We are all aware of the well-known adage, “Home is where the heart is”. The perfect color palette will not only add to the heart of your house, it will also make it home. It can add a certain charm, and that much-needed touch of personalization to call a space your very own. However, with the surplus of choices and options available at just one-click, choosing what would suit our personal needs and fancies becomes a confusing task. To make it simpler, here are ten tips and tricks that can help you in selecting the perfect color palette for your home:
1. Have a theme in mind
Are you someone who likes old-world charm? Or are you someone very ‘with-the-times’, who appreciates all things modern? Or perhaps, you are someone who owns only what ‘sparks joy’? Then classical, contemporary, and minimalist styles, respectively, could be your go-to themes. Other theme ideas include- Bohemian, Oriental, Chic, Scandinavian, Rustic, Industrial, etc. It is important to note that when researching a theme, you should pay attention to your likes and dislikes, and what reflects you most authentically instead of choosing something which is more ‘in-fashion’.
2. Use the color wheel
A color wheel is essentially a diagram that showcases the inter-relationship between various colors. It is a pie-chart of sorts, with the primary colors- red, blue, and yellow being the three of the slices. The other intermediate ones show the transitional colors between them. You can choose between color schemes such as monochromatic, complementary, contrasting, etc., as per your taste- while ensuring that the colors go with each other.
3. Let the furniture inspire you
If you have an unusual or bespoke furniture piece, one can also consider a complementary palette based around it to make sure that the space does not look off. The palette can be designed to complement the furniture piece. While deciding on a color palette, one should keep in mind the characteristics of the furniture such as – wood tone, metallic tint, upholstery color, furniture style, etc.
4. Assign moods to different rooms
Different colors can invoke different emotions and moods in us. Based on the kind of functions rooms serve, one can consider a color scheme that would facilitate moods and emotions in that direction. Warmer colors such as reds and oranges raise a room’s energy levels (can be used in common areas such as living and dining areas). Cooler colors such as greens and blues can create a soothing effect (can be used in personal spaces such as bedrooms/bathrooms). Neutral colors like whites, off-whites, browns, and greys create a sense of comfort (can be used in any space).
5. Get inspired by art
Do you have a favorite painting or print that you find highly visually appealing? It may be time to revisit those and observe the color scheme employed in it. You can generate a color palette of images using tools such as ‘Canva‘ and consider using that in your own home.
6. Use limited, selected bolder shades, interspersed with subtler ones
Using too many bold colors in a house can, more often than not, create a sense of overwhelming. However, if you are a fan of bold colors, there is still a way to work around this. The key is to use a limited selection of bold colors, ideally, 2-3 throughout the house (the number can be increased depending on how large your space is), balanced by the use of subtler tones.
7. Consider accent walls
On the other hand, if you have a minimal taste and don’t want your house to become ‘bland’, you can consider highlight-walls in your color palette. Essentially, where the whole house is painted in a few neutral tones, you make every room playful by using a different, more bold color on one of the walls- thereby creating the perfect balance between simplicity and quirkiness.
8. Move to lighter shades as you move up vertically.
As proposed by the interior designer Mark McCauley, one can consider using heavier patterns, colors, and furniture pieces for the vertically lower part of the space and gradually use lighter ones going up. This arrangement reflects the natural order of things, i.e., the gravitational force, thereby creating a sense of stability and ease.
9. Consider the varying light in your room.
It is important to consider the varying lighting in your room before finalizing a color palette. Make sure you think through how various colors and textures will appear in both natural daylight as well as artificial lighting. With cooler, subdued lighting in north-facing rooms, bold warm colors can stand out, whereas south facing rooms bring out both cool and warm shades. Incandescents highlight reds and yellows, and fluorescents bring out blues and greens.
10. Make sure you sample shades, creating your mood board
It is always a good idea to sample various shades and textures before finalizing the color palette for your home. You can create your own mood board, a technique that interior designers use wherein they sample and create overlays of objects and finishes of different shades and textures to see if they go with each other. You can either create this physically using stuff available at home and outdoors, or digitally using tools like Adobe Spark or Canva.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and in no way, hard rules. You should keep your mind open to experimentation. However, these guidelines will work more often than not, and may also lead to that perfect palette you are looking for.