The quickest way to change the look of a room is with fresh color. It’s usually one of the first things people think about when moving into a home or updating a room, but often ends up being the most challenging decision.
Since color is such a powerful element in design and can have a strong effect on how you feel in a space, it’s definitely not something you want to shrug off as an afterthought. However, that doesn’t mean it has to cause you a huge headache, either!
Choosing the right color for your home is a lot easier than it may seem. Chances are, you are already drawn to certain colors, you just haven’t recognized what they are yet. Color is all about mood and feeling. Even though there aren’t any hard and fast rules to choosing colors, there are certain tricks of the trade that can make the process go a lot smoother.
Here are some simple tips to help you choose a color scheme for your home that will keep you inspired.
Tips for Creating the Perfect Color Scheme
1 Gather inspiration of colors and combinations you like. Inspiration doesn’t only have to come from other interiors. You can find inspiration in fashion, nature, art, shops, and restaurants ─ just to name a few. Collect images from magazines, books, or online and put together a file (either on Pinterest or by hand). This will reveal to you what really gets you inspired. When you’re ready to start thinking about color schemes, you can begin your plan here.
2 What are your favorite colors? Think about what colors you are drawn to when looking at things like magazines and clothes. In fact, you can take a peek in your closet to see what colors you enjoy wearing. One’s taste in fashion will often mirror their taste in home decor. If you find a particular color that keeps popping up, you know it’s one you respond to and that could be a great place to start.
Be careful of trendy or seasonal colors, though. They would best be left for accessorizing as your love of them may change when the trend or season passes.
3 A good rule-of-thumb when formulating a color palette is to stay with 3 colors. To help make the look cohesive, you can use the 60-30-10 rule. Here’s the breakdown on how it works:
- 60% of a dominant color
- 30% of a secondary color
- 10% of an accent color
Of course, rules are made to be broken, so if your instincts are telling you to use more colors, then by all means ─ go for it! This “rule” is a good place to start, though, if you’re looking for some guidance.
4 If you’re not sure about combining colors, try a color scheme made up of one color (a monochromatic color scheme). You can bring interest to a room by using various tones of the same color. Pair it with white for a crisp look or black for something more dramatic. Then, you can layer in different textures and patterns to make the space even more dynamic.
5 To keep things simple, find one color you love then build off of that by pairing it with a complimentary or analogous color.
- Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange or red and green.
- Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel, like yellow and green or blue and violet.
This is an easy hack for choosing a compelling color scheme!
6 Creating a color scheme made up of several colors is a bold choice, but it can be successful if done right. As I said earlier in the 60-30-10 rule, it is a little trickier to mix more than three colors together, but the results can be spectacular if done right. To keep it in check and comfortable, make sure all the colors are the same tone. For example, several pastels will work well together, as will a combination of different jewel tones.
7 A great way to make a statement in a room is with contrast. This can be done using contrasting colors such as white and black or a lighter and darker tone of the same color. It doesn’t take a lot to make an impact. Even just some dark pillows on a light sofa can create an eye-catching effect. If you want to be a little more bold, consider doing a bold accent wall with light, neutral furniture against it or vice versa.
8 Use an inspiration piece as a starting point for your room’s color scheme. It could be upholstery fabric, curtains, a pillow, a flower, or even a piece of art. Draw your color scheme from the colors in your inspiration piece. If you love the overall style and essence of that piece, you can use it to inspire the rest of the decor, as well. When you find something that makes you feel the way you want to feel in your home, aim to capture that spirit in your home’s decor.
Creating a color scheme is a lot of fun when you know a few tricks to help make it easier. Ready to try something new with color in your home? Download the free Color Scheme Worksheet to help you discover what the perfect palette could be for your space.