Use a collection of items and colour swatches to create a moodboard.

Assess your space Different colours suit different rooms, so the first step is to assess your space. If your room faces north and often feels cool, bright colours in vivid, saturated hues will enhance the light and make it feel warmer. If your room faces south, you can get away with most colours – even dark, dramatic ones.

Think about what you use the room for. Is it for eating, working, or sleeping? Use colour to create the mood you want to achieve. Cool, calm, muted colours such as pale green and watery blue evoke calm, while vibrant, deep colours such as reds and purples will energise and stimulate.

Inspiration is all around Nature is a wonderful source of effortless colour combinations. Take a walk on the wild side and get amongst the great outdoors. Which landscapes make you feel most alive?

Take note of your most treasured homewares. Have you got a cushion or bedspread that instantly adds pizzaz to any space? Pick out colours from a favourite patterned accessory, then include the item in your finished room for a coordinated, personal look.

Art can also inspire stunning colour schemes. Select a few key colours from a painting you love for a colour scheme that’s guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing.

Mood board magic Once you’ve chosen your colours, collect paint swatches and fabric and wallpaper samples that feature different shades of your chosen hues. Use a flat space or large piece of white cardboard as a backdrop for your emerging scheme. Arrange and rearrange to your heart’s content. Take your time. Don’t forget to stand back and walk away. You’ll know when it’s right.

Try before you buy Testers are a wonderful way to make sure the colour you love looks just as great on your walls as it does on your mood board. Paint different spots in varying lights or hang a painted A4 piece of lining paper on different walls so you can see how the colours look under natural and artificial light at different times of day.

Featured colours