How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home
Selecting colors to paint your home can become an overwhelming process. How do you know which colors are right for you and your home? And with so many beautiful colors to choose from, where do you even begin?
Don’t worry! We’ve got your answers right here.
Choosing the right paint colors for your home can be quite a challenge. But by using some simple color concepts, the process can become a lot easier that you think!
1. Stick to Your Favorites
The best place to begin this process is to think about which colors you are already drawn to. For instance, consider the clothes you have in your wardrobe.
Which clothes are your favorite? Which garments do you find yourself going to most often when putting together your outfits? Do you notice reoccurring colors?
If you start to think about what attracts you to the clothes you wear most often, you might notice some consistency in the colors you prefer.
Finding colors you already love in your wardrobe is a great place to look for inspiration. Obviously, the colors that make up your wardrobe are the ones you are most drawn to. And when deciding which colors to use when painting your home, they will be the colors that will make you feel most comfortable.
2. Use Existing Furniture and Accent Pieces As A Guide
Another great place to begin when you’re trying to figure out which colors to use are your existing furnishings and accent pieces. Especially consider the features and items that you plan on keeping for a long time. This includes things such as decor, drapes, lamp shades, or even throw pillows.
Existing furniture is something that people easily overlook when selecting paint color. But after spending all the time and money to get your house repainted, how frustrating would that be to find out that your new paint color doesn’t match your expensive furnishings?
With that in mind, there are a few simple color concepts that can help you discover paint colors that match your furniture.
You could use a monochromatic color scheme where you choose different shades of the same hue. Basically, you use wall paint colors that are either lighter or darker than the color of your furniture. This is a safe way of picking contrasting colors that easily work together while also adding a bit of sophistication.
You could also use an analogous color scheme. You’ve seen a color wheel before, right? Well analogous color schemes are where you choose three colors that are right next to each other, to the left and right, on a color wheel. These color schemes appear more natural because you can see these all the time in nature. They look harmonious and are very pleasing to the eye.
A complementary color scheme is another option where you choose colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. This is where a warm color (like red, orange, or yellow) is pared with a cool color (like green, blue, and purple). These colors schemes make a statement and tend to look much more vibrant than the other color schemes.
3. Think About Your Room Size
Paint color can also have an effect on how open or closed a room feels. Darker colors tend to make a room feel smaller and cozy. Whereas lighter colors can make a room feel larger and brighter.
There isn’t really a rule to follow here, but you just might want to keep this principle in mind when selecting color.
For instance, you might find a dark accent color that you like. But if you paint your small hallway half-bathroom with that color it might end up making you feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable when using it.
Likewise, if you use a light color in a large room that you plan on using for entertaining, it could make the room feel less intimate than if using a darker color.
4. Analyze the lighting of the space before you paint
The paint color you ultimately choose will definitely be influenced by the light in your room. When picking paint colors, you have to consider your lighting.
If you’re picking out color cards from a paint store, most likely the store uses florescent lighting. Most florescent lighting gives off a cool light, enriching blues and greens. But under incandescent light (which is warmer and yellower), those same colors might look more muted than what you expected.
Natural light (sunlight) will also affect the way color looks, especially depending on the time of day.
So when deciding on paint color, it’s best to look at your color sample at your home under your lighting. Even better yet, get a sample quart of paint from your paint store and paint test patches on different walls of several rooms in your home. Look at them at different times of the day under natural and artificial lighting.
If you’d rather not paint your test colors directly on your walls, you could paint your color samples on a poster board instead and hang in on different walls to see how the colors looks in your home.
You want to make sure that you’re happy with how the color looks with your lighting before committing to painting your home.
The type of paint finish you choose also affects how color interacts with light.
Paint finishes that have a higher sheen reflects more light, which will brighten up your room. Whereas flat finishes gives diffuse light, giving rooms a subtle cozy feel.
When considering which paint finishes might work best in your home, check out our Paint Sheen Guide.
5. Consider the Room’s Function and Intended Mood
Color can attract attention, change your mood, and inspire creativity. Colors are also used to express who we are and how we’re feeling. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that the colors you use to paint a space will also affect how you feel in it.
As we discovered earlier, when you look at a color pallet there are warm tones and cool tones throughout.
Warm tones include reds, oranges, and yellows which are awakening, playful and energetic. Cool tones include greens, blues, and violates which are calming, relaxing, and soothing.
- Green and blue are calming colors, great for bedrooms and baths.
- Purple and indigo are thoughtful and spiritual.
- Reds are passionate, and stimulate appetite and conversation.
- Orange is another conversation color, typically used in kitchens and dining areas.
- Yellow is a bright and cheerful color, sparking creativity.
- Blacks and browns are grounding colors.
- White illuminates a space.
When selecting a paint color for your rooms, consider, how do you want to feel when you’re in it?
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