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The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

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What are muted colours?

A muted colour is created by altering the tint, tone or shade of a hue or pure colour. For example, green becomes a muted colour when mixed with either white, grey or black, creating pistachio, sage and forest green respectively. To put it simply, muted colours are hues which have a low saturation. 

Why use muted colours?

Do you enjoy using vivid colours and perhaps even flirt with fluorescent shades in your interiors, designs and art? Perhaps you love how these colours make you feel and revel in the bold statement they make. Well, muted colours can also have this effect when used strategically.

They focus your attention

If you love bright colours, you should love muted colours even more! Muted colours make vibrant reds pop, peacock blues sing and golden yellows shine. Bright colours are more effective when used in combination with muted colours as they are not competing for attention. If you have a vivid feature artwork or bold furniture piece, consider pairing it with complimentary muted colours to ensure that your visitors notice that expensive new purchase!

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Yellow Trace

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Allison Pye Interiors

They are calming

Like the soft glow of candle light, colours too can alter the mood and atmosphere of a space. Muted colours are more soothing and calming, perfect for those spaces where you want to relax and unwind after a long day. Lime green might be great at work to help you feel energised but not so good when you’re trying to relaxing in your bathtub with a glass of wine at night. Did you know, several ancient cultures practiced Chromotherapy which is the use of colours to heal. This technique is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment, emphasising the importance and impact of colour.

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Lorna de Santos

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Sivak+Partners

They Are Timeless

One of my favourite things to do is take a tour of celebrity homes. No, I’m not connected, but I do have unlimited data. Architectural Digest recently took me on a tour of Dita Von Teese’s eclectic and vibrant home. My gosh, it’s tempted to be inspired but be warned, paint and upholstery - not so easy or cheap to replace! Be careful when selecting trendy or vibrant colours and patterns as they are more likely to date.

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Alexander & Co.

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Colombe Studio

The Magic of Muted Colours: Why choose a muted colour palette?

Image courtesy of Studio CD

Breanne Iredell
Author
Breanne Iredell is the Content Developer for Archify. She coordinates the content creation and publishing on Archify and Archify Now as well as the development of online CPD presentations and education materials. Breanne holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Western Australia.
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