Choosing a color palette for your home can be a tedious job and one that many of us avoid. Sometimes, we are too afraid to pick any color and wind up in a 50 shades of beige horror (yes, I went there). Or, we pick way too much color and end up having decor that looks more fitting for a clown's home. There have been times where I am completely guilty of both, but thankfully, there are designers who are much wiser than us when it comes to home decor. These are a few of the tips they give when choosing a color palette for your home.
1. Look to Your Wardrobe
This is the greatest bit of advice I have ever found for choosing a color palette of your home. The great Emily Henderson recommends looking to your wardrobe for inspiration and picking the main color of your room/house from the most prominent color that you wear. This is genius. We tend to pick colors we love that also look great on us when we choose clothing.
2. Go for What You Look Good in
One time, in my younger and less wise years, I chose a beautiful taupe color for the paint and base color of my office. We hired a painter, paid him, and I hated it. Taupe is one of the worst looking colors on me, ever. It turned out that my office made my skin look pale and dead and made me feel gross. No one wants that from their home. To avoid it, only pick colors that look good with your skin tone. I have even gone as far as holding the swatches to my skin- it works and I now love my Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore walls.
3. Accent It
If you are afraid of color, like me, but get bored with monotone or hate beige (also me), then keep your overall color palette simple except for one pop. This pop of color will keep things fun and can be changed out more easily than a couch or the walls since it is only in the accessories. When choosing an accent color, pick something that you love and something that is opposite your main color. For example, my office is now gray with navy blue and white but the pop is pink. Pink is opposite blue on the color wheel, so it makes things fun, but can easily be changed out if I ever grow to hate it. Which I may.
4. Pick Four
This may sound odd, but when it comes to color, I have a rule of fours for each room. First, you have the main color- this is the one that is most seen and the color that you love/wear the most. The next two colors are ones in the same color house as the main shade, but one is lighter and one is darker. This will pull the room together but still bring depth. Finally, you have your accent color that is opposite of these. If we keep with my office as an example, my main color is gray (I just love gray), my darker is navy blue (second favorite color), my lighter is white (so much white), and my accent is pink.
5. Choose a Metal
No matter what you do, there will almost always be metal in your home- the door hinges, handles, candle sticks, and window rods are almost always metal. Some people (my husband) are driven crazy when all of these metals are not the same. If this is you, pick a metal that you like that can transition through the entire house. Copper is a bit of a trend right now, but colors like bronze and silver will always be in style. If you want more of an eclectic look, mix and match a few, but I would recommend no more than three per room, total.
6. Pick a Wood
When it comes to furnishings there are a few types of people, but most will fit into one of two groups. The first group is the "all woods must be the same" group, the second is the "mix and match" group. Both groups are great and design awesome things, so just figure out which you like more and go with it. I like to mix and match so my office has white and light wood furnishings with dark wood floors. My husband is a matchy-matcher, so his office is dark wood all the way.
7. Warm and Cool Tones
To get a room to feel complete and welcoming, it should have a mixture of both warm tones and cool tones. Warm tones are anything between red and light green on the color wheel, cool is anything between dark green and purple. Whites and blacks do not fit into either category. If you tend towards the reds and yellows, be sure to bring in a cooler tone as well- a great option would be deep greens or purples. If you like cooler, picking a warmer tone like orange or pink will help the room feel more inviting. Warm, brown woods are another great way to add in some warmth!
8. Keep One Color Throughout
Every room does not need to have the same color palette or even the same main color to be cohesive. Keep a good flow to your home by bringing one color throughout every room. For our home, that color is gray. Gray is the main color for my husband's office, my office, and our guest bedroom, but is seen much less in our bedroom and living room. The woods in our house change from room to room as does the color palette, but having that one vein of similarity throughout helps each room flow to the next.
9. Have Fun
This may seem silly, but having fun with your color palette can be the difference between loving decor and hating it. Start by picking the color you love most, then get some swatches of tones lighter and darker than the main hue. Play with these until you find something you like, then add in your pop. Using paint swatches can be a great way to do this since you can see so many variations of one color and they are free.
These nine tips are the things I use most when picking a new color palette for a room. This will give a great guideline for choosing colors, but is not overly restrictive. What are some of your best home decor tips?