International Colour Day: Choosing the Perfect Colour Scheme for Each Room

March 21st  2019 marks the 9th year of celebrating International Colour Day, and as our part in the event we are taking a look at the colours we chose to decorate our homes, how they are a direct reflection of our personality and the fact that there may be more to our colour choices than meets the eye.


Many experts have found that different colours effect our mood and feelings in very different ways. While some colours are calming and encourage a zen like existence, others if not used sparingly, can summon feelings of frustration and anger.


International Colour Day reminds us it is important to think about the colours you love and how they make you feel. A truly beautiful home is one where those living within its walls have combined the colours they love in a well thought out manner.


When faced with a whole house to chose colours for it can seem very daunting. Colour can not only change the feel or atmosphere of a room, it can also trick the eye into perceiving the room as a different size or shape altogether. Picking colours can be fun and in no way perilous if you are aware of the basics about colour and its effects.


So, which colours should you think about for which room? And of equal importance, which St Mawes Gallery artwork should you consider to sit alongside?

international colour day



Blue is considered to be calming and serene. It is believed that being in a blue room can bring down blood pressure and slow heart rate and respiration, in a very similar way to being by a body of water (read more about Blue Mind in our blog here). Naturally this is a good choice for bedrooms and bathrooms. Although relaxing, a beautiful pale blue can be chilly in a room with little to no natural sunlight. If blue is the primary colour in your scheme bring in warm hues on furnishings or accessories.


David Gray’s beachy scenes are the perfect artwork to bring a warm glow to a calm blue room. His depictions of the Cornish coast not only feature the obvious blue hues of sea but will introduce cosy amber from the sunlight and warm sandy yellows from the shore.

international colour day



When thinking of yellow on International Colour Day and beyond, one usually imagines happiness, sunshine and joy. This makes the colour perfect for busy kitchen diners and bathrooms. The energy it brings is uplifting and motivational. It can also be very welcoming in hallways and even create a feeling of space in small rooms.


Although our immediate reaction to yellow is often positive and cheery, it isn’t the best choice for the main colour in a scheme. Studies have found that yellow interiors are more likely to create feelings of anger and frustration. In a wholly yellow interior people are more likely to lose their temper and babies cry more.


Nicholas St John Rosse’s incredible paintings of human interaction with the coast would be the perfect way to compliment dashes on yellow in your dining room. His beautiful pieces are bathed in yellow sunlight and bring joy to the heart, evoking memories of childhood beach adventures.



Thought of as the most stimulating colour, red has been shown to raise blood pressure and speed up heart rate. The intensity of the colour usually rules it out as a sensible choice for bedrooms but makes it ideal for the living or dining room. Perfect to stir up excitement during a dinner party, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. It can also be used to create a powerful first impression when used in an entryway.


Wendy Parkyn’s (almost) monochrome cubist coast scene would really stand out against a deep or even pillar box red wall. The dramatic red hue against the black and white art work would draw the eye and create a dramatic focal point.

Wendy Parkyn



International Colour Day isn't all about the bold and bright! Neutrals play a huge part too. Black, grey and white are the backbone of an interior designer’s tool kit. Completely monochrome rooms, although potentially stunning when done well, fall in and out of fashion at a rate of knots. However, their saving grace is their flexibly and ability to adapt to any accent colour. Increase the amount and variety of accent colours to liven things up and bring it back to just one to calm things down. This applies for every single room in the house.


White is suitable for any room. It can deceive the eye and often make the space feel bigger but also more relaxed and clears the mind. Some interiors experts believe that every room needs a touch of black to give the scheme a grounding and sense of depth. When paired with the right accessories black can create a feeling of drama. It needs to be used sparingly as too much black in an interior can introduce a feeling of gloomy hopelessness.


Jeremy Houghton’s shocking pink flamingos would create a fantastic contrast in a monochrome room. Picking out the bold pinks, blues and greens for a few carefully placed accessories would finish a classic classy scheme perfectly.

International Colour Day