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The colors in your home should express your personality and how you live. Think about how you want your home to feel. Do you need tranquility? Brightness? Simplicity?

Favorite colors are the best to usemainly the ones you look good wearing and that make you happy. Look in your closet for inspiration! What colors are in that favorite outfit that you wear on special occasions?

Be inspired by the seasons and nature. What colors create the mood you are trying to achieve?

If you are afraid to use a lot of color, start small, bringing it in with accessories, rugs, etc. As your comfort level grows, so will your use of color. If you plan to move or love to change ideas, buy basics in neutrals and save colors for your accessories.

It is important to remember that color in a space does not have to be achieved through painting the walls. It also can be accomplished through floor and window coverings, upholstery, accessories, etc.

Many paint manufacturers provide paint ladders with several paint colors ranging from very light to dark. Selecting colors from the same paint ladder will ensure your colors will flow and coordinate in your room or entire house.

Warm Things Up
If you need more sunlight in your life, use reds, golds and yellows. Use warm colors in main living spaces; they will encourage everyone to sit back relax and unwind.

Keep It Cool
In the bedroom, use calm colors, such as blue or sage. Stay away from red or yellow, which are too stimulating.

Traditional vs. Modern

Colors like gold, red, burgundy and Kelly green are considered traditional colors. Orange, taupe, chocolate and lime green are more modern. You can mix contrasting styles, but look to a professional for help pulling it off.

Remember that bold colors can either add punch or be overwhelming. Use them sparingly!

Stay away from dark colors for small rooms or rooms that dont get a lot of sunlight. Try to stay neutral, keep those rooms bright and cheery with lighter paint colors (not necessarily brighter).

A color scheme is a combination of hues that harmonize with each other. After identifying your dominant color, find colors that both harmonize and contrast with it. If your dominant color is lavender (blue-red), harmonizing colors might be pink, purple, green and navy; contrasting colors would be olive, yellow, cream and tan. Alternatively, you may choose to go with a monochromatic approach, which is based on the use of one primary dominant color throughout.


Using one color throughout, utilizing that colors various tints, tones and shades. When using a mono-chromatic scheme, using multiple textures creates character and maintains unity.


Using two colors that are opposites, such as red and green or violet and yellow. Choose varying tints tones and shades for a bold, dramatic effect.


Using three colors that are neighboring each other on the color wheel. These schemes can be warm or cool, since colors are adjacent on the color wheel.


Using three colors that are equal distance apart on the color wheel, such as red, yellow and blue or using secondary colors yellow-green, blue-violet and red-orange.

Source: Rental Decorating Digest


Purchase a quart (in some cases less is available) of the desired color and either:

Paint it on a piece of foam board (available at office and art supply stores), a minimum of two coats, and let it dry. Hold up your sample at morning, noon and night over three days to get a real feel for it. Rarely will you go with the first color you select; usually you need to try three.

You can paint your quart tester directly on the wall, but be aware that this will necessitate making a decision quickly to avoid a splotched room, and you still need to evaluate the color on each wall.

Dont pick your color while it is resting horizontally on a surface, since it changes in vertical format. Unless you are painting a floor, check the color vertically.

But remember, if you dont like a color, you can always paint over it. Paint is the least expensive way to bring the most dramatic change to a space.

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