Home Improvements - Choosing Colours

Determine a colour ranges you feel comfortable with. © Michelle Chaplow
Determine a colour ranges you feel comfortable with.

Choosing Colours for your Southern Spanish Home

One of the amazing things about living in southern Spain is the how the colour schemes of your life change. Most people don’t even stop to think about this, but the light in this part of the world is usually very different from wherever they are coming from (because so many are moving to escape gray skies).

Colours that might comfort you in Scotland, Seattle or even Sidney might do nothing for you in southern Spain. That’s why it isn’t always a good idea to bring a houseful of goods from “back home” when you make the big move to Andalucia. Once you get here, you may find that many things simply don’t fit your new life.

To learn more about the colours that really work in this light, start by paying attention to the colours Spanish people choose for their businesses, for restaurant decor and – if you’re lucky – in their homes. You might also browse a few decoration magazines as you don’t need to understand Spanish to absorb the (often) vibrant colours and designs. There are also excellent home decoration books that focus exclusively on choice and combination of colour. At first you may feel like you’re starting all over, developing your tastes from scratch, which is exactly what you’re doing!



Once you’ve determined the colour ranges you like, it’s time to enter into the experimental phase. If you’re planning to paint, local paint shops will be happy to supply you with one litre size containers of the different colours you’re thinking about. Take these home and paint one metre square samples on the walls of the rooms where they’ll go. Then watch how these colours behave in the changing light throughout the day and evening. You might be surprised at how colour responds, especially in rooms that get very bright light.

Some very dark, intense colours can be used quite successfully to create dramatic effects thanks to the strong, unfiltered sunlight we enjoy. Yellow - in a wide variety of shades, but particularly a sort of mustard yellow – is a popular choice as it is both traditional to southern Spain and reflects the energy the sun brings to this part of the world.

Probably the greatest lesson to learn about working with colour in your Andalucian home is that there are so many ways to use it to enhance the amazing rays of light that brighten up your home or create some very special effects.