Have you ever walked into a parade home or model home and just felt like it was perfect, everything blended and flowed from room to room without matching too much? Maybe you’ve been to a friend’s home and felt this too. Usually a designer is involved in those parade and model homes but you can use the same tricks they do to make your home feel pulled together. The single biggest trick to making a home flow from room to room is Creating a Whole Home Color Palette. Don’t worry it’s really quite simple to do!
Creating a Whole Home Color Palette
Before you begin creating your homes color palette there are a few things to know.
First, know that designing and decorating your home is a process that takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight, unless you have A LOT of money and a crew of people to do the work. Make a plan and start with the space that is easiest and most affordable. Making a plan insures that you can accomplish the look you are going for first then slowly work your way through your rooms. Creating a Whole Home Color Palette will be your guide to creating a home you love!
Second, your home should be a reflection of you. It’s easy to look at magazines, on Pinterest, or walk through parade home tours and see what is “trendy” or what the latest looks are for the year but if those trends and looks aren’t a reflection of your personality and your family’s style then your house will never feel like home. Maybe yellow is what is in but you don’t love yellow or even like it. If that’s the case, don’t pick yellow for your home! Use colors you LOVE! It’s your home and you want to feel good in it.
Third, use a color palette of 3-5 colors for your home. That’s not to say you won’t use other colors in your home but these colors will be the main components of your entire home – they’ll be used for the paint, textiles (think pillows and throws), furniture, accent pieces, and in your decor.
Getting Started with Picking Your Whole Home Color Palette
This starts by taking a look at your home and knowing what things in your home you’re “stuck with”. Are there cabinets you are sure you’ll never replace (or at least not for a long, long time)? Countertops or tile backsplash you won’t be changing? Flooring that’s there to stay? Trim you won’t be painting? These items are your “fixed elements”. These colors play a huge role in how other colors look. These items might be a shade of white, grey, or brown but could have undertones or pink, yellow, or blue that don’t go so well with certain colors. Once you determine what undertones your fixed elements have you can decide whether you want to try to match them with your color palette or contrast them.
Next you’ll decide how you want your home to feel. Do you want it to feel calm and spa-like with light, neutral colors? Do you want it to feel lively and bright with lots contrast, full or energy? Is your style more ultra modern? Different colors help you to achieve the look you want.
The next part of the process is to choose one color for each of the following: a white, a neutral, a saturated color, another color, and an accent color. Your white is typically used for trim, doors, closets, sometimes furniture, decor, and more. The neutral will be often be used in living areas, hallways, and other rooms. It’s your go-to color. Here you can see my neutral used on my living room walls.
Choose Your Saturated Color
Your saturated color is one of the colors you LOVE. You may paint a room this color but you could use it in more subtle ways as well such as on throw pillows, pieces of furniture, or even painting your front door of your home this color. My color is turquoise and I use it in varying intensity. You can see it above in my pillows and throw but you can also see it below on my front door which is the same color inside and out. Incidentally, my entryway is the same color as my living room. See how the whole home color palette works? My kitchen walls are also painted a shade of turquoise, very light and subtle.
Choose your Next Color
Another color – this is often a lighter shade of your saturated color or even the color next to it on the color wheel if you’re using the color wheel. My color is a shade of green. This shade varies depending on where I use it, from a sage to an olive and sometimes almost looks grey. It’s honestly a pretty neutral color too. I have used this in my main floor for the halls, dining room, and even used it on the outside of our home. I also use it in decor.
Choose Your Accent Color
The accent color is exactly that, an accent. It’s used for splashes of color here and there throughout your home. It can be small pieces of decor like a photo frame or a throw on your sofa. I’ve selected coral for my accent and love to use it in simple pieces of decor I can change with the seasons like the flowers below.
Final Thoughts on Choosing Color
If you have kids, especially older kids, who have their own style I don’t feel it’s necessary to force them to follow the whole home color palette in their bedrooms. It’s nice to keep walls somewhat neutral and not get too wild and crazy with paint colors but it is after all their space so letting them choose colors of their own is a nice way for them to feel the special. These spaces can be a creative expression of their personalities.
I know this is a lot of information and can feel overwhelming. If you have questions about colors or creating a whole home color palette, what colors work best together, or how to get started, don’t hesitate to ask! The first step is always the most difficult but once you’re started it’s exciting and fun!