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Designer Secrets for Picking the Perfect Colors in Your Home

Winter is coming!

We may have to wait until next year for a new Game of Thrones episode and get our fire-breathing dragon fix but in the real world winter is around the corner (yup the Christmas decorations are out!) and we’ve prepared some design pro tips to make your home the ultimate winter refuge. I’ve worked with several designers and we’ve come up with a series of tips for a comfortable Netflix binge haven (have you seen Stranger Things yet??).

We’re kicking off our series by asking the experts their #1 tip for picking colors in the home! With a change of seasons it’s time to start thinking about some updates for your home and painting is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to instantly change the look of a room. I reached out to several design professionals to get their expert opinions that you can use in your home today.

Carla Erskin

Carla James Interiors/ www.carlajamesinteriors.com

When choosing a paint color paint at least a 12×12 inch portion of the wall using the exact color and finish you are considering. The most important part is to view your selection at the time of the day you will use the space most. Lighting can have a dramatic effect on the way the color shows up. Be very mindful of the spaces natural light and artificial lighting.

Courtesy: Carla James Interiors

Laura Fullow

La Rue Design Group/ www.Laruedesigngroup.com

Pick neutral colors that can complement any trend/fad color of the season.  It’s easy to get caught up with the hottest trends of the season but picking a subtle color scheme will keep your home from looking too trendy and create a classic look.  Use an inspiration board to help coordinate pieces with your color faves.

Courtesy: La Rue Design Group

Michael Helwig

Michael Helwig Interiors/ www.michaelhelwiginteriors.com

To pick colors for your home start with an inspiration piece like an area rug, accent fabric or favorite art piece. Picking wall colors is much easier when there is a bridge relating the color to a favorite piece.

Courtesy: Michael Helwig Interiors

Sara Ho

Sara Ho Designs/ www.sarahodesigns.com

Stick with two to three colors in your room depending on its size. Try to create some kind of contrast with your colors (i.e. a lighter wall color with darker furniture) and don’t be afraid to use pops of colors that are complementary to your main colors. If you prefer a neutral colored room then mix pattern scales and textures.

Courtesy: Sara Ho Designs

Tarsha McCrae

Catch Décor/ www.catchdecor.com

Embrace bold colors to add depth to your space but use sparingly so the color doesn’t overly darken your home.  Darker colors add richness and work well when mixed with lighter shades.

Source: Catch Decor

Mary Etta McCurdy

Mary Etta Designs/ www.maryettadesigns.com

Watch the undertones of fabrics and paint. Beiges (not grays) go best if you love the older Tuscany look. Whites and grays do work well with the fresh pops of color so popular today.

Niki McNeill

SingleBubblePop/ www.singlebubblepop.com

Lighting plays a huge part in how the colors are seen by the human eye!  Take into account times of the day and how much natural sunlight your spot gets to truly pick the best colors.

Courtesy: SingleBubblePop

Aline O’Reilly

AOR Interior Design LLC/ www.aordesign.com

Feel the vibe of the space.  Decide what type of mood you want the space to evoke for you and your guests as well.  Be mindful that certain colors will complement or distract from the overall feel of your home.

Courtesy: AOR Interior Design LLC

Lynne Pearce

Lynne Pearce Design/ http://lynnepearce.com

Before you commit to a color, paint a sample on a poster board. You can move it from wall to wall and see how it looks in different lighting throughout your home…and no ugly paint splotches on your walls!

Photo by hikesterson/iStock / Getty Images

Ann Schamberger

Ann P. Brennan Interior Design/ www.annpbrennaninteriordesign.com

Pay attention to undertones!  Beige often has undertones that are yellow, green, red/pink and occasionally orange. Gray on the other hand usually has blue, green or purple undertones.

Nana Spio-Garbrah

Blueprint Africa/ www.blueprintafrica.com

Moodboarding! Inspiration images often help us to know the color schemes which most resonate with us to use in your home. Surprise! It may not necessarily be your favorite color or the color that looks best on you.

Courtesy: Blueprint Africa

Farha Syed

Farha Syed Design, LLC/ http://farhasyeddesign.com

Think about pulling colors from fixed elements already present in the house like counter tops, back splashes, tiles and carpet.

Beverly Wellington

Beverly Wellington Design Studio/ www.beverlywellington.com

Consider your favorite colour, then consider whether or not you could live surrounded by that colour day in and day out for years at a time. If the thought of blue walls totally overwhelms you, try a neutral colour (like a grey) with a blue undertone to get your fix! Your blue accessories will shine!

Courtesy: Beverly Wellington Design Studio

Michele Wesdock

Moonefield Interiors/ www.moonefieldinteriors.com

Pay attention to the amount of natural light a room gets. North facing rooms look best in colors with warmer undertones.

Courtesy: Moonefield Interiors

Sarah C. Wilson

Chansaerae Designs/ www.chansaeraedesigns.com

When choosing bold color use small sprinklings of it throughout your home. Accessories, pillows and drapery are great places to start.  Use furniture and accessories currently in the home and find a color that has the undertones that match well so that your home has a seamless feel to it.

Courtesy: Chansaerae Designs

Elle C. Wolfe

Elle C. Wolfe Interiors/ www.ellecwolfe.com

Pay attention to the undertones in the fixed elements such as wood floors and trim, the stone, brick, or tile on the fireplace surround.

Courtesy: Elle C. Wolfe Interiors

Some extra tidbits about the use of color…

  • Red is great for the living and dining room areas because it encourages conversation.
  • Yellow works in kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms and is used to make hallways and small spaces seem larger. In large amounts, however, it could evoke hostility and irritation. So use it sparingly and stick to more pastel hues.
  • Lighter shades of blue create a calming effect and that’s why it is great for bedrooms and bathrooms because it helps one relax. Lighter shades of green can also exude a calming feel.
  • Purple in darker shades gives a room depth. It’s associated with luxury and great as an accent color for any room. In lighter hues such as lilac, it can promote calmness in the same way blue does.  Dark purple interiors impart a dramatic and subdued look for home décor but definitely is not boring.
  • Orange is an energetic color but not ideal for bedrooms or living rooms. It does well in a fitness room because it will keep you pumped to sail through your workout.

A special thank you to all of the contributors on this collaborative post.  It was a pleasure to work with everyone!! Next up we’re talking about our #1 home space saving tips so stay tuned…





















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