How to Choose the Perfect Colour Scheme for your Home
The selection of your homes colour scheme is highly personal. For this reason, there’s no simple one-size-fits-all formula. This type of decision sometimes requires time, a bit of homework, and maybe a bit of trial and error. On the other hand, you can hire a professional who will offer their trained eye and expertise to take care of the dirty work for you. Fortunately, I’m here to reveal what I know will help narrow down your best colour scheme on your own. Be sure to grab a copy of my Colour Scheme Guidebook for more juicy details and examples not shared in this post!
As a kitchen designer, I don’t often see clients’ homes before I begin a design. Therefore, I rely heavily on their verbal interpretation of their home, their wishlist, and maybe a few blurry photos from our site measures. The top question or concern I hear is “what colours do I pick?” or “How do I choose cabinet colours that work with the rest of my home?” I often tell them that in order to uncover the colour palette in their homes (even if there doesn’t seem to be one) they should take note of the existing colours and undertones in their hard finishes – items that aren’t easily replaced. These areas could include hardwood or tile flooring, kitchen cabinetry if it’s meant to remain, and even to an extent their exterior colours. The next thing I suggest is honing in on their favourite colours to uncover whether they love it enough to incorporate it into multiple rooms of their home.
If you’re a colour novice you may consider integrating it in small doses at first, then gradually increase as you feel more comfortable. Small to you may mean toss cushions on the couch, a decorative object on the shelf, or an area rug in the entryway. Small could also mean a painted or wallpapered accent wall in a powder room, new handles in the kitchen, or a large rug in the living room. If you want to make a big impact and are ready to make a statement, you may favour painting all of your dining room walls, buying that colourful sofa, or installing a bold, geometric backsplash. There are many ways to infuse colour into your home.
Design by The Design Firm. This dining room expertly combines a bold cobalt wall colour amongst an otherwise neutral setting.
“But Beverly,” you may be saying, “that’s all well and good once I know WHAT colours to use, but how do I decide this for myself?” As I said before, really think about the colours you’re truly drawn to. Your wardrobe is a great place to take stock as you likely wear some of your favourite shades. In your home, think about whether you prefer warm tones, cool tones, or something a bit in between. Think about the feeling you would like your home to evoke. Think about the people (and pets) in your household and how they use your home. Do you prefer one season over another? Is it simply because of the temperature, or are the colours associated with that season the thing that you love? All of these factors play a role in deciding the best route to determine your colour preference.
Design by Becki Owens. Incorporating a subtle hint of colour into an all-neutral space is the perfect way to get your toes wet with colour.
Design by Digs Design Company. Through colour repetition, this all-blue space feels soft and inviting. Varying the tones and patterns allows for an uninterrupted flow throughout the room.
Design by Bliss Home. Similar to the previous photo, repetition of colour is found throughout this lounge to beautifully tie the space together.
Warm vs. Cool
Warm shades have yellow, orange, or red undertones, whereas cool shades will have blue, purple, or green undertones. These colours can all be combined and expanded to create many variants, which can make narrowing down shades all the more difficult. Do you love red but consider fire engine red too, well, fiery? Look at your thought process from earlier. If you enjoy the Fall and also love purple, you may want to consider adding some burgundy to your space. Are you trying to create an atmosphere inspired by nature? Incorporate some soft blue, earthy green, or burnt orange to bring the colours of the outdoors in.
No Colour? No Problem!
Are even the softest of blues still not your jam? Not to worry! Neutrals can be combined and layered to create a beautiful contrast and focus to rival vibrant colour options. A purposeful mixture of light and dark shades, patterns, and textures (soft, shiny, ruffled, woven) work well to turn a “blah” all-beige or grey room into something wonderful. As with any neutral, too much of a good thing becomes, well, a bad thing. Be sure to incorporate plants and flowers to add a complimentary touch of nature into any space. Neutral colours have cool and warm versions as well. Be careful when combining items with mismatched undertones as it creates subtle uneasiness in a space that is often initially difficult to pinpoint.
Design by Cottage Home Company. This warm and inviting living room incorporates tons of texture that works harmoniously together, all while offering very little colour contrast.
Design by Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc. Here you see a great example of mixing warm versus cool elements together (cool paint and stone undertones with warm-toned furnishings).
I hope you took away some helpful tips on selecting colours for your home! If you’re interested in learning even more about how to incorporate colours and textures, download my Colour Scheme Guidebook where you’ll find examples of areas you can easily upgrade and personalize around your home. Still unsure or want a professional opinion? Contact me to set up a design consultation where we can discuss colour schemes and a wide variety of other topics!