I Don’t Know How to Pick! A Guide to Choosing Colors For Your Home

Redecorating and updating your house can be a fun and rewarding way to freshen up your spaces. But choosing colors for your home can feel overwhelming for many people. When you buy furniture or walk into a paint store, it may feel like the options never end.

You might be ready to upgrade just one room. Or you may be building a new home from the ground up. Either way, you will need to choose a color scheme to tie everything together.

For all of your interior design needs, reach out to Design Elements NW. One of the most common questions we answer is, “How do I choose colors for my house?” With years of experience and expertise in creating beautiful homes, we are the premier interior design firm in Portland, OR. We’d love to connect and help you make the haven you desire.

Meaningful Colors

Even without taking a class on the topic, you probably recognize that colors evoke emotions and feelings. The advertising world takes color choice very seriously. Due to the strong emotional response color can create, it is critical in marketing and branding.

Similarly, choosing colors for your home will help you make a statement about your personality. Are you carefree and quirky? Do you lean more toward traditional and formal? Or are you somewhere in between? 

When you choose a color scheme, it’s important to keep in mind the moods that colors can convey. Here are some common emotions connected with various colors.

Warm Color Choices

Warm colors typically relate to ideas of action and energy:

  • Red – associated with love, passion, boldness, and danger 
  • Orange – brings ideas of creativity, vitality, enthusiasm, and health 
  • Yellow – draws out feelings of happiness, liveliness, and joy

Cool Color Choices

Cool colors generally evoke more subdued feelings:

  • Green – connected to ideas of growth, freshness, and balance
  • Blue – associate with feelings of calm, stability, and tranquility in design
  • Purple – brings out a sense of luxury and wealth

With this information, it is helpful to decide if you prefer cold tones or warm. This preference will make it easier for you to choose the most prominent colors in your room and throughout your home. Selecting one set of colors does not exclude the use of the other when decorating.

Choosing Colors for Your Home Shouldn’t Be Scary

It can be overwhelming to walk into a home improvement store and stare at a wall of paint chips. Who knew there were so many shades of white? But with a little thought and planning in advance, you can choose a color scheme you will love for a long time.

To get started, you should spend some time with a color wheel. You might remember the color wheel from your elementary school art classes. 

This handy tool stems from Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery that pure white light contains a spectrum of colors. His scientific knowledge brings excellent design to your fingertips.

Color wheels generally include:

  • Primary Colors – Red, blue, and yellow are primary colors. This category indicates that you cannot create them from other hues.
  • Secondary Colors – Green, orange, and purple come from mixing two primary colors.
  • Tertiary Colors – This larger group of colors occur when you mix a secondary color with a primary next to it on the wheel. Some basic color wheels don’t show this set of hues.

Color wheels used in design typically include varying shades of each color as well, from dark to light. Such a color wheel allows you to see a wide range of choices.

Once you have a wheel to work with, you can start considering your options. Overall, there are three main ways to use the color wheel when choosing colors for your home. In all likelihood, you may try all of these somewhere in your home.

1. Monochromatic Scheme

This design plan is usually the simplest for homeowners to conceive and create. To craft a monochromatic look, you choose one color and use varying shades of it. For example, if blue is your choice, you may have navy blue, sky blue, and a shade in between all in one room. 

One elegant and simple way to use the monochromatic option is to go dark to light as you work from the bottom up. So you may have a large dark blue rug on the floor as your anchor. And then you can use a medium blue tone on the walls and a pale shade on the ceiling.

This color scheme is very streamlined and offers a clean, pulled-together look. It can be particularly useful when choosing colors for a whole house at the same time. Variations on one color throughout the home help to unify the spaces.

2. Analogous Palette

This design style uses colors that are in a row on the color wheel. For example, you might choose blue, green, and yellow. Typically, one will be the dominant color in a room with the others taking a lesser role.

Analogous color schemes are user-friendly for those who want to move away from a monochromatic look. Since the colors are near each other on the wheel, it still creates a unified and soothing look. But it also allows you to play with color more freely.

3. Complementary Color Choices

To go the complementary route for your interior design, you will choose colors that are opposite on the color wheel. Combinations such as yellow and purple or blue and orange make a bold statement in a room. 

Typically, you will choose one of the colors to be the dominant one. The other will be more for accent pieces. Complementary color schemes can bring a dramatic and energetic feeling to your room.

A Few More Tips and Tricks

If you’ve chosen warm or cool tones and one of the three schemes, then it’s time to choose the colors. This is the fun part!

Here are some more steps to keep in mind during your color selection:

  • Start with a statement piece. Do you already have a painting, sculpture, or item of furniture you love? Use its color scheme to help guide you in choosing things for the room. 
  • Think in threes. One of the simplest ways to create a cohesive look is to have three colors at play. One is the dominant color and usually is on the walls. The next color might make an appearance in upholstery and other furniture pieces. The third shows up as an occasional accent.
  • Don’t forget the neutrals. Incorporating a neutral shade in your room helps to bring a visual sense of calm to the eye. And neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. With hundreds of grays, whites, and tans available, you are sure to find the perfect addition to your room.

Would Like Some More Help?

Even with all the tips and tricks at hand, choosing colors for your house can still feel a lot like a chore. That’s where Design Elements NW comes to the rescue. 

For updates, remodels, and brand new construction, we are the go-to interior designers in Portland, OR. Set up your free initial consultation, and we can take off from there. With a passion for creating beautiful spaces, we are here to serve you and your home.