Velvet Underground




Colour Guide

Colour Scheme
Dramatic, sophisticated, mature

Key Textures
Velvet, suede, painted canvases, polished timber, clear glass


Yeah OK, this might be a bar but it could absolutely translate to a living room or a bedroom. This image also shows there are other ways to add an oversized image in a space, like printing a trompe l’oeil on fabric and hanging it as a curtain.  An image this scale makes you feel as if you can enter the picture but it also adds texture and interest to a space that has blocks of colour. And I just love how the red has been used on different styles of chairs and placed around the space.

The way the light falls across the 50% dark, inky blue on the walls gives the effect that it could be suede.  Matt finished paints are the best to achieve this, (mind you, some companies produce suede effect finishes). The colour near the window to the colour on the back wall will be darker.  The beautiful thing about light and how it effects colour, is that different times of the day it will change the colour and feel of the room.

In this room, unlike the Barbara Cartland room, the floor would work with either carpet or natural wood. The key is colour and texture. If you prefer carpet, use a contemporary flat weave.  The herringbone pattern and colour of the floor counts for 25% of the space and adds the to sophisticated scheme.

You have three greens in this scheme – 8% olive, 5% lime, 3% bright green – the first two sit quite naturally together, and the bright green is the surprise lurking in the corner. If you placed this green chair near the window you would find it would find that with the light hitting it it would over power the space. As it is, it’s a beacon of light in a shadowy corner.  The most exciting colour schemes are the ones that create the element of the unexpected.  You could translate the green to a floor lamp or round ottoman just set off to the side of the room to catch the corner of the eye.

To add texture and interest to the interior, the 8% of red has been used in various styles of traditional style chairs which have been dotted around the room, with the light highlighting the folds in the deep-buttoned backs. There isn’t an upholstery technique that says sophistication more than deep-buttoning, especially when it’s finished with black studded detailing. In a living and bedroom situation the percentage of red could be a chair, roses and a table lamp.

You have the curves of the seating, which are the perfect balance to the square edges of the 1% walnut nest of tables.  If you can’t find a nest of tables, use 2-3 of the same sized tables. The most important part is the polished, walnut finish. The style and finish adds maturity to the scheme.

I haven’t include the glass in the percentage breakdown but I need to mention it as quite important. The reflective quality and translucency of glass adds a sparkle and brings the space alive. There are plenty of glass pendants around that you could use. Again, it’s the magic number three being used, but for the table I would suggest a collection of glass objects. That is of course if you don’t have a dinner party for 20 people and don’t bother cleaning up!


TIP: Texture! This scheme is all about the texture of the olive and lime green sofa’s and the red velvet chairs. The image and the curtain fabric itself also adds texture. I would use a heavy canvas or linen; something that drapes well.

TIP: The curtain is also a great way to divide a space.

TIP: When choosing a colour for a room paint patches on various sections of wall. Paint the wall that receives the most light, the least light and somewhere in between and watch the colour over a few days in varying weather conditions. 


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