“People have a  style personality in their homes as well as what they wear,” says Niamh Courtney, colour consultant. “They can put their outfits together no problem and they know what they like in interiors but when it comes to putting colours together in their own home, they don’t know where to start.”

After 10 years of working as a colour consultant with MRCB paints, Courtney now runs Colour  Training  “Every day I deal with clients who have difficulty picking colour,” she says. “I know how to help them choose colours to suit them.  I can give them  confidence and help them  visualise  colours on their wall. People get very overwhelmed by a row of paint-chips!   Often they go out and buy paint in a colour that they’ve seen in an image and wonder why it doesn’t look right when they get it home.”

Interestingly, it’s not just bright colours that cause trouble.  The supposedly safe option of white is one of the trickiest. “Choosing the right white is a huge problem and people just can’t get it right. It’s too yellow or too blue or too grey…  I can teach people how to view the  undertones in paint.

Part of the problem is that we often take our interiors inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram, forgetting that colours look different on screen than in real life.  This is  where Courtney’s industry experience comes in handy.  Few of us, for example, take account of a paint colour’s Light Reflectance Value (LRV).   That’s the amount of light  a painted surface reflects or absorbs. Sounds technical? “I can explain it in a very simple way!” she promises.


Courtney runs two types of course: one for design professionals and one for general interiors enthusiasts. You can get in touch at choosingcolour@gmail.com.