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Colour for Interior Design

Colour for Interior Design

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Karen Haller


Join Colour for Interior Design and discover what an important factor colour is within interior design practice. With a focus on applied colour psychology, you will learn about colour theory, how colour can manipulate space and light, affect our mood; and dramatically transform a room.

This course involves a blend of practical exercises and hands-on creative work. You will learn the technical terms and be taught the rules of colour. With this knowledge you will blend your own personal colour palette for use in an interiors project and be able to create personal colour schemes by making your own personalised paint swatches and interior design mood boards.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to colour
  • Definition of terms
  • Mix and reference
  • Psychology of colour
  • Colour selection
  • Colour schemes
  • Tips and techniques

Course Outcomes
You will leave this course with the ability to recognise successful colour schemes, determine how light and space affect colour and mix your own paint palettes, and will have the confidence to discuss colour in a professional manner. You will also leave with a greater understanding of colour theory and how you can apply its rules to compliment your own work.

Who Should Attend
Anyone with an interest in interiors and those who wish to grow their knowledge of colour theory within design.

Course Level

View PDF to explore progression: Interior Design: Your Journey [188kb]

Tutor Description

Karen Haller is the leading international authority in the field of Applied Colour Psychology - how colour affects and influences how we think, feel and behave. With over 20 years of experience, she teaches and consults with organisations and individuals on using colour to influence behaviour and opinion to elicit positive response or action through applying colour psychology in diverse sectors such as interior design and architecture, branding and product development, healthcare and wellbeing; and has worked global brands including Marks & Spencer, Dove and Akzonobel Dulux.

She has presented talks on the importance of colour psychology in design at Clerkenwell Design Week, Grand Designs, Ideal Home Show, co-curated 100% Design 2015 colour talks programme as well around given talks and lectures around the world. She has also been interviewed for Cosmopolitan, Stylist, The Times, a Huffington Post contributor and appeared on London Live, and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. Her book The Little Book of Colour – How to use the Psychology of Colour to Transform Your Life will be published by Penguin Life in August 2019 and published in over 11 languages.


Please bring the following materials with you on the first day:

Set of gouache paints in primary colours, black and white (Winsor and Newton Designers’ Gouache Primary Set is a good option)
and in addition to the existing items:

  • Coloured pens/pencils

  • Interior design magazines to cut up

  • A two hole ring binder with plastic sleeves or document folder to keep course notes and practical work in

  • A4 pad for additional notes / sketching ideas

Please also bring along physical examples (not digital images) of the following -– these can include samples of paint chips, fabrics, wallpaper etc. If you would like to use metallics in your colour palette, consider bringing metallic gouache paints, bits of foil or scraps of metallic fabrics.

  • Samples of your favourite and least favourite colour

  • Cuttings of interiors, settings or items you feel reflect your personality

  • Samples of colours, textures, surfaces, finishes you feel reflect your personality

There are also number of pre-course exercises which will be emailed to you before the start of the course. It would be beneficial to have these completed before commencement of course.

Most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.


Available dates