Should you use a consultant to choose a colour scheme for your home?

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Advice & inspiration, Building basics & regulations, Building tips

Choosing a paint colour or colour scheme for your home is something many people dread, as it can seem like an overwhelming experience. Figuring out your whole house is quite an undertaking, especially if you don’t think of yourself as having an eye for it. Colour affects the atmosphere of your home and is a cornerstone of any interior design and can have a major effect on resale values.

A colour consultant is someone whose job is to help walk you through this process. When it comes to building a house, indecisiveness or worse, mistakes, can be costly. The last thing you want is to get halfway through a paint job and realise you’ve made a terrible choice. While you may have an idea of what colour palette you want for your living room, master bedroom and other rooms, a consultant can help bring these things together.

But what can you expect from a colour consult? Let’s talk a little about colour schemes and have a rundown of what you should do to prepare for a colour consultation.

Things to know about Colour Schemes and Consultants

Like lots of steps in the building process, it can come across as nerve-racking at first. People are very visual, so your choice of colours has an even bigger impact than you may expect. While some people have a knack for design, some of us find the idea of choosing colours baffling. Below are some general tips and useful things to keep in mind.

The Colour Wheel

A colour wheel arranges colours in a circle based on the chromatic relationship with one another. The idea is to help show how primary colours, secondary colours, and tertiary colours all relate to one another. Some also show both darker tones and lighter tones.

This is a two-way relationship

A good colour consultant won’t force their choices on you and will try to bring your personal preference into account. They can help you incorporate colours you love, and help you establish your secondary and primary colours, as well as the roles each colour will play. You may love red and green, but how to employ these colours in your house is a whole other step.

Choosing can be an overwhelming experience, and a consultant can help you get things into perspective and keep the whole process from derailing. They can provide tips on how to use darker tones and a bright colour together, or how to create balance with your colour palette and any existing features and furniture.

It also means you have a say and are free to turn down any suggestions that don’t work for you. Your consultant should be able to offer alternatives. One of the most valuable things a consultant can offer is stopping you from making a huge mistake. Painting an entire house only to discover you hate how it looks is something that you’ll want to avoid for the good of your wallet, time and sanity.

Don’t skip the colour test

Considered by many to be the most important step in the colour selection process, and one that clients skip at their own peril. Colour testing allows you to see colours in different tones and lighting, and allows you to catch any problems or make adjustments before paint day. Paint swatches at the paint store are great for broader, definitive decisions (you might know from a single look that a yellow undertone isn’t for you).

A colour test gives you the chance to see your paint colours in natural light and your home. That pale sky blue you love in the store might not work in your house at all. The lighting in your dining room may be completely different from those in the store. It’s important to perform a colour test on all the walls of your house, as different areas will have different lighting. Place any potential decorative elements in front of your colour patch to see how it looks (for example, place your family portrait in front of the patch and see what you think).


A classic decor rule that has remained timeless due to its simplicity. It works as follows:

60% of the room should be the dominant colour

30% secondary colour

10% accent colour

This gives you an idea of how it’s not just what colours you use, but also the roles you have them play. A colour can be used sparingly, but well against the right backdrop.

Types of Colour Schemes

Your colour consultant will be able to walk you through different shades and colour schemes, but it doesn’t hurt to know a little about what is available. It’ll help you choose paint colours and get an idea of what will suit your place, furnishings, window treatments and your exterior colours.

Monochromatic palette

A monochromatic comprise variations of one colour. You can use other colours in a monochromatic colour scheme but it all uses a single colour. For example, red could be your base colour, but mixing white with red gives your pink. You also use varying shades of the same colour.

Complementary Colours

These are contrasting colours that create a dynamic, yet pleasing look to the eye. Some of the best-known complementary colours include:

  • Black and white
  • Red and Green
  • Yellow and Purple
  • Orange and Blue

There’s still some skill to making this work, but with a little design know-how, you can use different colours to your advantage. For example, with yellow and purple, you can either pick one colour to be the star of the show with the other used sparingly but effectively or use muted versions of both to create a distinct look.

Analogous Colour Schemes

As seen on the above colour wheel, analogous colour schemes involve colours that are beside each other. This is a common occurrence in nature, and when done well, can be a pleasing look for a harmonious design.

Triad Colours

This colour scheme chooses colours evenly spaced on the colour wheel. If you were to draw a line from one colour to the next, you’d end up with a triangle shape. One of the classics in this scheme is Green, Orange and Purple. Usually most effective when

Step 1: Be prepared

Like most things, a little preparation will go a long way to making your colour consultation a pleasant experience. One of the biggest things we tend to fear is the unknown. Knowing the difference between primary and secondary colours, having an idea of what you want.

Have some ideas of what you want to help guide your colour consultant. This isn’t a one-way relationship; their job is to guide you through your entire process. Ideally, they should be trying to capture your style, not theirs. If you have any questions or queries, don’t be shy to ask. It may even help to write them down beforehand so you don’t forget anything when you get there.

Step 2: Know the questions the consultant will ask

The consultant’s ultimate goal should be to help design a layout that best suits you. During the first meeting, don’t be surprised if it consists mostly of questions for you and has a conversational tone.

Your first consultation, whether it’s on the phone or in person, will likely be a more general conversation. If they’re independent of the builder of your house, they’ll ask about the size of the project, and whether you have a colour palette or colour scheme in mind.

Step 3: Get advice before the meeting

As helpful as your colour consultant may be, it never hurts to have another opinion when it comes to finding the right colour scheme for your chosen colour palette. Look into colour schemes, different tones and shades and whether you’d like to incorporate natural elements. It’s also worth researching your specific colour consultant to ensure they have a good reputation and that their work suits your taste.

Reading articles like this is a great start to getting your head around the basics, but talking to someone in person allows you to provide the specifications of your project and for your advisor to work with this information.

Need help during your building journey?

At Buildi, we help you find the right builder, save time, reduce stress and stay on budget.

How We Can Help You

Building a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. At Buildi, we’ll be there throughout the entire building process, guiding you step by step so you can avoid any pitfalls. We will help you by following these steps.

  1. Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
  2. Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
  3. Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
  4. Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
  5. Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
  6. Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.

Consult our colours document

Below is a real-life example (with identifying details removed), to provide an idea of the type of documentation you can expect. This is what the construction copy of the colour selection for a house will resemble.

Need someone on your side during the building process? Book your free, impartial consultation with Buildi today!


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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration