one colour family lends a sophistication that doesn't need that obligatory pop of colour. Everybody loves a soft and subtle palette, but then you can also add in some edge. Different textures really play an essential role if you are going to do several shades of one colour. It's the texture that sets everything apart.
5. Navy Blue, White & Wood
Pairing navy blue and white with a walnut tone or greyish wood would make for the perfect colour palette. The contrast between the navy and white allows everything to be its own star; it allows each item to shine. Mix any other colour in there and it will look outstanding. Add in a metallic like a shiny gold, brass or chrome, and the room ends up looking fresh, clean and bright.
6. Yellow & Green
When looking for a fun pop of colour, you can count on this retro '70s pairing. These colours work together because they are slight derivatives of one another. They are in the same sort of palette, but are different enough to add contrast. For every light colour in a room there needs to be something darker to ground it – even if it's not a colour, even if it's a metal finish.
Just beware of using pattern with these colours; otherwise it could look a little too retro.
All you need to do is decide on the length required, how many shelves you want to put up and the finish (whether natural wood or sleek melamine) and you are ready to get started. The tools you will need for this job are:
• Tape measure
• Spirit level
• Electric wire and pipe detector
• Electric drill (and drill bits)
• Screws and fixings: 50mm screws and plastic Rawlplugs if fixing to stone walls; 40mm screws if fixing to wooden studs; 65mm metal plasterboard anchors if fixing to plasterboard
1. Decide where in your room you want the floating shelf to go. Use a spirit level and a pencil to mark a horizontal line on the wall the same length as the shelf, as well as a vertical line in the centre.
2. Place the bracket on the horizontal line, using the vertical line to make sure it's centred. Mark the position of the screw holes on the wall with the pencil. Then, using the wire/pipe detector, check the area of wall that you will be drilling has no cables or pipes.
3. Drill into the wall where your screw holes are marked (longer shelves will have more screw holes).
4. If your wall is made of brick or concrete, tap Rawlplugs into the holes with the hammer so they are flush with the wall. Screw the bracket into place, checking one last time that it's straight with the spirit level.
5. Slide the shelf onto the bracket. Fix in place with the screws provided, using the pre-drilled holes on the underside of the shelf.