Two-Tone Revival

Photography: Russell Smith

Colour Guide

Colour Scheme
Eclectic, relaxed, bold, confident, cheerful

Key Textures
Velvet, matt paint, wool upholstery, matt metal, chrome, coloured glass, polished metal, family pet!


The colour scheme of this room looks rather basic but the owners have still managed to give it loads of character. It’s different. Without creating some kind of interest on the wall it would have been a massive spance of white wall. None the less beautiful but rather life less. When you’re stuck choosing between two colours, creating a paint effect such as this is a great way to solve the problem. It adds depth to the scheme and if you lack confidence in going the whole hog, it gives enough impact and hopefully over time you’ll want to paint the whole room.

To help create a sense of balance and symmetry to the odd selection of furnishings they have been placed within a triangle.

White, which totals 40% of the room, covers the walls and ceiling. There is also the side table and bed linen (which would need to be Egyptian cotton in my book. Don’t want to sound like a princess but believe me it is a small luxury). The placement of the small white box next to the bed and the magazines in the foreground are there to spread the white around the room. They balance the space but also inject light to the dark areas.

This room is an example of why you need to include the floor colour in the scheme as you can see how much it can influence the overall appearance. The reddish brown floor accounts for 25% and adds some warmth to the colour palette.

The two-toned paint treatment was once carried out for practical reasons but has since been used purely for decorative purposes. The vertical grey strip distracts the eye and equals 20% of the room. It contains and unifies everything within it and in this case it’s the pair of drawer units that are in different colours and the bedside lamps don’t match.

8% black has been used in the chairs and table on the foreground, picture frames and side lamps. Oh, and the black cat! In this instance the black could be quite domineering but this is avoided by the floor colour being mid-way in tone between the black and the yellow. With using it on friendly curves on the larger pieces it also softens the impact.

There are two colours in this scheme that make it interesting and one is the 5% yellow velvet deep button over sized bed board (managed to squeeze in a few adjectives before the nouns in that sentence!). I love this yellow. Not so much a fan of the size of the head board, but the colour coupled with the undulating hills caused by the upholstering technique, adds texture and makes the room feel dynamic.

The silver side table and chair frames add a further 2% to the interior and considering all the finishes are flat and adsorb light, the silver adds life to the room.

The green used is a particular shade commonly seen in the 50s. It, like the yellow, has a touch of black within them and together with the grey they’re all tonally similar. The art of creating an exciting interior is knowing when to hold back on coordinating more than is needed. What I’m referring to is the spot of green not appearing anywhere else and the yellow being reserved for the headboard only. Green is only 1% of the scheme.


TIP: When determining what will be your finished height, be mindful of the height of the furniture in the room, then add at least another 150mm, this will ensure you don’t visually slice throw furnishings.


*The colour on screen is not a true representation of actual colour.