How to Choose Interior Paint Colors: A Step-by-Step Guide

With so many available options, deciding on a paint color for your home can be challenging. In this blog post, we offer practical tips on selecting the right color and provide examples that you can use as inspiration.

how to choose the perfect color for your home
Photo by Sidekix Media / Unsplash

With so many available options, deciding on a paint color for your home can be challenging. It gets easier once you know how to choose the right one and understand how it affects your home. In this blog post, we offer practical tips on selecting the right paint color and provide examples that you can use as inspiration.

Before you get started, consider the existing color scheme in your home. Do they form a cohesive look, or do they clash and visually distract? If you have bold furniture or floors, you might want to choose a more subdued paint. On the other hand, if your space is mostly neutral, you can afford to be a little more adventurous with your paint choice.

Choosing paint colors

When choosing a paint color, think about the overall feeling you want for your home. Do you want it to feel light and airy, dark and cozy, bright and cheery? The right color can help create the atmosphere you're looking for.

home paint colors
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The mood of the room is an essential factor to consider because colors can affect our mood, appetite and sleep. The process will be easier once you know what mood you want to create. You should focus on the colors you like and those that make you happy.

For example, if you want a room to feel cozy and intimate, you might want to choose a warm color like orange or red. If you want a room to feel calm and serene, you might want to choose a cool color like blue or green. Each year, major paint companies announce the color of the year predictions, so that's also a good place to learn what's new and trendy.

Interior color schemes

You also need to consider whether you want a warm or cool tone. Warm colors like orange, yellow and red can make a room feel cozy, while cool colors like blue, green and purple can be calming. Your color choice can even increase your energy or lower your blood pressure and help you decompress.

choosing paint colors
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You might want to include neutrals and cool tones in your bedroom to help you relax and sleep better. Warmer colors might be a better choice for your living room or office, with splashes of bright accent colors for a cheerful and happy aesthetic.

If you're not sure which type of color you want, we recommend picking a neutral shade like white or beige. These colors go with everything and can easily be repainted if you change your mind later.

Pick a design style

Another critical factor to consider when choosing paint colors is your design style. Some shades will be more appropriate than others. Do you prefer the simplistic palette of Scandinavian interior design style, or do you like the vibrant style of Art Deco? Maybe you prefer the traditional or rustic style. Your choice will play a role in your selection.

interior color schemes
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For example, if you're going for a rustic farmhouse look, you might want to choose a neutral palette with warm accent colors like red or yellow. On the other hand, if you prefer a modern aesthetic, you might want to go with a cool color like blue or green.

Can't figure out which design style is right for you? We think you'll enjoy our post on the most popular interior design styles to help you decide.

Check your lighting

The lighting of the room can also affect the paint color you choose. The way a paint color looks in the can is often very different from how it looks on the wall. If a room has a lot of natural light, you might want to choose a lighter paint color to prevent the space from feeling too overwhelming. If a room doesn't have much natural light, you might want to choose a darker paint to make the area feel cozier.

home color ideas
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There are many different types of lightbulbs, but the most commonly used in homes are incandescent, fluorescent and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are the traditional type of lightbulb. They produce light by passing an electric current through a wire filament. In fluorescent bulbs, the light is created by an electric current passing through gas. LED bulbs produce light by passing an electric current through a semiconductor.

choose your bulbs wisely
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The type of lightbulb you choose for your home depends on your needs. If you want a lightbulb that produces a lot of light, an incandescent bulb would be the best option. If you're looking for a more energy-efficient lightbulb, a fluorescent or LED bulb would be better.

You should also consider the brightness of the lightbulb, as it might affect how the color looks when the lights are on. Warm white bulbs emit a yellowish light, while cool white bulbs emit a bluish light. Make sure to test out your paint color in the space before committing to it. This will help you see how the light affects it and whether or not you like it.

How to test your colors before you paint

Once you've chosen a few paint samples that you like, it's time to test them out. The test will help you see how the color looks in the space and how it changes throughout the day. The best way to do this is to buy sample sizes of the paint and paint small swatches on the wall.

Photo by Juice Flair / Shutterstock

After you've selected a color you love, it's time to start painting. If you're still not sure which one to choose for your home, we recommend painting a large piece of poster board or cardboard with your desired color. Then, place the poster board in different areas of the room to see how the light affects it.

Follow the 60/30/10 interior decorating rule

Understanding the 60/30/10 interior decorating rule will help you create a color scheme that looks polished and put together. This rule states that 60% of the room should be the dominant color, 30% should be a secondary color, and the remaining should be an accent color.

Use the color wheel to create harmonious color combinations that make an impression and achieve your desired effect. The most common harmonies you can opt for are monochrome, complementary or analogous color combinations.

color wheel for selecting paint
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Monochrome combinations consist of multiple tints, shades and tones of one color. Complementary combinations (also known as contrasting) consist of colors on the opposite ends of the color wheel, while analogous combinations sit side by side on the wheel.

For example, if you are inspired by a painting with mostly blue and green tones, you could use blue as the dominant color, green as the secondary color and white as the accent. You can also opt for light grey as the dominant color, dark grey as the secondary and white as the accent.

To learn more about different color combinations, we recommend you watch our video on the rules of color theory.

Add accent colors to your home

If you're more comfortable with a neutral color palette on your walls, we recommend adding a splash of color to your home with accessories. Pillows, blankets, throws and carpets are a great way to add pops of color throughout the room.

You can also use wall art, bowls, baskets and other artwork to tie the look together. However, keep in mind that adding too many patterns can make a room look busy and cluttered, so we recommend sticking to two or three colors.

accent wall
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Another great way to add a spot of color is to create an accent wall painted a different color than the rest of the room. This option allows you to add bolder shades without overwhelming your space.

If you're still unsure about the paint colors you like, look around you. Inspiration can come from anywhere, including nature. Go outside and look at flowers, trees and the sky to find shades that work well together.

We hope these tips help you narrow down your options and find the perfect paint color for your space. Don't forget to check out our Pinterest board for interior design color palettes and find your inspiration.

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