Color Tips

Color Tips

Choosing a color palette can be one of the most intimidating aspects of creating your new interior. Many of us will eagerly wear royal purple or a lush apricot, but are reluctant to put it on our walls or use it in our furniture. But few other design elements can create the impact that color does. It is part of the foundation of the room and helps to set the tone for everything that goes into the room. Here are some tips to help you choose color with confidence.

Make a Room Feel Bigger
  • Colors that recede make a room feel larger. Light value colors and mid-toned cool colors recede.
  • A color scheme of similar values will make a room seem larger, but don’t forget the ceiling and floor.
Make a Room Feel Intimate
  • Bold, advancing colors such as red, gold, orange and brown make a room feel more intimate.
Color and Light

The light source in a room can dramatically alter color perception. Colors become more vibrant in sunlight. What looks like a soft yellow on the paint swatch card can become a blazing inferno on a wall that is lit by the morning sun.

Create Flow in Your Floor Plan

Carry over one color from the palette of an adjacent room to create flow in your home. For example, the accent or trim color in your living room can become the base wall color for your dining room. The two together will make a pleasing scene when you peer from one room into the other.

How to Choose a Color for Your Walls
  • Start with something you love. It could be small like an accessory such as a patterned throw pillow or an art object. This will be the inspiration for your design. The goal is not to match it, but to make it shine in the room. If the object is a bright color, then it will pop when viewed against a neutral compliment.
  • If the object has a pattern, then choose a lesser-used hue within the pattern.
  • Choose a value two shades lighter than your first choice. Colors become more intense when seen over a large expanse of wall.
  • If you want to know how a color will look in your room before committing to moving the furniture and laying down the drop cloths, consider using an online color visualizer tool, like the one at
Color Combinations to Notice
  • Pinks from bubblegum to baby girl shades paired with sophisticated browns, grays, and lustrous, matte metallics.
  • Vibrant greens in counterpoint to graphic black and whites. More subtle olive, sage, and moss tones are found with earth tones, and clear, oceanic blues.
  • Earthy oranges combined with subtle shades of cream and taupe.
  • Urbane grays bring elegance to every pairing, from purple and lavender to black and white.

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