Hunter’s Guide to paint perfection


Intro-to-Colour        Intro-to-Colour1

At Hunter’s Interiors one of our favourite paint brands is Zoffany they have collection offers 128 shades in three finishes, providing exceptional coverage and outstanding depth of colour. The broad range of the Zoffany paint palette makes it ideal for both contemporary and traditional settings. Zoffany water based paints contain virtually no VOCs (volatile organic compounds, which contribute to atmospheric pollution) while Zoffany oil based paints have been specifically formulated to reduce VOC content.

Here are some tips and general rules if you are thinking of re decorating with a touch of paint.





There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing colour, but you may find the following suggestions helpful:

Decorating a room isn’t simply about choosing colours you like. You also need to take into account how much light the room gets, the way the space tends to be used, its architecture, dimensions and the overall ambience you wish to create.

Colour changes in different light conditions, so it makes sense to observe how the light moves through each area you plan to decorate at different times of day and in different artificial lighting conditions. Consider also if the room in question is used more at any particular time of day.

The period of your property may be a factor in your decorating decisions. If you live in a Georgian house, for example, consider whether it is a priority for you to remain faithful to the property’s heritage.

Try not to use too many colours on architectural features like ceiling roses and cornices. It can look fussy and detract from the inherent beauty of the feature.

For irregular shaped rooms, try a monochromatic scheme. This will soften the overall effect and “paint out” any architectural defects, making them less obvious.

Think about the flow from room to room. For example, if you have a pale or neutral colour in a hallway leading directly to a room painted with a very strong colour, the effect may be jarring. Before making your choice, consider how each room scheme will feel as a visual progression.

Creating the perfect scheme is as much about choosing the colours you think are “right” as about deciding what’s right for you. Think about the colours you feel most drawn to in your everyday life and use your intuition to select colours you’ll feel most comfortable living with in the long term.

Before making your final colour choice, we recommend that you test your chosen paint colours in situ with a test pot.



Different colour combinations can dramatically alter the feel of a room, so it’s important to consider in advance the type of effect you’d like to achieve. Broadly speaking there are four popular painting styles:


BlueVelvet_Study_landscape 1_lr



The traditional combination of coloured walls with lighter, often white, woodwork. This contrast makes the main colour look more intense. It also accentuates architectural features and gives woodwork a crisp, fresh look – especially when a cool dominant colour is paired with white woodwork.




Platinum Grey_Hallway_landscape_lr


Two, three or four shades are combined in a scheme, with the main colour used on the walls and complementary colours applied to the ceiling, architectural features, window frames and skirting boards. To enhance the feeling of space, a lighter colour can be used on the walls accompanied by a darker shade on the woodwork.



Three or four different tints from a single colour group are used on walls, woodwork, fireplaces, ceiling and furniture to create a harmonious, co-ordinated look, usually with lighter tints applied to woodwork and ceiling. Try Zoffany’s quarter, half, full and double tints to create this look.





A single colour – usually a pale, neutral shade – is used on both walls and woodwork, giving a sleek, contemporary look. A monochromatic scheme offers a variety of benefits: it helps to make any defects (say, uneven skirting boards or damaged cornicing) less obvious; it can make a room seem larger; and it creates a sense of calm. With the focus less on the architecture of room and more on its contents, a monochromatic scheme also offers a clear and uncluttered backdrop for furniture, fabrics and wall art.


Teal_Living Room_main 1_lr



On the whole, cool colours make a room feel larger  – though be warned, strong shades of blue or green may also make it look cold.


Half LaSeine_Kitchen_main landscape_lr


Warm colours usually make a room feel smaller and more intimate


VenitianRed_Table_main landscape_lr


If your goal is to create a calm, serene space, opt for a monochromatic scheme with a neutral colour. Dramatic contrasts and strong colours may have more impact, but they will make a room feel less restful.


Quarter Silver_Living Room detail 2_lr


Combine three or four colours in a room scheme to create greater visual interest and for a more sophisticated overall impression. To maximise light and space, use the lightest colour on the largest area. Painting skirting boards, windows and other woodwork a contrasting darker colour will make the walls appear even lighter.

If you’re nervous about combining three or four individual shades, try using different tints from one colour group to guarantee a harmonious and perfectly co-ordinated result. For example, you could use La Seine Flat Emulsion on the walls, Half La Seine Eggshell on woodwork and Quarter La Seine Flat Emulsion on the ceiling, with the option of introducing Double La Seine Eggshell for furniture, fireplaces or the backs of bookcases.

For multi-level houses consider using a darker tint on the lower floors and a progressively lighter tint from the same colour group on each floor as you ascend. This creates the sense of each floor becoming brighter and more airy the higher you get.


Colours can change dramatically in different light, so when decorating a room it’s important to have an understanding of how a particular shade will alter as the day progresses. This depends of course on the direction the room is facing.


To ensure you achieve your desired look, use a sample pot to observe how your selected colour changes in different light. Paint it onto a piece of paper or card and place it in the room to be decorated, checking the colour at various times during the day.





North facing rooms can be a challenge to decorate as they receive the least natural light. Rather than fighting against this aspect, why not embrace it and opt for a richer, darker shade such as Bordeaux or Purple Tulip, to create a more interesting and dramatic feel. However, if maximising light and space is a priority, and you opt for a lighter tone, be sure to choose a shade with a warm rather than cool base. A neutral such as Warm White is ideal.

Bordeaux      Warm-White       Purple-Tulip



The great thing about south facing rooms is that they enjoy relatively subtle light all day, which means that warm and cool colours are equally effective. Pale tones work particularly well in south facing rooms, especially more compact spaces. For a crisp, fresh feel, try a cool neutral such as Half Silver teamed with bright Architect’s White paint on woodwork, or bring a warmer glow to the space with a neutral like Harbour Grey.

Silver-Half       Harbour-Grey            Architects-White (1)



East facing rooms experience the most extreme variations in light over the course of a day. Bright morning sunlight tends to bleach out colours, while later in the day, as the sun departs, an east facing room runs the risk of looking gloomy. Blues, greens and cool neutrals are the best option, both enlivened by the morning light and retaining a sense of light and vibrancy as the day progresses. Shades like Dufour and Aqua should provide the ideal balance between light and warmth.

Green-Stone      Dufour      Celadon



West facing rooms come into their own later in the day, so it’s worth considering how the space will be used. A west facing dining room, for example, will see the majority of its use in the evening, which means it’s vital to test your selected paint colour in both evening sunlight and artificial light. To maximise brightness, whites and neutrals always work well – they bounce light around the room – but you could also try a red-based shade like Musk Pink or Faded Rose which will really come alive in the late afternoon sun.

Musk-Pink      Faded-Rose      Saffron