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5 Essential Decorating Schemes Every Decorator Should Know

5 Essential Decorating Schemes Every Decorator Should Know

It's not always easy to feel confident when a client turns to you for colour advice. But if you can offer a few professional pointers, happy customers and word of mouth referrals are sure to come your way. It's always a good idea to have a few failsafe schemes up your sleeve, even if it's just to give your clients a starter for ten. Here, Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford gives her top five essential schemes you should know…

Colour Blocking

Colour Blocking is the new feature wall and the secret to success is to choose the right position for the strongest colour so it gets noticed without overwhelming the space.

Choosing the right colour is easy if you use the colour picking tool on the Dulux Trade Paint Expert for Professional Decorators app, and pick colours from the items that are staying in the room like the sofa, curtains and artwork. The app will also suggest a collection of colours that work together perfectly including neutrals that you can use on the remaining walls, ceiling and trim.

Working out where the colour goes is also easy with this invaluable tool, because you can experiment with how it looks on different walls in real time and save options to share with your customer before making a final decision.

Key colours: Amethyst Starling, Rope Swing


Shades of grey are the hottest thing colour-wise at the moment and everyone seems to want these sophisticated cool hues in their homes. Cool colours can be tricky to get right if the lighting is poor and they can make a space feel cold if you paint every wall the same grey, so try to be a bit more creative.

Try painting a deep band along the wall you feel is the focal point of the room and team with white or off-white on the remaining walls and trim, then suggest your client adds little pops of colour in details like painted furniture and picture frames.

Key colours: Deep Fossil, Timeless

Cherished Gold

Cherished Gold is the Dulux Colour of the Year for a reason… it's very beautiful and extremely versatile, so can work in any room in the house - especially one in need of a bit of energy and warmth. Using it simply on its own with white trim looks amazing, but this colour deserves interesting friends to make the most of it. Team with chalky pink and an accent detail of bold yellow for a look that everyone will love but no one would have thought of themselves - and if that yellow is just one step too far, use a dark caramel accent instead. No one ever objects to a bit of caramel do they?

Key colours: Cherished Gold, Sun Dust 1, Soft Cinnebar 5, Rum Caramel 1

Dark & Light

Dark colours are getting more popular as a colour to use on all the walls and if your clients are brave enough to do it, the decision pays off in spades.

The Dulux Colour Futures trend Dark & Light has a palette of colours that capture different states of a night sky, from the inky blue we see in the countryside to dusky yellow haze that cloaks a busy city. Try the yellow colour on the ceiling or on the upper part of the wall in a brush-blended ‘ombre’ effect and the darkest shades on the walls or the lower part of the room.

Key colours: Aged Bronze, Sapphire Springs 1,Viridian Tide, Caramel Blush 1


Whites are not all the same. In fact there are so many to choose from that it can often feel overwhelming for you and your customer. So here's a great tip for getting this important colour scheme right every time. Choose a white according to visual temperature. Warm whites contain hints of gold, yellow and pink. They are perfect for adding a cosy feel to a space and warming up north-facing rooms or rooms that haven't got much natural daylight. Cool whites contain hints of grey, blue, green and violet. These whites add tranquillity and make rooms feel more breezy. They are perfect for contemporary spaces and south-facing rooms. As we all know, white will be most likely to show wear and tear so have it mixed in a Dulux Trade Diamond finish for long lasting good looks and happy customers.

Key colours: Ultra White, Jasmine White, White Cotton

Download the Dulux Paint Trade Expert app now to get access to all Dulux Trade colour ranges and colour schemes on the go at the tap of a screen.