Color Ideas: 13 Tips to Help You Pick a Color Scheme

Different people have different needs and colour preferences, however there are colour types that are deemed to be more appealing and cool to be used in some areas than in other areas. Regardless of which part of the room you intend to improve, these tips will help you pick a colour scheme that appeals much better to your desired place.

Go with the Atmosphere

If you’re wondering where to start, think about the mood you would like the finished room to have. Sit down and really think about the kind of atmosphere you hope to create. Do you want it to be a lively conversation area? A cheerful place for busy activities? A place meant for study or work? A place to really relax and unwind? Color can have a profound effect on mood, so you’ll want to choose a color that’s conducive to the desired atmosphere.

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Seek a Main Color with the Right Feel

Get some paint chips in assorted colors, or even some colored papers. You don’t have to be picky with the shades at this time, just have representatives of the basic spectrum: red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple. Think about the mood you desire for your room while you look at the colors—which colors most convey those feelings to you? Which colors draw you in particular?


Consider Warm Colors

You may notice that warm colors – most shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, violet, etc. — give you a warm feeling. These colors typically make people feel energized and active. They stimulate the emotions. They engage you and motivate you, so they’re good for rooms in which you intend to be active— the kitchen, the play room, a room for entertaining.


Consider Cool Colors

Cool colors – most shades of blue, green, indigo, turquoise, etc. – give you a cool feeling. These colors typically make people feel relaxed and calm. They stimulate the intellect. They bring about tranquility and introspection, so they’re good for rooms in which you want peace and quiet, or where you want to get work done— the bedroom, the home office, the nursery.


Go Monochromatic

A monochromatic color scheme can be beautiful—it’s when you use only one color. Have you ever seen a room that was white on white on white, or in all shades of blue? Did you notice how striking it can be, while still serving to create a harmonious environment? If you want a monochromatic color scheme, you’re done!

Get a Color Wheel to Help Create Combinations


Most people will want a combination of two to four colors in a room. Combining different colors is where it gets nerve-racking for the average person. “What if I clash?!!” you might worry. Don’t fret—there are actually logical methods you can use for picking colors that go well together. Get your hands on a color wheel—they often sell them at craft and supply stores, or you can look one up on the internet. Look for the main color and start from there.

Create an Analogous Color Scheme


Analogous color schemes are when you use two or three colors that fall side-by-side on the color wheel. For example, let’s say you chose blue as your main color. You may also choose a shade of purple and a shade of green. There you go– you have your color analogous color scheme! Analogous color schemes match well. Rooms that utilize this kind of scheme are usually comforting and serene.

Use a Triangular Color Scheme

Imagine putting an equilateral triangle on top of your color wheel. Let one point touch the main color you’ve chosen (blue, as we will continue to use for our example). The other two points should be touching reddish-orange and yellow-green. There you go— the perfect matching scheme! This is called a triadic color scheme. Now when you go to the paint store, you can choose colors in these shades—perhaps cerulean, rust and spring green.


Use a Four Corner Color Scheme

Put a square on your color wheel, with one corner touching your main color. If your main color is true blue, your color scheme would be blue, red, green, and a dark yellow. You can also try it with a rectangle– what color schemes appear when you play with geometric shapes on the color wheel? These kinds of color schemes promote a wonderful, balanced feel in your room.

Get Dramatic

Use two colors on the exact opposite side of the color wheel. If blue is your main color, orange would be its complement. Complementary colors are very exciting—each color brings out the absolute best in its opposite. Look at some other complementary pairs– yellow and purple, red and green– do you notice how bold complementary colors are against each other? They make each other stand out. This is the best option if you want to create drama in any room.


Go with Tints

Don’t like dark or bold colors? A tint is any color that’s been lightened— pastels, for example. When you look at a paint chip that lists five, seven or more of a color, the one in the center is the “true colors” or “neutral colors”, the lighter colors toward the bottom are tints. Let’s say you’ve gone with a complementary color scheme and have chosen blue and orange for your nursery—but you don’t want the colors to be that intense for a baby’s room. So you look for tints—a robin’s egg blue and creamy peach. Perfect!


Get Shady

A shade is when a color is darker and more intense. When you look at a paint chip that lists five, seven or more of a color, the one in the center is the “true color” or “neutral color”, the darker colors toward the bottom are shades. Shades bring depth and drama—instead of a bold blue and orange, you might use a mysterious midnight blue and deep shade of rust.

Throw In some Neutrals

When you need more colors but don’t want to overdo it, this is a good time to turn to neutrals. Black, white, gray, or shades of brown will work will with just about any color scheme. Adding neutrals helps to ground a room, and they bring a stability to the color scheme.

Now you’re ready to redecorate any room with a new color scheme, without any fear of clashing. Go forth and color your world!

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