5 Tips to Help You Figure out Your Color Scheme


Selecting a color scheme is one of the most important design decisions you will make. It is a reflection of you and how you want that space to feel.

Colors are associated with emotions. For example, colors in the blue family tend to give a peaceful feeling when they are on the warm side, but if you were to pick cooler blues, you could get a colder and more depressing space.
All color is influenced by light so take that into consideration. Which way does your room face? What happens at night? What kind of artificial lighting do you have? How does that color you like look in the nighttime? The light in the store is not the same as the light in your home and will look different.

How should you get started? Here are some tips to help.

I. Look at your closet. Here are hints about colors you like to surround yourself in. What you like to wear and makes you feel good about yourself is a hint about what you probably would choose or avoid in your environment.

II. Pick the dominant color first. This is the one that will occupy about 60% of the room including the walls. Make sure you can live with it. Try a sample before you paint the whole room that color!

III. Make a list of words that describe how you want the room to feel, such as calm, warm and inviting, fresh, vibrant. Each word can be matched to colors that evoke that feeling.

IV. The secondary color in the scheme might be a lighter or darker version of the dominant color. You should try to keep lighter colors closer to the ceiling and this color is usually about 30% of the space.

V. The third color selection is your accent color. Since it is only 10% of the total, you can usually go a little bit wild with this color.

When working with clients to select what works best for them, I sometimes work backwards. By eliminating the colors we don’t like, we get to the ones we do.