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How to Pick A Color Scheme for your Room. Picking a paint colors and furnishings for your home.

Updated on December 22, 2013

Making a mood board to help redesign a room.

  • A ‘mood board’ can be a useful starting point.

How To Make a Mood Board. A mood board is a board/or sheet of paper with a collection of colors, fabrics and interior ideas that you like...

Gather together curtain fabric swatches, paint chart samples, wallpaper samples and magazine cuttings of rooms that you like. You might also want to add pages from furniture catalogues and add them to the mood board or set up a separate board for the furnishings.

  • You make a mood board by cutting out the images you have collected together and then you cut them out and stick them onto a large piece of paper or card.
  • Alternatively, you can make a start on selecting a color scheme by selecting a photo or painting that has colors in it that you like and that think work well together. You then build your mood board around the colors in from the image you have chosen.

If you are trying to pick a color theme for a room that you share and the other persons taste in décor differs from your own, you can make a ‘mood board’ each. This will then make it easier to discuss the way you want the room to look. When you look at the two mood boards together you will then be able to compile a mood board together of ideas you both like.

An idea for anyone putting together a new design for room with existing items of furniture; is to take photos of the furniture you need to use in the room. Place the photos of the furnishings you are keeping onto the mood board at the start of collecting your ideas together. You will then be able to build your new room ideas and color scheme around them, so they will fit in with your new choices.

Using different shades of paint on the walls of a room.

If you wish to paint the walls of your room more than one color, then shades or tints of one color are usually a safe option and more likely to harmonize in the room.

If you wish to achieve a bold look then contrasting colors may be your choice. The stronger you want the statement to be the stronger the color and contrast should be. This look is more difficult to get right than a softer more neutral palette of colors and paint shades.

Remember the darker bolder colors may make the room appear smaller and the walls 'closer'; so chose and use them wisely.

Lighter colors 'open up' the space in the room and can make it look more spacious.

Another way to improve the appearance of a small room is to have it well lit and to have a reflective surface like an attractive mirror on the wall. This works well in hall ways and entrance halls near the front door.

What Color Shall We Paint The Room?

How To Pick the Right Colors for Your Room.

  • A quick guide to choosing the right color scheme when you decorate a room.

Firstly what colors you use will depend on certain things:

These choices are related to questions and the answers to them -

  • Is the room a ‘blank canvas’ as in you have moved into a new house, flat or apartment and there are no existing furniture, curtains, carpets ?
  • The amount of existing décor that you will be retaining will affect your new décor choices so it is important to decide up front if it is a fresh start or redecorating with some existing furnishings remaining in place.
  • Basically will the room be empty; as you begin to plan it and there are no existing items of furniture,rugs or curtains that you must retain and re-use.
  • Or if not has the room a mixture of items in it; some of which you will need to keep and some you will not be re-using in the new interior design.
  • Or is the situation that you can only change the color of the walls with a coat of paint everything else has to remain. In which case the colors you will use will have to be picked to go with he items that must remain.

The first option is probably the most desirable i.e. the ‘blank canvas’ but without any predetermined things to include. However, often mixing the old with new can prove a very satisfactory mix if you plan cleverly and get the choice of colors right. More on making these choices later.

Starting to plan a room from scratch. You will be free to pick from a wider range of colors and textures. Although sometimes starting to choose colors and furnishings to go in a room that is empty; can make it harder to make a start and even beginning to select your color palette for the room can feel daunting. In such cases do not underestimate the advantages of using paint samples, wallpaper and fabric samples and putting them into the room. Then spend time assessing how they look in different types of light and at different times of the day.

It is worth remembering that once you have made a major purchase such as floor covering and furniture; in time you are likely to paint the walls several times more before you replace the carpet or sofa & chairs. Therefore it might be a good starting point to look for the furniture and carpet first and select styles and colors that you can live with long term. Once you know your colors are for those items then you can pick your curtains/blinds/rugs,cushions and paint colors to go with the furniture you will be buying.

Planning a room when you have to keep furnishings. For anyone having to put together ideas for a room with existing items take photos of them to add to the mood board at the start. Then you can build your ideas and color schemes around them.

When picking paint colors for your walls ask yourself if you want all the walls the same shade or do you want one or more walls to be feature walls. Selecting the colors for feature walls needs planning and bear in mind that dark shades and light shades will alter the appearance of the room.This again refers to dark colors looking 'closer'.

If you wish you can have the same color on all the walls but want variety you can vary the shade by picking a tint or tone of your selected color. So that one or more walls are a darker or lighter shade of your main paint color. Check that the difference shows up, again tester pots of paint are useful for this. You do not want the walls to look so close in shades that it just makes the darker or lighter wall painted a slightly different shade by mistake.

You can chose to be really bold and pick two or more colors that are a dramatic contrast. Test how these look together with your small tester pots of paint.

  • Trying paint on the walls before you buy your full sized pots of paint helps to avoid expensive mistakes and wasted time.

Remember your paint colors will look different in sunlight to artificial light.

  • The color of the walls that you are painting over will dictate how many coats of paint you will need to cover the wall surface.

This means light (the old color) to dark (new) will usually require less coats of paint than covering a dark painted wall with a light color paint.

Sometimes it is easier to paint a layer of white paint over a very dark tone before you begin to decorate the room in the lighter shade that you have picked.

In some places it is possible to take a swatch of fabric,a cushion or anything else that you like the color of and match it to the color charts used by paint manufacturers. In some stores that mix the paint shade for you they will mix exactly the shade of paint that you want especially for you. This can work well as it is possible to have the same shade made up in different finishes of paint such as matt, flat-matt, silk vinyl, eggshell or gloss paint . The range of colors is larger by having the paint mixed in store and by using this service it can be easier to find shades that compliment your existing décor. When buying paint you may find that the choice of paint colors for bathroom and kitchen paint finishes is less than for other finishes.

One of the other things to consider is the lighting in the room; any alterations to this often need to be completed before you paint the walls.

Look at the color of the paint you are interested in at different times of the day in the room. You can use paint colors to improve the look of a room. For example if the room is cold looking you might need to pick warmer colors and steer clear of colder blue tones. Paint companies offer advice about this use of color in their booklets and on the paint charts.

Another color issue that is worth considering is to do with the fact that some colors may make you feel happier and even more relaxed. Basically what mood do you want the color scheme of your room to make you feel when you use it?

Most of all you need to pick something that you really like and can live with; whether it is calm, vibrant or dramatic, you are the one who will be living with it, at least until you re-decorate it.


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    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      Thank you senimental for reading and leavng a comment on this color scheme article.

    • sentimental profile image

      Capt Semant 7 years ago from India

      Nice content