Top Tips On How To Use Colour In Your Home

When it comes to adding colour to our homes, many of us are scared to go too strong, or to use too much colour, since we are worried about making a horrible mistake and having to live with it for years. 


To help you be brave and jump onto the new trend for colour in interior design schemes, here are some top tips on how to choose colours that will look great, add life to your home, and that you won’t regret choosing!

1. Choose a hot or cold colour scheme

Most of us are aware that there are two main types of colours - hot and cold. Like the names suggest, ‘hot’ colours are those that remind you of fire - red, yellow, orange, etc. ‘Cold’ colours are those that remind you of the sea and ice - blue, green, aqua, etc. 

When choosing colours for your home, try to keep this in mind. If you want a strong, vibrant and ‘hot’ look, choose warmer colours. These can be the primary ones, or choose more muted tones like ochre, mid brown, rust, tangerine, saffron etc. The same goes for choosing a ‘cold’ colour theme - pale blue, pastel green, mint, sage, sky etc. 


You don’t have to go crazy with colour everywhere, just add touches with furniture, decorative pieces or artwork. But if you’re feeling brave, then go for it!


For someone who loves warm, cozy tones, the bedroom of this Toa Payoh Apex apartment shows a great, subtle but still colourful, way to do it. The rich browns, terracotta and lighter beige tones look great with off-white walls, a peach-toned curtain, wicker details and plants. 


Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

If you prefer a more restrained palette, go for pops of strong, warm colours mixed with lots of neutral shades. The hot orange accessories in this Echelon apartment are toned down with lots of pale neutral tones in the flooring, on the walls and on the sofa.

Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

For a icy cool look, choose multiple shades of pale blue or green to create a soothing space. A pale mint-blue shade has been combined with touches of icy white and very pale timber furniture in this Bendemeer Light apartment to create a super cool space. 

 Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

2. Mix it up with complementary colours

To ensure your home doesn’t become too boring, or if you enjoy more variety of colour, try adding in an analogous colour - the same shade in different depths or tones - or go for a complementary colour - the opposite shade of the main colour you have chosen. This sort of mixing will add depth and ‘pop’ to your home interior scheme.


An analogous colour is one that is either a deeper or lighter version of one shade, or colours that are beside it on a colour wheel. For example: light blue, true blue, dark blue, navy; or blue, aqua, green. Complementary colours are those that are opposite your chosen colour on a colour whell. For example: Blue and yellow, red and green. 


Expert Tip: Don’t forget that all the objects in a room come with a ‘colour’. Your plants are green, your timber flooring will have a yellow or brown tone to it. Include these colours in your room scheme when you are designing it.


This Sumang Lane apartment has been decorated with analogous colours; the various shades of blue and blue-grey have been used to add dimension to the design. The addition of white for the built-ins and pale timber floor and furniture have been considered with the timber floor being white-washed to remove any strong yellow tone.

Image Credit: Adroit Interior Design

Opposites attract in this Sophia Hill apartment. The blue and grey toned walls and white flooring have been paired with orange and yellow furniture and accessories to create a strong, fun contrast. Even the colour of the timber used for the fan and the TV unit has been chosen with a golden tone to add to the contrast of the design.

 Image Credit: Fuse Concept

For a more toned down version of mixing complementary colours, stick to neutral walls and floors with a cool under-tone, before adding in a few pieces of bright furniture. The mix in this Serangoon maisonette is nicely balanced with only a few spots of ‘hot’ colour among the calming tones of blue and white.

 Image Credit: Fuse Concept

For a really strong interior design statement, choose a powerful single colour - like the hot red in this Aalto Condo apartment - and mix it with high contrasting black and white.

 Image Credit: Fuse Concept

3. Try the pastel trend

Pastel colours are those that have been mixed to a chalky, washed-out version of a traditional colour. The modern versions are shades like mint, sage, lemon, lilac and millennial pink. As the colours are softer and paler, they are a great way to try adding colour to an all-white home since they make a more subtle impact on a space.


If you’re new to the idea of adding colour to your home, choose one pastel shade and mix it with more neutral whites and greys, like this Luxe Au Pastel apartment’s living room.

 Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

You can also choose a number of pastel shades to add depth and dimension to your space. This West Ridge apartment mixes pastel pink, blue-gray and green with very pale timber for a soft, but warm Scandinavian style of interior design.

 Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

You can also choose complementary and analogous colours in their more muted pastel versions to add more layers of interest and texture. The dining space of this Telok Blangah Drive home has pastel green and turquoise chairs, with soft grey chairs, but the lighting above the table uses stronger versions of green and grey for added depth.

Image Credit: Starry Homestead

4. Get in touch with nature

Colours inspired by nature - green, brown, blue etc - are an easy way to add colour to your home, without going too over the top. Natural hues and shades are also a major interior design colour trend for the new decade, so grab some indoor plants and jump on board.

The easiest way to use natural colours is to simply bring plants into your home. Nature’s own colours of green and brown blend perfectly with other neutrals like white, grey and the colour of timber. Choose natural materials like leather, rattan and cane and your home will look fresh, friendly and comfortable like this Eunos Crescent apartment.

Image Credit: Fuse Concept

Going with a natural colour theme doesn’t mean you can’t have a sharp and modern interior scheme. Add strong accents of black, with touches of metal and geometric shapes, like this Tampines Greenforest apartment, and you have a mix of manmade and nature for a slick, city pad.

Image Credit: Free Space Intent

5. When in doubt, add shine

Metals like gold, silver, chrome, rose gold and brass can be treated as a reflective surface rather than a colour per se. Like mirrored surfaces, these metallics can add brightness along with a touch of glamour to any interior design scheme.


The soft, almost monochromatic colour palette of this Clementi Park apartment’s living area is given a lift with the liberal use of gold-toned furniture and accessories.

 Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

The darker, more masculine colours of this modern style master bedroom has been brightened up with the addition of gold detailing on the lights, which is mirrored in the en suite bathroom too.

 Image Credit: Mr Shopper Studio

Looking for more useful interior design tips? Read our story about which side of the island is the best place to live - East or West; discover our tips on how to make your HDB apartment feel larger; and learn how to add more colour to your home’s walls.