How To Choose An Interior Colour Scheme From An Embroidery – Leah Nikolaou

How To Choose An Interior Colour Scheme From An Embroidery

help choosing interior colour schemes

How to choose room colours might leave you feeling overwhelmed or confused but it doesn’t have to be complicated!  What if I told you that paint combinations for interior walls could be drawn from a single painting or embroidery that you already own and love or perhaps one that you have your eye on.   Many people think about what to put on the walls after they have decorated, what if you planned that first?   Would you think that a strange way of working?  If you think about it, it makes sense, you choose these pieces because they are often colours you like, themes you like, hobbies you enjoy and you feel they represent you.  They can embody your personality as well as your aesthetic style and will create a space that is truly you.  It is this personalisation which makes a room really feel like home and not a show room!  

How Do Interior Designers Choose Colour?

Well quite often they do exactly this too.  They choose one focal piece for a room and base the colour scheme around it.  Instead of a painting or embroidery it could be the tiles around a period fireplace, an inherited armchair that has sentimental value or a rug purchased out of love for it’s striking colours and pattern.  I think back to old TV interior make over shows and how often the designer had to keep an item in the room that the owner just loved and couldn’t part with or bought in something sentimental like an old painting that evoked a certain treasured memory of the owners. These are all a starting point for a design process!  Just as the designers in the TV shows had to account for particular items, you might already have piece/s in your room that you want to keep.  What colour are they, make note and make it part of your scheme or possibly get items like armchairs re-upholstered.

Selecting Colours

Pinpoint the colours that you are particularly drawn to from the piece.  I have done a few examples selecting colours from the work of artists I admire and follow with varying different styles:

Known as being the first person to use dried flowers in Embroidery, you would be spoilt for choice choosing colours from any of Olga Pinku's embroidery hoops.  They quite often feature natural foliage as well as the more brightly coloured flowers.  I really see this piece teamed with sumptuous rich heavy velvets.


diagram showing how to pick paint colours for interiors

A maverick at creating embroideries in muted soft colours, Nicki Franklin is the designer to explore for soft linen colour palettes.  Her embroideries are exquisite and filled to the brim for me with nostalgia!


Diagram showing inspiration for your colour scheme

Below is one of my embroideries which also has a rich palette to draw from.  The varying shades in the pressed poinsettia flowers and leaves inspired the colour of the embroidered crochet bag and likewise could inspire the colour palette of an entire room.

diagram showing how to choose room colours

But these are just my thoughts to demonstrate a useful design process, how you translate your bespoke colour palette is entirely up to you. Once you have a set of colours, decide where you want to use them, in huge blocks on walls and ceilings, medium blocks of colours on large furniture choices like sofas and wardrobes or as small accent colours on home furnishings and home accessories like cushions, vases and candle sticks. The diagrams below demonstrate how you could translate colours from the colour charts above for your living room.

diagram showing how to pick paint colours

diagram showing what is the best colour scheme for a living room

diagram demonstrates choosing living room colours

diagram showing how to design a colour scheme for a living room

My next step would be to write a list of all the components of the room your already have and a list of all those that you intend to buy.   If you are looking for a sofa for instance I would search for a sofa in all the colours on your colour board.  Likewise a table lamp, search in each of your colours.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you stumble upon at least one item that you just have to have!  And take it from there.  Save all of your finds by creating a Pinterest board which makes it really easy to see things next to each other.  You can also rearrange your pins to look at certain products alongside each other.  The Pinterest algorithm will also automatically suggest more similar items probably in the same colours to your saved images once its worked out what you are interested in.  Check back occasionally and add more things to your board as you find them.

How do I find the right interior paint colour?

How to choose room colours has never been more simple with such extensive colour ranges offered my many leading paint manufacturers.  Shade cards are available to view on-line and often you can get hand painted shade cards, printed shade cards as wells as peel and stick colour patches and small tester pots.  It varies between ranges with what they offer.  Speciality ranges such as heritage paint ranges may also be useful in matching up your colours to more vintage items.  Here are some great brands big and small with a lot to offer:

Little Greene

Little and Greene go one step further in helping you choose paint by letting you search paint according to the ‘period’ in which you are styling. This is perfect for matching to your painting or embroidery.  Choose from ‘Georgian, Regency, Victorian, 1930’s, 1950s, 1960 or 1970s.

The Organic and Natural Paint Company

For the best in colour matching  The Organic and Natural Paint Company offer a hand painted colour charts and a guide on which kind of paint to buy for listed house, heritage and lime platers as well as standard modern and normal walls.

Lakeland Paints

If you are looking for eco friendly paint options in a huge range of shades Lakeland Paints have an incredible range, they pride themselves in having no VOCs, no heavy metals, no solvents and no bad stuff.


No fancy paint names and you can shop by style, from modern, contemporary, boho, farmhouse, scandi or eclectic.  Lick offer easy peel and stick samples which are easy to move around, consider colour value and test in different lights to fully confirm your decision.

Farrow & Ball

A firm British favourite renown for their heritage shades and colour quality. Farrow & Ball have recently collaborated with The Natural History Museum experts in preserving and documenting the colours of the natural world.


Channelling complete simplicity in decorating and having built Coat with a conscience, Coat deliver in colour choice and sustainable credentials.

So, no more wondering, How do I find the right interior paint colour? Give this a go because it really could become your new way of choosing colour!



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