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Making a home color selection is not for the faint of heart! Sometimes, finding the perfect color can even feel overwhelming! However, choosing the perfect colors for your home is an exciting and personal process. By considering your style and the atmosphere you want to create, you can make the best color selections that reflect your unique taste and personality.

As an interior designer and home decor blogger, one of the questions I get asked the most by readers and clients is how to pick the right interior paint colors for your home. Although there are no right or wrong answers to this (some interior designers may not agree with me), some ‘go-to’s’ will make the process easier and help you make the right decision for your home! 

Let’s explore these 12 easy tips for picking the right paint color for your home, which hopefully will make the decision a bit smoother and easier. Make sure you also Pin these tips to use every time you need to paint a space in your home!

Do’s and Don’t Of Making A Home Colour Selection

Although there are truly no rules when it comes to interior design, especially if you are decorating your own home, a few guidelines can help ensure the best results or that your design vision comes to life as planned.

Here are some of the dos and don’ts of choosing the right combination or color for your home.

Home Colour Selection Do’s

  • Choose your color scheme based on the largest pattern in the space. If you have a large area rug or some beautiful wall art that you know will dominate the space’s design, find a complementary color scheme to match it.
  • Design the space to go from dark to light vertically. Similar to the outdoors, most spaces feel more airy and open, with the lightest color at the top of the room and a deeper shade on the floor. 
picking colours for your home

Now, this is only a recommendation, not a rule. As most of you know, I have light-painted wood floors and LOVE them, but that is also because my color scheme is monochromatic.

  • Understand that dark colors will make a space feel smaller, and light colors will make a room feel bigger! If you are already dealing with a very small space, it might be a good idea to brighten it with a light tone to maximize the appearance of a bigger room.

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Home Colour Section Don’t’s

  • Don’t EVER… and I mean ever pick your paint color for any space while at the paint store! Selecting the color for your home’s interior should only be done in the space itself. Every home has its own lighting and undertones. Each color will look different in every home! 
  • Never choose a color simply because one of your favorite home decor influencers uses it. Grab that color for reference, but also grab similar samples and choose the color that you love the most for the interior of your home. 

Picking Paint For Home Interiors

Now that you have a good idea of what guidelines you should consider when selecting a home color, let’s look at some practical tips and tricks for choosing a color.

Use Large Designer Swatches Or Paint Chips For Home Colour Selections

There is nothing worse than trying to pick a paint color by using the tiniest swatch on the planet! If you will invest the time and money into painting a space, be sure you are 100% confident in the color you choose! 

Ask your paint company if they have designer-size samples that you can sign out. These samples are usually larger and will give you a better idea of the true color when held up in space. 

Or even better, spend the money on the small tester-size samples so that you can test the colors on the wall before painting the space. This will truly help you make a proper decision.  

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Think Fashion First When Choosing A Paint Color 

Take a cue from the clothes you wear. You don’t buy colors you aren’t comfortable in so when picking your paint colors, try to use the same philosophy! You must feel the room is your style first and foremost.

 If you love bold patterns and pops of bright colors, don’t feel the need to paint your whole home with safe neutrals. You want to be able to walk in the space and feel comfortable and confident, just like you would in your favorite outfit!

Lighting For Your Home  

There is truly no element more important in the paint-choosing process than having the proper natural light in the room. You don’t want to choose the entire color scheme of your home on a cloudy day! You also don’t want to solely depend on daytime lighting for a space if you are going to predominantly spend the evening hours in it. It is best to make your decision after you have had the opportunity to see the color choices in all different lighting. 

Use Home Décor to Help Decide A Paint Colour

 If you already have some of the house’s furnishings, use those to help you make your paint colour decision! Pull a color from a patterned rug or a favorite throw pillow. If you want neutral wall paint or neutral tones, try taking one of the whites or beiges from the pattern instead. 

Check out how to style the perfect coffee table for more decor inspiration.

Work From The Floor Up When Making A Home Colour Selection

As I mentioned before, it’s a good bet that you will be safe if you follow the rule of starting dark and then going lighter as you move up the space vertically. This vertical rule begins with a darker shade on the floor. The walls of your home interior can be a light or medium tone, and the ceiling can be a light colour or a shade of white, as it makes it feel higher! This is a simple concept and is pretty foolproof! 

