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Making a home colour selection is not for the faint of heart! Sometimes finding the perfect color can even feel overwhelming! One of the questions I get asked the most by readers and on social media 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), there are definitely some ‘go-to’s’ that will make the process easier and help you make the right decision for your home!
Let’s dive into these 12 easy tips for picking the right paint colour for your home and hopefully help 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 it is your own home that you are decorating, there are a few guidelines that can help make sure you get the best results or that your design vision comes to life as planned.
Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of making the right combination or colour selection for your home.
Home Colour Selection Do’s
- Choose your colour 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 be dominant in the design of the space, find a complementary color scheme to go with 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 colour at the top of the room and the floor a deeper shade.
Now, this is only a recommendation, not a RULE, as most of you know I have light-painted wood floors and LOVE it but that is also because my colour scheme is monochromatic.
- Understand that dark colours will make a space feel smaller and light colours 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! Trying to select the colour for the interior of your home should only be done in the space itself. Every home has its own lighting and undertones. Each colour will look different in every home!
- Never choose a colour simply because one of your favourite home decor influencers uses it. Grab that colour for reference but also grab samples that are similar and choose the colour 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 consider when you’re making a home colour selection, let’s look at some practical tips and tricks to use when choosing a colour.
Use Large Designer Swatches Or Paint Chips For Home Colour Selections
There is nothing worse than trying to pick a paint colour by using the tiniest swatch on the planet! If you are going to invest the time and money into painting a space, be sure you are 100% confident in the colour 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 colour when held up in a space.
Or even better, spend the money on the small tester-size samples so that you can test the colours on the wall prior to painting the space. This will truly help you make a proper decision.
Think Fashion First When Choosing A Paint Color
Take a cue from the clothes you wear. You don’t buy colours you aren’t comfortable in so when picking your paint colours, try to use the same philosophy! It is important that you feel the room is your style first and foremost.
If you are someone who loves bold patterns and pops of bright colors, then 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 colour 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 be spending the evening hours in the room. It is best to make your decision after you have had the opportunity to see the colour choices in all different lighting.
Use Home Décor to Help Decide A Paint Colour
If you already have some of the furnishings for the house, then use those to help you make your paint colour decision! Pull a colour from a patterned rug or a favourite throw pillow. If you are wanting neutral wall paint or neutral tones, try taking one of the whites or beiges from the pattern instead.
Looking for more decor inspiration, check out how to style the perfect coffee table.
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 colour scheme for the interior of your home and you know you want to have a pop of colour or a bit of boldness, it is a good idea to choose that colour first. Then base the rest of the colours on it!
A lot of paint companies will even showcase varying shades of complementary paint colours on the same swatch! This is always a great starting point to go off of once you have chosen the boldest colour!
Use The Colour Wheel To Pick A Paint Scheme
The color wheel is a very simple tool that anyone can use to come up with a beautiful space! It uses analogous colours, or colours next to each other on the colour wheel like blue and green, to come up with a beautiful space. This is a great tool to use when you are trying to keep the space casual and comfortable!
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 colour (walls), 30 percent is the secondary colour (furnishings) and 10 percent is the accent colour (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 colours in a space will help make it not feel so overwhelming to the eye. Applying this rule can still allow you to have a major impact on any room! Maybe you 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 leave room for your decorative elements to be the focal point instead of the walls. My favorite color white is Oxford White by Benjamin Moore.
When you are choosing white or neutral shades, you want to be sure you know what you are looking for. Some will have blue undertones or cool tones, while others will have yellow undertones or warm tones. Both are beautiful choices and just depend on what you are wanting your space to feel like.
The best part of a neutral palette is that it is very easy to change the look of the room for very little cost or effort down the road. Add a few new throw pillows or accessories and you 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
You really need to have a good understanding of the size of the space when you are picking your room colours. 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 colours work as a highlighter and will make the space and walls feel bigger and further away. Whereas dark colours will make the space feel smaller and the walls will feel closer together. Keep this in mind when you are deciding on any paint colour as it will make a major impact on the decision.
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 that is 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 for a paint that best suits the space.
In conclusion, picking a paint colour can be a bit overwhelming unless you have a good idea of exactly what you are wanting out of the space.
Using any one of these tips or even a combination of them will help you make a confident decision when choosing a home colour selection. 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 leave a comment below or send an email! Until next time friends…
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to choose a color you are going to love and be happy with is to do your research! Look at home color ideas on Pinterest and in magazines that appeal to you and use those as inspiration or as 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 are wanting to use more than one color for the space, use the suggested color schemes or colour 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!
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.