Creating a new color palette for your home

A New Year often comes with lists of things you’d like to improve – your body, finances, job and home are common areas we seek to improve when the calendar turns to January. If creating a new color palette for your home is on your list I have a few tips to get you started!

1. Look around. To establish your new palette look around your home for color inspiration. Look at your pillows, rugs & art for colors you can use on your walls. You don’t need to use the exact color found in a pillow—using a value (lightness and darkness of color) of one of the colors found in your inspiration is a great place to start.

{Soft and peaceful warm neutral color palette for your home, from Sherwin-Williams.}

{Soft and peaceful warm neutral color palette for your home, from Sherwin-Williams.}

2. How does it feel? Think about how your want your home to feel. Yes, feel. Calm and peaceful? A color palette with similar values works well. Energetic and bold? Go for extreme differences in value (one room very light value and the next a darker value).

{Energetic, bold warm-neutral color palette from Sherwin-Williams.}

{Energetic, bold warm-neutral color palette from Sherwin-Williams.}

3. Saturation rules. A color’s saturation is its intensity/purity. For example, a box of 8 Crayola crayons is fully saturation – intense color. When you get to the box of 64 crayons each color looses saturation – a “soft” red versus a “bold” red. One is more saturated than the other. Colors come in cool, warm and warm neutral saturations and if you stick with one of those saturation levels throughout your home it will be very cohesive.

{Warm neutral colors for your home, from Benjamin Moore.}

{Warm neutral colors for your home, from Benjamin Moore.}

4. “Cheat” a bit. Many of the large paint companies have color brochures with palettes already created. If you need a “no-think” guide to colors that work well together, after finding a starting/inspiration color and deciding your saturation, this can be a great way to fill in the gaps for all rooms in your home.

{Soothing warm neutral color palette for your home, from Sherwin-Williams.}

{Soothing warm neutral color palette for your home, from Sherwin-Williams.}

5. Paint quality matters. Now that you have a color palette selected for your home, it’s time to select the type of paint you should use. There are many, many types of paint from flat to high gloss to paints with built-in primers, low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Not all paints are created equally and you do get what you pay for when it comes to paint. Ask your painter or local paint supplier (I like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams’ paints) for help with selecting the type of paint that is right for you and your room and lifestyle. A current favorite of mine is Benjamin Moore’s Aura paint.

If you want a new color palette for your home without the decision-making, there’s always the option of getting a professional color consultation. A cohesive color palette can often be established in an hour or two, leaving you more time to enjoy the results, stress-free!

April Pardoe