Are you tired of the same boring color scheme nearly everyone has in their home? Does the interior of your house look just like your neighbor’s? If you want to stand out as having a unique design sense, then it’s time to consider your color choices. While there is something to be said for classic design, going with off-white is a bit boring unless you jazz it up with a few pops of color.
While you do have a bit of room for creativity, you’ll also want to apply a few rules of thumb as you choose colors for the interior of your home. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid allows you to create a model home look you’ll be proud of. Here are 11 tips to get you started.
Don’t Go Crazy
Even though it might be tempting to paint your bedroom in that deep purple you love so much, not everyone will like that color. Try to look at your home through the eyes of potential buyers. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home anytime soon, things can change on a dime. If you end up needing to sell sooner than expected, you’ll find yourself with another paintbrush in hand, covering over those purple walls.
It’s a better use of your painting dollars to go with neutral colors on your walls and add pops of color with accents. Most experts recommend that you choose a neutral color as the primary color in your home that covers 60 percent of your space.
Going back to the bedroom, you could paint the walls a soft gray and add your brilliant purple in the throw pillows on your bed. What if you don’t like the purple next year? If it’s on a pillow, you just swap it out for a new one, which is much easier than completely repainting a room.
Know What Doesn’t Work
Some colors just don’t work for specific rooms, no matter how much you like that color. For example,don’t paint the walls of a bathroom yellow. People typically get ready for work in bathrooms, and yellow casts a hue that makes your skin look like it has yellow undertones. If you’re applying makeup, the yellow tones can throw off the entire look, leaving you pale and washed-out or too garish.
Understand Minimalist Concepts
Minimalism is in — people like to use natural materials and colors in their designs. These hues translate well with home buyers, too, because they are generic enough to attract the majority of people. Items such as granite countertops, hardwood floors and stone on the backsplash create a streamlined, modern and neutral look.
However, minimalist doesn’t mean you can’t utilize color at all — many design experts recommend adding an accent wall or fun pieces as a splash of color to break up the visual monotony of an all-white kitchen. Or, add a brilliant backsplash to liven up an otherwise drab space. The key to using color is to keep accent pieces to a small percentage of the overall design.
Don’t Overlook Classic Color Choices
If you’re designing a home for resale, sticking withclassic color choices is smart. Some colors can withstand the test of time year after year, keeping your home from looking dated. These color combinations include black and white, beige and blue or charcoal gray with a creamy linen color.
The way you combine these colors also impacts whether your home takes on a classic or modern look. A single, solid color on the walls is classic. However, if you want to create a geometric design, traditional colors suddenly take on a more modern look. Afraid to take such a bold painting risk? Add some wall stickers to temporarily jazz up the space.
You can choose from many different combinations to create a unique look for your home and your family.
When in Doubt, Go to the Color Wheel
Having trouble choosing a color palette for your home? The color wheel is an excellent place to turn for inspiration. If you plan to paint the living room blue, simply locate that color on the wheel and find a complementary color on the opposite side.
A color wheel is also useful if you want to go with a monochromatic color scheme, where you focus on a single color and choose various shades within that color to complete the look. Be sure to compare color choices carefully and make adjustments before investing in design materials.
Create a Mood
Colors directly tie in with certain emotions, so you can certainly create a mood with your paint choices:
- Blue: Blue is a long-time favorite of many that is typically associated with art, business and the military.
- Red: Red creates deep emotions in people tied to anger and passion.
- Yellow: Yellow was likely one of the first colors used in prehistoric cave art, and it adds warmth and a joyful emotion to any environment.
- Green: Green signals nature and can give your home an inviting atmosphere.
- Orange: Orange is one of those colors that has a wide range of shades that can go from a sweet, soft peach to a bold, brash deep orange.
These are just a handful of color choices and the meaning and moods behind them.
Think About the Room’s Light
One big mistake people make when choosing a paint color for their homes is not considering the natural light in the room. When you’re in the paint store, you’re under bright fluorescent lights. The way a color sample looks on a strip in the store can vary significantly from how it looks on your wall in a dimly lit room.
Once you find the color you’d like, purchase a small sample and place it on one or two of the walls you plan to paint. You just need a strip of the color to see if it might work and look the way you want it to. The lighting in a room can drastically change the look of a color.
Choose Warm or Cool Shades
It’s difficult to know whether a warm or cool color choice is best. You can, however, look at some things that will clue you into the best color choices for your home. While more than half of your walls should be painted something neutral, you’ll want to reserve 30 percent for a secondary color — ceilings, for example, or trim — and 10 percent for accents. Accents include the bright or unusual colors you wouldn’t put on an entire room.
To choose between warm or cool color tones, take the time to look at your permanent fixtures, such as flooring, cabinets or expensive pieces of furniture. You can always base your choice off those pieces. An oak floor would be a warm color, for example, while a gray tile would be cool. Your paint choices should match the same tones.
Paint One Wall and Pause
You might be anxious to finish your big painting job and see the finished results. However, painting back over a green room that is too bright takes a lot more time than simply painting over one wall that is too bright. It’s also hard to tell what a color will look like until you get it on at least one wall and allow it to dry thoroughly.
If you’re a little uncertain of your color choice, paint just a single wall, then pause. Look at the wall at different times of the day when the light is brighter or dimmer. Do you still like your color choice? If so, go ahead and complete the room. If not, it’s probably time to start from scratch and find a new color scheme.
Get Advice From a Professional
Do you think hiring an interior designer is way beyond your budget? You can also hire one for a consultation rather than asking them to do the work and hire contractors to complete tasks. A designer can come up with a plan for you, including a color palette and advice about what to do in various rooms to make them as functional and aesthetically pleasing as possible. You’ll spend a fraction of the price, but you’ll save precious time, as they will make all the tough decisions for you.
Consider the Room Size
If you’re painting a small enclosed room, your goal is likely to make it look bigger. A good rule is to stick with light colors for small spaces, as dark colors can make rooms seem smaller and more closed in. If in doubt between two shades of a color, always go with the lighter one. On top of it enlarging the space, it’s easier to paint a darker color over a lighter one if you end up having to change it.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color
Even though you don’t want a house that looks like Willy Wonka’s candy factory exploded inside, you shouldn’t be afraid to use color. If you adore fuchsia, go ahead and add some throughout your house in the form of accent pieces. Paint the walls white and throw up some fuchsia curtains.
If you genuinely love a color or theme, then design rules don’t really apply. In the end, you are the one living in your house, and you should be happy with all the small touches throughout.