Choosing a Color Palette for Your Home

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Color is one of the most important considerations when planning home interiors. The colors you select affect every aspect of your life, including mood, productivity and overall comfort. Home decor color schemes reflect your personal taste, and together with Picking a Color Schemefurniture and accessories, set the tone for your home’s style and aesthetic.

Importance of Home Color Schemes

Color can energize us or help us relax after a stressful day. The colors that surround us, especially in the home, can make us feel welcome and comfortable. If the colors in a home don’t create harmony and flow, you may feel disconnected or uneasy but have no idea why. Check out books and websites that explain how color affects mood, and compare the suggested colors that suit your tastes. Chances are, you’ll discover a harmonious place to start color coordinating your home.

Choosing Colors

Unless you’re careful in selecting colors—or plan to repaint every few years—interior walls can quickly become dated. For example, nothing quite says “1960s” like olive green. Classic color schemes endure the passage of time, minor renovations and even radical changes in a home’s design. Limit fad colors or strong hues to accent walls. Also, note that the interior wall colors you select, especially those used on walls that intersect, or that can be seen together from any particular angle in the home, should complement each other. Choose colors for common areas first, such as the living room, dining room, kitchen and great room, and make selections for bedrooms and baths after.

Getting Color Scheme Ideas

Start by perusing interior design blogs, magazines and websites like Houzz or Pinterest for ideas. Identify furniture colors that you might like to work into your living space. Many paint retailers and home improvement stores offer color galleries online, full feature brochures with main color, trim and accent ideas, and free paint sample sheets or fan decks. Some paint manufacturers offer personal color viewer applications, where you can upload pictures of your room and play with different color options. Computer monitors are notorious for changing how colors look, so use these tools only for general impressions.

Before you commit to colors, buy small, sample cans of your top two or three choices, and paint large sections of your walls—at least 4-by-6 feet if possible. Observe the colors for a week or so, in both day and artificial light, to see if you can live with them. Choosing paint color palettes and trying out samples may be extra work, but it will save you time, effort and cost in the end.