Not only are our homes more open than ever – kitchen diners, mezzanine sleeping platforms, balconies and skylights or conservatory bringing the outside world in – so are our families. Where once roles and spaces were strictly defined, now we all share in making our home what it is.

Everyone has a voice

The result? We all use the areas of our home together but we each have our own ideas about how they should look. Rather than that being a challenge, make it an opportunity. Find an interior solution that reflects the best of all the personalities in your home.

The art of sharing space

“Good sharing comes with the ability to be open to other perspectives,” says Marieke van der Bruggen, Senior Color Designer at AkzoNobel. “Communal spaces work best when they give out a positive, open and light-hearted atmosphere. Colour is your power tool in creating such a space.”

Be bold on a neutral base

Ask most people for their favourite colour and it will be a strong one: the primary colours, or maybe a bright pink or rich purple? “We engage with such colours,” says Marieke. “By starting your space with a neutral base such as earthy grey, cream, soft lilac or the grey blue Colour of the Year 2017, Denim Drift, you can bring in everyone’s favourites as vibrant accents.”

Which paints? Denim Drift

Playing with shapes

Unexpected geometric shapes painted in accent colours bring energy to a space.

“While feature walls give your space a big focal point, you could also try more playful bursts of colour by giving windows a bright border frame – I chose an energising sunshine yellow – or unexpected little geometric shapes – I tried a subtler two-tone effect with a grey blue circle on a pale lilac wall against a window frame.”

Which paints? Denim Drift, Executive

DIT (Do It Together)

Circles of paint in different colours make a great feature on a wall.

In shared spaces, it’s great for everyone to be actively involved. “Try creating a feature wall of circles in complementary hues – I chose a palette from light beige and grey through ochre and salmon pink to rosy pink and bright yellow – with each family member painting a certain colour,” suggests Marieke. “The circles don’t have to be perfect – that’s what makes your home feel unique.”

Which paints? Surreal Blue, Unicorn White, Apple Valley, Desert Dawn, Jamaican Smile, Honeysweet

Feature wall with a difference

A striped feature wall with a bold accent yellow against subtler hues.

Most feature walls are a single block of colour, contrasting with a light neutral base on the other walls, but there are so many other possibilities: “Using different hues can create amazing impact. How about bold, alternating stripes for maximum energy or gradually fading from your accent colour back to the base colour to create a calming sunset feel?”

Which paints? Apple Valley, Executive, Floral Twist, Unicorn White, Denim Drift

Watch the video and read more

Find great ways to make the most of your space, read Shared living: ideas for your own breakout space.

Featured colours