Always Choose The Boldest Colour First

When you are picking out the color scheme for the interior of your home, and you know you want a pop of color or a bit of boldness, it is a good idea to choose that color first. Then, base the rest of the colors on it! 

Many paint companies even showcase varying shades of complementary paint colors on the same swatch, which is always a great starting point once you have chosen the boldest color!

Use The Colour Wheel To Pick A Paint Scheme

The color wheel is a very simple tool that anyone can use to create a beautiful space! It uses analogous colors, or colors next to each other on the color wheel, like blue and green, to create a beautiful space. This is a great tool to use when you are trying to keep the space casual and comfortable!

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Balance Your Color Scheme With The 60-30-10 Rule 

Although there are no rules in design, this is an easy tool that can come in handy when planning paint colours for a space. 

The rule works like this: 60 percent of the space is the dominant color (walls), 30 percent is the secondary color (furnishings), and 10 percent is the accent color (accessories)! This ratio is great for anyone trying to take on a space without the help of a professional. 

The 60-30-10 approach will help your space feel balanced and beautiful! 

The Rule of Three When Making A Home Colour Selection

Keeping a space simple is always a good idea. No more than three colors in a space will help make it not feel so overwhelming to the eye. Applying this rule can still make a major impact on any room! Maybe you can work with white, light grey and navy. Big impression with minimal colours.

Neutrals Are Always Safe

 Neutral paint colors can actually be very interesting. In fact, sometimes an all-white or light backdrop is the perfect canvas setting for any space, small or large! The right shade of white is calm, comfortable, and casual and can even allow your decorative elements to be the focal point instead of the walls. My favorite color, white, is Oxford White by Benjamin Moore.

When choosing white or neutral shades, you want to know what you want. Some will have blue undertones or cool tones, while others will have yellow undertones or warm tones. Both are beautiful choices, and it just depends on how you want your space to feel.

neutral colour combinations

The best part of a neutral palette is that it is very easy to change the room’s look for little cost or effort down the road. Add a few new throw pillows or accessories, and you’ll have a beautiful new space! 

Check out the neutral colour pallet I have created in my tiny shed cabin

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Size And Details Matter When Picking Paint

When picking your room colors, you really need to have a good understanding of the space’s size. Maybe the area has high vaulted ceilings, or maybe it’s a small bathroom or home office. Both will require a different approach. 

One good rule to remember is that light colors work as highlighters and will make the space and walls feel bigger and further away. Dark colors will make the space feel smaller and the walls feel closer together. Keep this in mind when you are deciding on any paint colour, as it will have a major impact on the decision. 

If there are a lot of architectural details in the space, like a shiplap or a vaulted ceiling, a lighter color will also feature those more than a darker color.

Paint with Purpose

Think of what activities you do in the different areas of your home and try to plan appropriately. A family room or bedroom used predominantly for relaxation can have a subtle, calm color. Perhaps a dining room space can afford a bolder, brighter color since the majority of time spent in the space, you are already stimulated. Thinking of what purpose a room has is an easy way to help you make the perfect choice for a paint that best suits the space.

In conclusion, picking a paint color can be a bit overwhelming unless you have a good idea of exactly what you want out of the space. 

Using any of these tips or a combination of them will help you make a confident decision when choosing a home color- one that you won’t have to spend time and money correcting if you aren’t happy with the outcome!

I would love to know if these tips helped you at all, so please feel free to comment below or email me! Until next time, friends… 

More Home Inspiration

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a color for my house?

The best way to choose a color you will love and be happy with is to do your research! Look at home color ideas on Pinterest and magazines that appeal to you and use those as inspiration or a starting point.
 Once you have a basic paint color in mind, the best way to know what it will look like in your home is to go and purchase a sample pot of paint or even a few different wall colours. Apply the color or color choices to your wall and see how it looks in a few different types of lighting. 
If you want to use more than one color for the space, use the suggested color schemes or color combinations to that paint as a starting point. Don’t be afraid to try something a little different or out of the ordinary, after all, it is just paint and it can always be changed!

Should all rooms in the house be the same color?

This is completely dependent on your design style and home decor preferences. Although it is less common to paint a home all the same color, it is acceptable if you have a monochromatic or minimalist style. 
More commonly, however, most people prefer to break up the spaces in their homes with different color combinations. 

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