We’ve all heard of capsule wardrobes – the careful curation of a wardrobe that, whatever the combination, seamlessly works together. 

But what about creating a capsule decor scheme for your home? Paula Taylor, Head Stylist at Graham & Brown shares 6 simple steps to designing a timeless interior design formula that works all-year round and shares fail-proof advice for avoiding unsavoury clashes from paint colours to patterned wallpaper to accessories. 


1. Decide on the aesthetic you want to create 

Paula says: “Firstly, decide on what kind of atmosphere and feeling you want to emulate in your home. Room by room, we suggest picking two or three words to describe the atmosphere you’d like to create. 

“To do this, take note of your favourite themes from key trends. For example, does the energetic ‘dopamine decor’ style match up with your personality or would you prefer a more calming and serene atmosphere that the biophilic design or ‘scandi’ styles offer?

“Use this as a guide to create your own aesthetic that has the potential to evolve with time.”


2. Curate your colour scheme 

“Once you’ve decided the feel you want to create, picking the right paint shades and wallpaper designs is a key in bringing your desired aesthetic to life. 

“There is no formula for the ‘perfect’ colour scheme for your capsule interior, but to ensure you create a complementary palette that avoids clashing shades, we recommend using colour theory. For a cohesive and understated scheme, select three colours that sit side by side to each other on the wheel. 

“If bold and bright is more your thing, pick two colours that sit directly opposite each other on the wheel to create a contrast.”


3. Play with your colour palette in different rooms 

“A capsule interior does not have to mean boring and monotonous… play with different shades, textures and patterns throughout your home to bring out the most from your capsule interior.

“For example, when it comes to decorating the bedroom, explore with rich hues such as deep green paint. Paint across several (or all) walls to create a cosy and cocooning feel – plus it’s the perfect opportunity for colour drenching. Weave in neutral paint shades on your skirting boards and doors for a clean finish.” 

“For those rooms where you want to create a calming effect such as the bathroom, opt for a bathroom paint shade in a lighter tone such as sage green paint to create a tranquil effect. Pair with soft neutrals or accents of forest green to tie the room together.”


4. How to know when to choose a wallpaper designs vs paint 

“To apply the ‘capsule’ ethos to our homes, choosing a base that stands the test of time and reduces the need to frequently redecorate is key. 

“With this in mind, opt for wallpaper in the bathroom or hallway, where it can actually last longer and scuff less than a painted wall would. 

“Another way to build the perfect base for your home is to ensure you opt for the right material that meets your interior desires. For example, if you’re looking to add pattern and flare, choose where in the home you would like this to sit centre stage before selecting a patterned wallpaper design rather than paint.”


5. Add accessories with the rule of three in mind

When you’re ready to accessorise with soft furnishings, Paula recommends using the decorators rule of three as a guideline.

“A tried and tested formula for interior design begins with three complementary colours which are placed in a room in the proportion of 60:30:10. Using this as a guide, 60% of your decor should be occupied by your main colour, 30% by a secondary complementary colour and 10% in an accent colour. 

“Once you’ve picked your main colour which your paint and wallpaper adhere to, weave in your secondary colour. This should appear about half as much and can be tied in in the form of larger furniture pieces, rugs and light fittings. Inject your accent colour into a room by using cushions, throws or artwork.”


6. Create a seasonal cycle 

“The great thing about a capsule interior is that if done well, the base created through carefully planned wallpaper designs and paint will help to ensure you’re not often going to encounter clashing colours – even if you move things around. 

“This means you can transform and tweak your home to move with the seasons, while relying on your trusty timeless base. To add in spring and summer touches, simply swap out fleecy cushion covers and throws for lighter materials. Just remember to consult your colour palette before adding in any seasonal swaps.”