Tips for Improving Your Home Color Scheme

photo credit: Mark Evans/istock

When painting your home, do you think about the overall color scheme, or do you just pick colors for each room based on what might look good at the time?  Taking some time to develop a comprehensive home color plan will ensure a beautiful, harmonious home color palette that flows from room to room.

Tip #1 – Be careful not to overuse your favorite color.  Sometimes too much of a good thing, is… well, too much.  No matter how much you love a color, using it on every surface of a room will quickly make the room look stale.  The color will no longer have any impact when you see it everywhere.

Instead, use your favorite color sparingly and introduce it in different values, textures and intensities throughout the space.   Texture is an especially effective way to vary the color, since your eye will also pick up the differences in the material.

Tip #2 – Look at the ceiling and trim as decorative accents.  Most people ignore these surfaces in a room, automatically painting them all white.  But ceilings and woodwork are perfect (albeit unexpected) places to add a little pizzazz to your color scheme.  Just tinting the usual white paint with a little of the wall color will make a world of difference.

Keep in mind that you should always paint the ceiling in a flat finish, to minimize imperfections, and paint the trim in semi-gloss or high-gloss for easy care and maintenance.

Tip #3 – If you feel you don’t have a good eye for color, try copying successful color combination’s.  At the paint store, take the time to look at the displays and sample boards provided by the various paint manufacturers.  They have taken the guesswork out of creating a color scheme.  Some manufacturers offer brochures with multiple color chips that allow you to create different moods and develop a well-coordinated palette for your home.

To establish a “theme” in your home, pick a “signature” color, and then use it throughout your entire home in different amounts: for example, use it in one room as an accent wall color, in another room as furniture upholstery color, and as the trim color in yet another room.

Tip #4 – Don’t forget about transition areas in your home.  Painting rooms different colors without taking their connection to the next room into consideration can result in color overload.  To ease the transition from one space to another, and unify and harmonize your home’s overall color scheme, use a neutral color such as beige, tan, off-white or cream for painting hallways.

Finding a common thread between the colors of the rooms can also lead you to a color that can balance and tie them together.

For more tips on choosing interior paint colors for your home and creating successful room color schemes, visit the author’s website at

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