An article written for Estila Magazine, empowering through style and colour.

How can I decorate with confidence? How can I be brave with colour in our home? Just a couple of questions that I get asked when being asked for ideas on how to add colour in the home. When it comes to interiors and creating colourful spaces, believe me there is so much fun to be had with colour.


It’s a wonderful feeling to be faced with a blank canvas and paintbrush in my book…suddenly you have the tools to create an art piece in front of you and with it you can create anything you like! The same can apply to a new interior or a room renovation. You can create your own look, be your own stamp, experiment with your favourite tones…the colour world can be your oyster.

mood board ideas for decorating the home

Working with Mood boards 

An exercise that can really help to pin down your interior style and favourite colours is creating your own mood board. In my view, it’s a essential starting point to help you identify your paint colours, fabric choices and finishes. Whether you use Pinterest or prefer the process of getting stuck in with the glue and glossy interior mags, the art of creating some kind of board which helps you to draw together ideas and styles I think is a key starting block when approaching a room make over of any kind. Pinning colours and laying them next to each other can be so beneficial when trying to visualise the overall look. I try not to stop at paint colours, fabrics and furniture but instead look at textures that are inspiring, materials that sit well with each other, words that are meaningful and photographs of..well anything really. I find this not only helps to pull everything together but gives you more ideas when styling and decorating the room.


Adding colour into a room doesn’t always necessarily mean we have to paint the walls in bold colour tones. We can be clever and subtle with colour by introducing carefully selected hues to play alongside a neutral backdrop. Greys are a popular choice on the walls for many people, creating a very liveable, relaxing and sophisticated room interior. Greys and neutrals in my mind set up a perfect opportunity to introduce a very colourful array of soft furnishings and accessories in which to style the room.

mood board ideas on how to introduce colour into the home

warm up the room with sunshine tones

While flicking through a Spring edition of Homes and Gardens, I was struck immediately by an uplifting and very classy bedroom styled by Marisa Daly and photographed by Jan Baldwin.

uplifting yellow stylish bedrooms by homes and gardens magazine

I just loved how the warm enriching yellow worked so well in combination with the more muted pastel palette. The greys work cleverly in the background creating a relaxed but highly sophisticated statement wall with the intricately patterned wallpaper motif. The dark accent grey on the four poster bed creates impact.

However it’s the accents of yellow together with the pattern and textures that help draw everything together.

Mairi Helena moodboards decorating colourful interiors-7

Textures and pattern and colour.

A wonderful trio. All work hand in hand. Use your mood board to help explore different ways to add materials of different texture. One really fun way of adding pattern is to consider a wall stencil to create a clever statement wall! We did just that in our Moroccan bathroom using this stencil on our yellow walls:

bathroom wall stencils


The clever thing about colour is that by introducing a second accent colour into the mix, you can completely change the look of a room.  Never be afraid to experiment with colour as the results can be so rewarding.

experimenting with colour for interiors to create mood boards

Two accent colours in which to accessorise your living room, which work perfectly against a neutral background colour palette.

mairi helena mood board for colourful interiors

Featured here for inspiration:

1. Bute Fabrics

2. Farrow & Ball: Sudbury Yellow and Dropcloth

3. Mairi Helena Golden Blush Wallpaper and Fabric

4. Zoffany (Water Iris)

5. Casamance (Ailleurs)

6. Camenguo (Espirit)

7. Holland and Sherry 


So, always experiment with colour. Start by playing with colours that you’re drawn too. Often looking in your own wardrobe gives you an idea of the colours you tend to gravitate too. Place them on a board. Give yourself a base neutral and introduce one or two accent colours. Find textures, photographs, perhaps objects in the home that you’re inspired by. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a style comes together and fresh ideas for a new room interior is developed.

Start painting your own picture, explore your style and the interior world is very much your oyster.

mairi helena mood boards