Have fun and know that you don’t necessarily have to follow theories of design and the color wheel to find a successful scheme. Color choices are highly subjective, and when it comes to decorating your home, you need to do what feels right to you.
Resist the temptation to select a paint color first. Because paint is inexpensive and can be matched to virtually any color, start your color search with room elements that are less flexible, such as furniture, fabrics, tile, or wallpaper. Then base your paint colors on those.
As you choose colors, don’t forget to consider the value. A mix of values within your color scheme helps to keep a palette with multiple hues from becoming chaotic. “Choose one dark color, one light color, and one bright color,” says Andrea Piontek of Olympic Paints. The color that becomes the dominant hue in the room depends on your personal preference. “Go for your comfort level,” says Mark Woodman, interior designer and board member of the Color Marketing Group. “Choose clean and bright, or soft and subtle.”
If you’re wary of color, test it first. Draw a plan of your home and list what will be in each room, such as the carpet, wall colors, and furniture. Gather swatches or paint chips that represent the colors of those items. Assess the rooms for both positive and negative attributes; write them down. Find focal points from the list of positive traits. Consider how one room will flow into the next, what mood you want, and the items to be incorporated into the palette. Plan the house one room at a time. For an easy palette, use one color in different proportions in all rooms: as a wall color in one room and accent in another.