Alison Dunne: Use your own home to express who you are

    Here is an example of a rich Jewl Tone from Fleetwood Paints (Blue Lagoon)

    Colour is without doubt the most amazing and exciting aspect of Interior Design.

    Skilfully used the possibilities are endless. The colours we use in our home are a reflection of our personalities.

    The colour wheel is made up of 12 different segments which all originate from the three main or primary colours (Red, Blue, Yellow). These three colours cannot be made from another colour, but mixed together in different combinations and quantities make all the other colours on the colour wheel.

    The line drawn down the centre of the wheel, divides the Cool colours from the warm colours, so that’s why we put cool colours like greens and blues in south facing rooms that get a lot of sun, to keep them feeling cool, and warm colours like reds and oranges in north facing rooms, to make them feel cozy.

    Another important  thing to consider when choosing a colour scheme is lighting. Nothing can replace natural lighting so the more glass in a space the better but it’s not always possible.

    Light deprived spaces

    Natural light plays a big role in choosing the right colour scheme, for example if you have small windows, exterior light barriers, such as over-hanging trees, or a north facing room, light can be a problem.

    Everybody automatically thinks  we must use a light colour, whites, creams. NO, absolutely not. Skip the pastels and magnolias, instead select a rich JEWL TONE like emerald green, amethyst purple, ruby red, topaz yellow, tourmaline green, sapphire blue,and turquoise blue.

    In general a Jewl Tone is very bold, distinctive, and rich, adding depth, atmosphere, and personality to a light deprived room. Don’t be afraid to use rich, deep colours, they can turn an ordinary room into a sophisticated, opulent, and lavish space.


    Here is an example of a rich Jewl Tone from Fleetwood Paints (Blue Lagoon)

    The power of colour

    Different shades and colours manifest various different emotions, so when deciding on which colour to use, it’s important to think about what kind atmosphere you want to create.

    Have you ever noticed how powerful colour can be, how it can change our mood? It’s the same with the clothes we wear. If you’re feeling down and put something on  in your favourite colour, automatically you start to feel a little chirpy again. Studies have shown that there are clear relationships between colour and emotions, and in the ‘Interior Design’ world we call that “Colour Psychology”.



    Green is the first colour on the agenda. Pantone unveiled… GREENERY … the colour of the year 2017, a beautiful cheery shade of green and will be seen every where this year from interiors to the catwalk.

    Green is a calming, restful, and rejuvenating colour, encouraging stability and promoting physical and emotional wellbeing. Green also is the colour of nature, growth, and fresh starts, so overall a kind and gentle colour.

    Soft Sage (Fleetwood Paints)



    Another cool colour, so great in south facing rooms, promotes tranquility, peace, and brings ease to the home. Blue has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate. A light shade of blue can make a room seem a lot larger and more spacious. If used in a kitchen it is said to decrease appetite. A darker blue is a good colour for an office as it encourages efficiency and good decision making. In this picture below is my favourite colour ‘teal’. It’s a  medium-saturated, blue-green colour. It can be created by mixing blue with green into a white base, or deepened as needed with black.

    Colour ‘Avalon teal’ from Fleetwood Paints



    A lot of people are afraid of purple and think of it as a little girly room colour. This is the wrong perception. Purple should not be hidden just in bedrooms, its a good choice even for kitchens, sitting rooms or bathrooms.

    This colour is on the warm side of the colour wheel, so makes a space feel cozy, yet sophisticated and elegant. Purple is a very dominant colour, and comes with notions that have been passed down over generations. way, way back in time, purple was a very expensive dye extracted from shellfish, so only the really wealthy had this colour in their homes.

    Purple colour has a long reputation of royalty and power, and is considered a very lucky colour.

    Colour ‘Glee’ from Fleetwood Paints

    Yellow and Orange

    Yellow and Orange are definitely on the warm side of the colour wheel, so will add warmth and brightness to any cool or dark space. Yellow is the colour of the sun and when the sun shines we all feel bright and cheerful.

    It’s the same with yellow interiors, it make people feel happier and full of the joys of life. Orange on the other hand isn’t as popular as yellow but has all the same characteristics of yellow, for example tangerine isn’t for everybody, but pick a tone that you’re happy with. The saturation of colour will influence the intensity of the psychological effects you feel.


    Pink to make the boys wink . the colour of love. It promotes tenderness,and comfort in times of emotional despair. It’s a gentle colour and gets a lot of bad press. If you’re thinking of using pink opt for soft pastels, in dusty tones. Rose Quart was the colour of 2016.

    Exuberant Pink from Fleetwood paints


    Red is the colour of drama, excitement, it promotes courage and fearlessness, and increases self-confidence. Red is the colour of roses for Valentines Day, romantic and stimulating. Not recommended for a bedroom as red increases respiratory rate, here we want to relax and sleep.

    Red is a strong and dominant colour and demands us to take action, like a stop sign, or traffic lights. Red on all walls will enclose a space but will make it feel more intimate and cosy. Not for the faint hearted, use red sparingly, maybe have red accents in a room such as cushions in a living room or red chairs in the kitchen.

    Here we have Red accents…..the two chairs… enough to give this dining room a little punch of colour. Dining room designed by Alison Dunne Interior Design.


    There’s no better canvas than your own home to express who you are and what you want to achieve. Colour is an amazing design tool. So enjoy.

    Alison xx