6 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors for your Home

6 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors for your Home

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your home, and there’s a lot riding on this choice.

There’s so much to be said for room usage, flow and function, but in the end, it’s the color that makes us feel emotions. The whole idea is to evoke emotion.

But choosing paint colors can seem like a daunting, if not impossible, task. Anyone who has stood in front of the wall of paint swatches at the home improvement store can attest to that.

We quizzed our design and style experts to come up with six tips for choosing the perfect paint colors. Read on to learn how to narrow the field of color choices and land on a final choice you’ll love.

 Living room paint colors: Blue

Explore Your Paint Color Options

The Homemakers design consultants help explore and define customers’ sense of style by creating whole-room designs and matching them with the perfect furniture and accessories. This includes in-home consultations and one-on-one assistance on the showroom floor.

Living room paint colors: gray

They say that one of the best ways to find color inspiration is simply by walking through the Homemakers showroom and having customers point to colors, furniture styles and designs that they like or dislike.

They’ll also instruct customers to search Pinterest for examples of rooms they find appealing. Exploring these colors in the context of a put-together room, and not simply on a paint swatch at the store, is helpful.

Dining room paint colors: red

Consider Room Usage When Choosing Paint Color

Ensure that your paint choice matches the room in question.

You don’t want incredibly strong, vibrant colors in a bedroom. Instead of a bright purple for instance, consider a softer hue of plum — something more tranquil and inviting.

By contrast, you can make a bolder choice for other rooms in your home, like dining rooms, family rooms or other home entertainment spaces.

Living room paint colors: blue

Continuity is Key

A great way to create a cohesive space is to have a common thread of color and carry it through different elements of the room. This could include wall color, furniture upholstery, décor, throw pillows, rugs and more. This recurring theme draws your eye and leads it through the room.

Bedroom paint colors: slateLiving room paint colors: burgundy

You want to make a space useful and comfortable, but not in a way that’s going to distract or detract from what goes on, which is family and love.

Wall color is what ties everything in a room together for a warm, welcoming space. It’s not there to dominate, it’s there to complement. It will be the difference between a cohesive feel and something that just doesn’t quite work.

Gray is In

“Gray has established itself as a preferred neutral over beige in design,” says Sue, Homemakers’ Director of Visual Display.

Gray paint can provide a crisp, clean backdrop that really allows bold furniture and accents to pop.

“There are so many ways to make gray: on the brown side, on the black side, on the blue side,” Pam says. “I’m personally attracted to a light, light gray wall with charcoal gray trim. I think that’s beautiful.”

Lighting — both the type and the intensity — can change the character of any paint color you choose, especially in the case of gray. Try purchasing a small test bottle of paint and giving it a test run in different areas of your room. See what the paint looks like in direct light, on an overcast day and in lamplight, for starters. Don’t forget to test it near the room’s trim, either, to see if you like the combination.

Use a Color Wheel

A color wheel can also help you narrow the field of hues to find a combination of colors that appeal to you. Warm colors — think reds and oranges — are on one side, with cool colors — blues and purples —on the opposite side.

When determining a color palette, one option is to choose three colors that form a triangle in the middle of the color wheel. This triad scheme offers a balanced approach and can help you choose what wall color best complements your accent colors, or vice versa.

Adobe has an online color wheel. It’s a great way to explore triad color schemes, monochromatic palettes and more.

Adobe color wheel

If at first you don’t succeed…

…don’t give up!

“The most important thing to remember is it’s only paint,” Sue says. “You can always change it!”

For more on color, see our color theory infographic, and check out the top color choices from color authority Pantone.

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