How to Choose a Color Scheme

Discover your color preferences with eight tips for picking perfect color palettes.

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Hide CaptionShow Caption This living room, designed by Jill E. Hertz, incorporates a bold color scheme from the modern area rug. Red, purple and a beige-yellow are echoed in the sofa fabric and walls, which give vibrancy to an entertainment space flooded with natural light.

All About

Pick a color, any color.

If only choosing a color palette for your interiors was that easy. It can be, thanks to designer Mark McCauley. The author of Color Therapy at Home: Real Life Solutions for Adding Color to Your Life, he offers eight tips to help you discover your color preferences and take on white walls.

Tip #1. Choose a color scheme from the largest pattern in the space.
If you've got patterned upholstery, an Oriental rug or large piece of artwork, pluck colors you like from the pattern. For a neutral wall paint color, look to the pattern's whites and beiges.

Tip #2. Start with the formal areas of the house.
Specifically, the living room, dining room and entry way. Choose a color scheme for those areas first, then pull one color from the scheme. For example, take the red sofa and tone it down (say, to burgundy) for an accent in more private spaces such as the den, office or bedroom.

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