One of the most difficult decisions you'll have to make when you move into a new home is what color scheme you want to use for each room. This goes far beyond picking a paint color for the walls. You also have coordinate the trim, floor, fabrics, artwork, furniture, and other pieces in the room to ensure that the color scheme is cohesive. This daunting task often leaves homeowners so frustrated that they give up and paint the walls white, not really putting thought into the other items in a room. The result is a room that looks thrown together, which is definitely not the impression you want make when you entertain guests. If you want a more put-together, "grown up" look in your home, color scheme is the first place to start. You can use the following tips to pick the perfect hues for any room you're decorating.
Your Current Pieces
When you move into a new home, you might have a small budget to buy some new pieces, but few people completely start over when it comes to furniture and other larger pieces. So, start by looking at what you already plan to use in the room. The color of the wood and fabric on these pieces will be an accent color, if not the main color, in your room unless you plan to reupholster or paint your pieces. Try to group your furniture according to both function and color. If you have a lot of mismatched pieces, slipcovers work wonders to make everything look cohesive, and it actually isn't hard to re-paint or stain smaller pieces, such as end tables.
Once you determine if there are any colors that have to be in the room, find an inspiration piece that includes this color (or these colors). Inspiration pieces can be pillows, paintings, pieces of fabric, and just about any home decor item you can imagine. If you're confused as to what you really like, fabric is a really good place to start. Just head to your local craft store and look at your fabric options. What speaks to you? What do you hate? Choose a fabric (or other item) you love and then look at the colors used in the piece. Those same colors can be used in your room to evoke similar feelings. Begin to pull pieces that have those colors, remembering that not every item has to match perfectly or have all of the colors. If your inspiration fabric has green, blue, and orange, you might buy a green vase and orange curtains. In other words, you don't have to have curtains that are green, blue, and orange.
Include at Least One Neutral in your Design
Neutral colors work to calm down the color in a room, keeping everything flowing well without looking too busy. Black and white are common neutrals, but other neutrals include brown, tan, beige, silver, gold, and gray. Navy can also serve as a neutral in some cases, depending on the other colors in the room. A good rule of thumb is to have one darker neutral (like black or dark brown), one lighter neutral (like white or beige), and a maximum of one metallic (gold or silver) if you have an metal items in a room. Of course, you can break the rules if it makes sense!
Have One Main Color
There should be one color that is the overwhelming "main" color of a room. Usually, this is not one of the neutrals, though it can be in some cases. It doesn't have to be the color of your walls, especially if you paint your walls a light color. For example, in a kitchen, it might be the color of your countertop, or in a living room, it might be the color of your couches.
Along with Accent Colors, have One Splash Color
Accent colors should be colors that work well with the main color of the room. Stick to the same color family and use neutrals to round out your accent colors. One accent color, however, should be your "splash" color, which will be used in small amounts to bring a pop of life to the room. For example, in our above color scheme example of green, blue, and orange, you can might also add tan and white to round out the accent colors. In this room, orange would serve as the splash color that pops in the room. When you look at a color wheel, a good accent color is the color directly across from your main color. Of course, this isn't your only choice for a splash accent color, but if you're a beginner, this is the easiest way to find one of your accents. Neutrals can act as splashes in some cases. For instance, in a room that uses a lot of dark colors, white might be your pop of color.
Look at your Color Scheme in Both Natural and Man-Made Lighting
To make sure that you're making the best color choices, look at the colors in multiple lights. For example, the lighting in a store may bring out the green undertones in one color, while in the sunlight, the same color might look more neutral. Your room will likely have natural lighting during the day, but you'll use light bulbs to illuminate the room at night. You want to make sure that the colors work together in both situations.
Key Hiring Tips
From large to small projects, before you select any contractor be sure to take the time to properly screen them. The time it takes now to screen a contractor will help ensure success for your home improvement project and avoid problems down the road.