Color Me Inspired

Sometimes color inspiration for your home can be found in unexpected places. Get Color! expert Jane Lockhart shows you where to look.
79291_02_Furniture-Pillows_s4x3

79291_02_Furniture-Pillows_s4x3

By: Jane Lockhart

If the thought of choosing colors for your home makes you flustered and frustrated, you’re not alone. Standing in front of the rainbow of colors at the local hardware, paint or DIY store can be a complicated and intimidating experience. The same goes for furniture, window treatments and accessories. If you don’t have a color in mind, the choices can be overwhelming. The solution to this predicament is to have colors in mind when you walk in the store. But what colors? That’s where the inspiration comes in.

Color inspiration can be drawn from many sources, such as personal memories and emotions, environmental influences and even everyday life. A positive experience, such as a summer vacation, a cherished childhood toy or even a favorite item of clothing can lead you in a great color direction.

HE3389-1

HE3389-1

Love blue skies and robins' eggs? Be brave and try the color on your walls. Room design by Stephanie Henley.

Love blue skies and robins' eggs? Be brave and try the color on your walls. Room design by Stephanie Henley.

Here’s an example: A good friend recently approached me for advice on finding shag carpeting for her son’s bedroom. She was searching for the absolute perfect shade of navy blue. Why that blue? She explained that her much-adored older brother had a navy blue carpet in his bedroom, and she associated the color with stress-free Saturday mornings watching cartoons and just being a kid. It wasn’t so much that specific shade of blue that was important, it was the positive feeling that went with the memory of that blue. If you search your own memories and childhood, you may find some color inspiration, too.

saul_Temkin_master_bath

saul_Temkin_master_bath

The delicate shade of peachy-pink on the inside of a rose is a flattering color choice for a bathroom. Room design by Leslie Saul.

The delicate shade of peachy-pink on the inside of a rose is a flattering color choice for a bathroom. Room design by Leslie Saul.

Sometimes looking to nature can provide a jolt of color ideas. Searching for that perfect yellow? What about the petal of a sunflower, a feather of a canary or the slice of lemon in your glass of iced tea? Or consider the cobalt of the Caribbean ocean or the rich depth of a sapphire for a different shade of blue. I find that even a visit to the grocery store can be a fantastic place to find forgotten shades of color: all those nicely hued fresh fruits and vegetables and the wall of vibrant spices, not to mention the millions of colors and color combinations used in product packaging. And don’t forget to take a second look at cosmetics, magazines, fabrics and automobiles. The list of man-made sources of inspiration is also endless.

And more good news: thanks to technology, most paint and decorating retailers can color match almost any source, whether it’s that canary feather, a piece of fabric you bought in India or your grandmother’s favorite plate. It’s even possible to match colors in the photos you’ve taken on vacation or in your own back yard. Images from today’s digital cameras can be printed on color-correct paper and taken to the store for matching—so take that camera with you and start taking pictures for future inspiration.

In the end, color inspiration is everywhere if you just open your eyes and look around you. Discovering what truly inspires you will guide you to color decisions that are as unique as your own individuality.

Keep Reading

Next Up

The Ultimate 'Fixer Upper'-Inspired House Color Palette

These colors would make Chip and Joanna proud.

Paint Color and Decorating Tips

Quick changes with paint make your home sparkle during the holidays and every day.

Paint Glossary: All About Paint, Color and Tools

Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking color schemes.

5 Paint Colors, 1 Surefire Kitchen

Why do just one hue? This space from HGTV Magazine proves using a whole bunch of shades amps up the charm.

Choosing Wall Colors and Wall Paint Tips

Find tips for choosing the right wall colors and wall paint from the experts at HGTV.com.

On TV

Good Bones

6:30am | 5:30c

Income Property

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.