Top tips for using more colour in your home

Looking to paint your home in bright colours but not sure where to begin? From choosing the ideal palette to working out the mood you want in each room, there’s plenty to think about – and now many of us are also considering the environmental impact of home updates too.

Here, co-founders of new sustainable and stylish eco paint brand YesColours John Stubbs and Emma Bestley gives interiors editor Nicole Gray (@nicolegraystylist) the lowdown on refreshing our homes in this season’s feel-good shades while keeping the planet in mind.

John Stubbs and Emma Bestley YesColours founders
Featured paints: Fresh Lilac, Fresh Aqua and Fresh Peach. Image: Megan Taylor

So what are the first steps in choosing a colour palette that feels right for you?

Emma: The first step is to ask yourself how you are going to use the room you are decorating. For example, if you are decorating a home office, you don’t want to paint the walls in a colour that will be too distracting, such as fire engine red. The next step is to ask yourself how you want to feel in that room. Colour is so emotive so it is important to focus on shades that trigger a personal positive emotional response. For example, you might be drawn to olive green as it transports you to the Mediterranean, or a mustard yellow as it reminds you of your favourite film or artwork.

You will probably start to see a colour grouping emerge from the shades you are naturally drawn towards. Whether that’s a set of greens, or a contrasting blue with a pink – that is the basis of the colour palette that is the right fit for you.

YesColours bedroom
Featured paints: Joyful Pink, Passionate Green Olive, Passionate Warm White. Image: Megan Taylor

What are this season’s happiest shades?

Emma: Following the redesign of Sketch’s dining parlour from millennial pink to sunshine yellow, yellow is going to be a big colour this season. It is synonymous with summer and will be everywhere from the catwalk to soft furnishings. We are also seeing a lot of uplifting pastel shades coming through, such as apricots, lilacs and fresh minty greens.

What is your current favourite dream colour combination?

Emma: It’s got to be peach and lilac. It sounds strange, but the catwalks are awash with variations on this theme and it will only be a matter of time before we are spying it in interiors. It’s gorgeous – trust us.

What are the best colours for stimulating productivity at home?

John: For productivity in a work space, it has to be a form of orange. We say a ‘form’ of orange as every colour has several shade variations within that tone to choose from. Orange can range from a soft apricot shade all the way through to an eye-catching coral or electric tangerine, and promotes concentration and creativity. Yellow is another great colour for stimulating the senses and also boosting confidence levels.

And what are the best colours for creating a calm home environment?

Emma: It’s important to remember that you don’t need to plaster your walls in a soft grey to create a tranquil home. You can also use restful shades such as peach, plaster pinks and soft blues to calm the senses; shades that still have some colour to them but are slightly muted. We actually have a Serene colour collection that would be ideal for decorating schemes such as these.

YesColours desk
Featured paints: Electric Blue, Friendly Peach. Image: Megan Taylor

What would your advice be to someone wanting to experiment with bold colour at home but is not sure where to start?

Emma: One of the most important things to remember is that there are no off-limit colours. It’s how you use the colour that counts. If you love electric blue or sunshine yellow but are tentative about drenching the walls in such a vibrant shade, remember that you can still make a big impact on a small scale by painting features such as a window or door frame in a bold accent shade. Slowly introducing bright accessories such as cushions, vases and throws is another great way to experiment and slowly live with vibrant colour without the commitment or breaking the bank.

What colours will we be seeing more of in autumn and winter?

Emma: Autumn and winter are all about feeling cosy: popping on a warm pair of socks, sipping a comforting mug of tea. Colour choices for autumn and winter will reflect this. I think we will be seeing a lot more earthy tones such as ochres, dusky pinks and rusty oranges coming through. Darker hues that create a cocooning atmosphere such as eucalyptus and inky blues will also be making an appearance.

Can you tell us about how the idea for YesColours came about?

John: It began through a conversation I had with a family member about the leftover paint tins building up in the garage. We were discussing how difficult tins are to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way – currently, over 55 million litres of paint and 14,000 tonnes of tins go to landfill every year and only 2 per cent ever actually get recycled. We were inspired to create a paint brand that changes the way we decorate for the better, one that is steered not by trends, but by the world around us. We now have a unique and fully recyclable paint pouch that we hope will make it really easy for people to recycle their paint waste.

Why colour?

John: We have a combined background in advertising, design and fashion which have always used colour as a means of creative communication.

Emma: I also have a rare condition called Grapheme Colour Synesthesia, which is when you experience one of your senses through another. For example, one form of Synesthesia is when you hear music but see shapes, or in my case, hear a word or a number and instantly link it to a colour. Because I was seeing colour all the time, it made sense for me to work with colour in my career. You could say I’ve found my dream job!

Is there anything upcoming at YesColours that you are especially excited about?

John: We are officially launching YesColours at the end of March and will be adding a new fresh green shade to the Fresh colour collection within the next few weeks.

To shop the collections visit and follow @yes.colours. All paint is £21 per litre.

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