We are each an incredible, unique being. Different things thrill and repulse us. One of the toughest things for a new couple or family to navigate is blending styles and tastes. A good place to start whether you are making choices for yourself, or with a partner or family, is to get really clear on what you like.
Choosing a color palette for your home can be intimidating… there are SO many choices! Never fear… I have some tips and guidelines to help.
Gather images you love. Pull pictures from magazines. Save pins on Pinterest. Browse the online resource Houzz… If you have never searched Houzz before, it is a comprehensive resource for finding ideas! You can search for wall colors to see what you like… you can search for specific styles, like “beach house” or “eclectic interiors” and get unending photo references from designers and decorators across the country. As you can see here where I searched for ‘blue wall color in bedroom’ it returned 412,822 image results!
You can create a free account, and save things under different categories (ie ‘outdoor space ideas’, ‘wall colors’, ‘kitchen ideas’, ‘front doors’, etc.). There is also a field to note why you are saving an image. Maybe you like the wall color, but don’t care for the rest of the decor – type “wall color” in the notes field to remind you later.
Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What are the predominant colors you are drawn to? This can provide a clue to your preferences.
Artwork can guide you to a color palette, as well. Do you have a favorite painting or piece of art? Is there a predominant color or color story in it? Can you make that palette into a story for a room? Or pull out an accent color to repeat in a pillow or accessory?
Above is a beautiful painting by my talented stepdaughter, Anna. She does commissioned work at her Etsy site.
You can also use a print or a photograph that inspires you:
Once you (and whomever the other decision makers are) have identified colors you love, you can begin playing with putting them together.
I like to choose a few neutrals (2-3 shades of a color or hue) to use throughout my home, then use accent colors in a wall, powder or smaller room, and accessories. By using a more neutral shade throughout the space, there is continuity. I can use different accents in different rooms because it is all made congruous by the overarching neutral (more on how to choose the perfect set of neutrals in an upcoming post!). I can also change out these accents more easily to either freshen the space, or change over to a new season.
If you have found a color that you love, and want to see what else you can put with it, two strategies for choosing colors to coordinate can be found using the color wheel. Locate your shade (or closest version) on the color wheel. It is pretty safe to mix it with colors directly adjacent to it, as well as directly across from it on the color wheel. As I’ve said before, there are no rules, only guidelines. Try things you think you might like. If you love living with them, then you’ve hit upon something! If you don’t, try something else.
Start noticing color combinations you like in fabrics, rooms, logos, products… anywhere. Snap a picture with your phone and store it in a folder labelled ‘color’, When its time to choose colors, you’ll be ahead of the game.
What are some of your favorite combinations?