Best paints: to paint your house happily, according to an expert

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enter the dream of your own space, not least because you finally sit in the ornate driver’s seat. But the reality is, once you’ve got the keys and it comes to deciding how to paint your home, the choice can be crippling.

While bright, bold colors and clever color-blocking might work for some of the capital’s coolest hotels and restaurants, you might not feel so bold as to take the plunge with an electric blue or neon pink on your walls.

I just moved into my first home and have several Pinterest boards full of ideas on how to add color to the room. But when I got to the brush, I had trouble picking a shade. It’s not that easy to just pick one color that I like; the shadow has to work together with the light in each and every space. Since my apartment faces north, it gets little direct sunlight in the summer. All of this means it’s difficult to imagine what colors will look like on the white walls. I decided it was time to call in the big guns. And who is more suitable than Dulux?

The brand has existed since 1919 and is one of the leading brands in the DIY sector. I spoke to Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux and founder of The Color in Design Award, for tips on painting your home happily.

How to be bolder with color

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“It’s all about small steps,” says Marianne. “Rather than painting a wall or an entire room, start your decorating journey with a tiny area: maybe just a corner, a few pipes, a closet. Upcycling old furniture. Starting with a small, insignificant project will help build your confidence. And most importantly, remember that it’s just paint.”

Try it: Inca Orange, Deep Ultramarine, Green Grass

The power of colour

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Colors have been shown to improve mood, help with focus, and in some cases even enhance the flavor of your meals (handy if your cooking skills are a bit lacking).

In fact, Marianne tells me that Georgians have painted their dining rooms red to enhance the flavor of the food and help the conversation flow. The hue is the strongest color on the spectrum and is good for awakening the senses – which is perhaps why some choose it for their bedroom.

At the other end of the scale, painting your kitchen blue is believed to curb appetite, good news for dieters who’ve tried everything else.

Try it: Florentine Red, Pugin Red, Fitzrovia Red

Changing dimensions with color tricks

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Who hasn’t wished for more space, especially when living in London’s tiny apartments? It’s possible to create the illusion of more square footage – all it takes is the right can of paint.

Marianne explains: “Spaces can be dictated by color. Receding colors like blue and green connect us to nature. Lighter tones have a shorter visible wavelength, making them appear further away and more spacious. Dark shadows leap out at us, attracting both light and attention.”

Try light: Light french grey, linen white, golden ivory

Try dark: Mallard green, dark aubergine, cherry truffle

On your marks, get set – paint

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Your home is your happy place, a sanctuary from the chaos of the world outside. It should also reflect your personality and tastes – surely you can do better than a safe magnolia?

Dulux’s Heritage range is the brand’s biggest color hit, in timeless shades with a luxurious, velvety finish. Complementary light and dark hues are grouped together with the perfect shade of white for baseboards and door frames, taking the guesswork out of decorating. For even more peace of mind, Dulux has a visualizer in its app that shows what your home would look like in your preferred color palette. And when you’re ready to get started, the brand’s YouTube channel is packed with handy clips to help you paint like a pro, too.

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