Color Ideas for Your Home: Help in Choosing Interior Decorating Colors

What color choices you make are affected by a number of factors. Personality, climate, and function of the room are all important players. Color trends are always in flux, so the best idea is to pick something you love and that you can live with. It is costly to change fabrics, furniture, and wall paint because something is out of style. Make your style classic and timeless by focusing on what feels good to you.

The First Step in Choosing Color

While many people believe the first step should be to choose a wall color, this is in fact the last thing you should do. You can paint first, but by that point you should have all the furnishings, window treatments, and carpet already selected. It is much easier to mix paint to match your fabrics than to find fabrics that match your walls.

Advice for Blending Color in a Home

More homes these days involve open floor plans, which requires a harmony of colors on the first floor. While not every room has to have walls painted the exact same color, they should have a continuous tone. Avoid mixing warm and cool colors, or bright and pastel colors. There should be some way in which the colors relate to each other. Consider what feel you want your home to have. Would you like an energetic home with bright citrus colors or a cool, calm home with muted blues and greens, or perhaps a comfortable and cozy feel with warm neutrals?

Climate Can Make a Difference

The climate of a room involves not only the outdoor climate of your location but also the direction the windows are facing. A house in a northern climate with a north-facing window is going to have much less sunshine and have a darker feel that may need to be worked around compared to a house in Florida with southern exposure. The last situation would call for colors that can hold their own in washed-out conditions while the former might need bright colors or light colors with light woodwork to keep from looking drab and depressing.

Size Matters in Selecting Color for a Room

While there are no hard and fast rules here, there are some guidelines that might be helpful. Painting a ceiling tends to make the ceiling appear lower, which might not be the best choice in a smaller-sized room. Light colors make a room feel more open and airy, and dark colors can help a large room feel more intimate. You can create a unique effect to draw people into a large room by placing lighter colored furnishings toward the entry and darker colored fabrics and woods near the back, to entice people to enter the space that appears to have more “personality”.

Current Color Trends

  • Taupe is a popular color now, with the idea that it will work with just about anyone’s color scheme. It is showing up on walls and carpeting in many model homes.
  • Earth tones are everywhere, such as browns running from chocolate to sun-kissed, golds and bronzes, and outdoor hues such as khaki green and gray-blue sky.
  • Warm neutrals are another excellent choice for a base color. Consider terra cotta, honey beige and olive tans.
  • Wood colors are moving away from the light colors to darker tones. Floors and cabinetry favors cherry and stained maple.
  • Finishes for cabinets and door knobs are tending toward brushed nickel, stain finishes, oil-rubbed bronze, and other seemingly exotic, texturized metals.
  • Carpets are still neutrals, with slight color flecks to add some interest and used in a minimal number of rooms.