The 10 Colour Commandments

Revolutionise your walls with a splash of colour, with tips from acclaimed designer Krsnaa Mehta.

Colours are capable of completely transforming your wall and living space. But it’s common to get stuck at step 1 of the process.

Here are 10 commandments to get you started in your colour revolution:

1. Don’t be shy

Apprehension is one of the biggest roadblocks to flourishing your home and walls with colour. Most people are either too sceptical to experiment, or are not exposed to the concept of bold colours on walls. Show the courage, and give it a shot!

2. Pick a theme

The three starting points for decorating your room are: having a room theme, knowing what function it will service, and lastly, the mood you intend for it to exude. There should be a solid all-inclusive concept that is defined before you set out to paint and furnish. The intricate details can be more impromptu.

3. Add contrast

Depending on the size of the room, you should use two to three colours, maximum. When selecting them, avoid ‘matching’ the colours, rather select colours that contrast or complement each other. For example, you can pair a hue of green or blue with hues of red, but you would not want to necessarily pair a pink with a red. 

The red feature wall contrasts Krsnaa’s bright blue sofa

4. Test your colours

Don’t just dive in with a colour. Use samplers and wall swatches. Try a few different shades of the colour. I suggest painting large swatches on the walls. It is important to sample the colours you are considering. Sit with the colour for a while and see how you feel about it. Observe it in natural light as well as artificial light during different times of the day. The effects of colour change with light.

5. Consider dimensions

Use colours effectively to give a solid dimension to a space. Often, if you use only whites, you end up losing any dimension and you can’t get a real feel of the room when you are in it. Using colours will create the depth that whites don’t provide. If used cleverly, you can make a room feel more voluminous. 

The use of red graphic prints complements the feature wall

6. Play with texture and pattern

You can find a nice variety of textured paints as well—or simply use a textured application of paints. These are great for breaking monotony or just adding that little extra dimension to a wall. You can even use dual tones or dual colours and create patterns in geometrics or stripes. Do your research first though—textures and patterns can easily go horribly wrong.

7. Accent with colour

If you don’t wish to fill the entire room/space with colour on the walls, pick a section, beam or nook that you can accent with colour. It is important to note that the colour must not only accent the room’s walls but fit within the theme of the room.

Make sure your accent wall colour fits with the theme of the room

8. Study the architecture

Don’t ignore how the architecture of your space flows. The pillars, niches, ceiling height, position of the windows – all need to be considered. If you have interesting architecture to play with (pillars or arches) use, these to your advantage. Accent them and make them stand out.

9. Look above

More often than not, the ceiling is just left white and only considered for lighting options. People forget that a room can be more than four walls and flooring. Particularly if you have high ceilings, I feel you can really have fun with them. This can add uniqueness to the space that won’t found in too many places. If the roofs happen to be on the lower side, I would be cautious about experimenting with the ceiling.

10. Don’t forget furniture and lights

It is crucial to keep in mind the furniture that will fill the space. The type or design style; the colours of upholstery and accessories should be able to play off the wall colours and vice versa. This also applies to the art and wall hangings you intend to put up. Everything has to tie in with your theme.

Revolutionise your space with the colours and textures of Dulux Ambiance special effects paints. Choose from Linen, Marble, Metallic, Velvet or ColourMotion finishes. #MyFutureWall is a Dulux Ambiance wall.


Krsnaa Mehta is known world over for his quintessential taste in textiles and art. His design philosophy—Taking Indian Contemporary to the World—have made him a name in the industry. He has also featured in Vogue, Elle Décor, Inside Out, Architectural Digest and several other international lifestyle magazines.

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