Home Elements: Color Guide

Choose a Perfect Palette in 3 Easy Steps

With paint and decor available in every hue imaginable, adding color to your home might seem overwhelming — but it doesn't have to be! Break down the process with these three simple steps to picking a color palette for any room.

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stylish open loft living Design by Lori Dennis.


They are the questions every homeowner asks: What color should I paint my walls? How do interior decorators pick a palette in a flash when there are so many colors out there? It’s easier than you think. In just three simple steps, you can choose a palette for any room in the house.

Step 1: Establish a Mood

Start by thinking about the mood of the room. How do you want the space to make you feel? Tranquil? Lively? Romantic? That’s where color comes in! Different colors evoke different feelings, and it turns out those color-feelings are pretty universal.

If you want your space to be passionate and stimulating, embrace red as the main hue. Red is the color of the heart and represents life and love. For a warm room that energizes, go for orange as the dominant hue. Orange used to be a “makes-ya-hungry” fast-food color, but techies and fashionistas know it has been reborn into a vibrant color of the future. Yellow is also high energy, but in an uplifting and cheerful way. When you walk into a yellow room, you can practically feel the sun shining on your face.

Moving around the color wheel, we have green, the color of nature. It creates an atmosphere that’s as friendly and comforting as the landscape around us. Blues are also abundant in nature and suggest the calmness and tranquility of clear skies and ocean waters. For a room on the contemplative and sensual side, pick purple — it combines the arousing qualities of red with the calming essence of blue. White is the color of purity and cleanliness, so use it to make a room feel clean and organized. The earthiness of brown makes a place seem grounded and unpretentious.

All you have to do is decide what mood you would like for your room. For example, if you want a living room that’s friendly and comforting, then you’d choose green. Great! You’re ready for step 2!

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