Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home
There are a lot of ways you can add character to your new home, but one of the easiest and most effective touch-ups is adding a fresh coat of paint, or some new colors to your home’s pallet. Paint can help you set a mood, define a look, and even change the size of the space. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Check out some of our basic paint Do’s and Don’ts below.
There are four basic rules to keep in mind when choosing paint colors.
- Rule 1 – Be bold! One of the advantages of paint is that you can paint over what you don’t like. So don’t be afraid to experiment with that shade of turquoise you’ve been swooning over for years. If you get tired or bored with a color, change it up later to keep things exciting and fresh.
- Rule 2 – Colors add lift to a room, but too many colors in one space can be overwhelming. If you choose more than one color in a room, we suggest keeping it to three colors, maximum. If you end up picking two bold colors, the third color should be on the neutral side. Think beige, cream or even a light yellow.
- Rule 3 – When deciding on colors, it's best to start with the boldest color. It's easier to pair your secondary color choices to the bigger color.Check out a color wheel to find complementary colors for your main shade.
- Rule 4 – The main or dominant neutral color should cover 60% of your home, the secondary colors 30%, and the accent shade 10%.
Don’t Pick Your Paint Color First
Once you choose your furniture, then move on to wall colors. When moving into a new home, a common mistake is choosing the colors first, where you may later discover it doesn't match that bright red leather couch, or those checkered curtains. If you have a favorite piece, such as a painting you would like to display, choose paint colors complimenting that signature item and everything else will fall into place.
Colors Set a Mood
Paint color in a room can set the mood and the atmosphere, and, when done right, it can even make smaller rooms feel more spacious and bigger spaces feel more cozy. Lighter colors make rooms feel bigger and brighter. On the other hand, darker shades make rooms feel smaller. Dark and intense colors, have a tendency to add drama and can be great for matching your favorite paintings, rugs or other fun pieces you own.
Keep undertones in mind when deciding the feeling you want to evoke with a room's colors. Warm undertones range from brown to tan to beige – they give off a cozy feel. Cool undertones are those that range in the gray, green, and blue spectrum – they give off a clean and tranquil feel.
Consider a Neutral Color as Your Main
Your home needs a dominant neutral shade, these are shades of white, gray, and beige. Neutral colors go with everything. Many interior designers advise clients to keep the base color in the common areas and add secondary colors and accent colors as you wish. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid that gorgeous turquoise you’ve been considering for your office.
Secondary and Accent Colors
Once you've chosen your neutral paint color and its undertones, the next step is to choose secondary and accent colors. When considering secondary colors, they should be in the same temperature range: warm goes with warm, and cool with cool. The third accent color should be a more bold color, contrasting the secondary color. It could also be a darker or lighter shade than the main or secondary color.
The colors you choose for your home will give off a distinct impression. The main color palette should reflect your personality. Your secondary and accent colors should be in the same temperature range to create a feeling of harmony between all the colors.
Whatever colors you choose to paint your home with, make sure they’re distinctly you. Want to learn more about making a house your home? Check out New Home Guide Resources.