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Interior Decorating - What Paint Color Choices and Schemes for Your Room Should You Choose

Updated on July 1, 2017
Lily Rose profile image

In my next life, I want to be an interior designer. I love decorating and home decor, taking on projects, and helping others do the same.

Warm Room Colors

How can you warm up a north-facing room that seems “chilly” even during the summer months? Does your room lack windows, thereby restricting the amount of natural light that it gets? You don’t have to touch the thermostat to dial up the temperature in a room – just use color! It’s not easy to heat a large room, but it can be accomplished simply and visually with the right colors. Focus on the warm side of the color palette or wheel. For example, yellow, in its most vibrant form, can make even the coolest space visually warm and appealing.

Taking that a step further, think red – it provides you not only with warmth, even “heat”, but also with drama. You can add excitement with different shades and hues, such as with orange (like the color of the fruit), even cantaloupe and cinnamon shades. Go more toward the peach and apricot shades and you have perfect tones for living areas. Peach and apricot shades compliment skin tones and they add a nice warm glow to everything in the room.

Cool Room Colors

Now, if you head on over to the other side of the color wheel to the cool hues, you can easily drop the temperature several degrees in a room that needs cooling off. Perhaps you have a room that’s surrounded with windows and drenched in sunlight so much so that it’s too warm to appreciate, or maybe it’s an attic or second-floor room where the heat consistently rises…

You can come to the rooms’ rescue with a cool color palette, especially the cool tones that are on the lighter side. If you like the blue color family, consider a shade that’s the color of the sky. You can also take a cue from god ol’ mother nature with assorted shades of green. Leafy greens feel springy and fresh, while paler shades, like celery, are more subtle. In most cases, it’s best to combine the cool colors with some touches of white – it helps give you some crisp lines, but it also acts as a cool shade.

Remember, not everything in the room has to be cool. Your room can be filled with lots of warm colors, like warm earth tones on furnishings, and then cooled off with a nice dusty blue on the walls.

Neutral Rooms

Black, white and beige used to be known as the basic neutral colors because they go with pretty much everything. Then gray, camel and taupe shades brought more variation to the scene. Neutrals today are defined very differently – today neutrals are colors that compliment most of the other colors in the spectrum and can include yellow and green or more. The key is selecting the right shade of a color.

A bold, neon yellow does not have the same neutral effect that a buttery yellow has. Same goes for greens – shades closer to sage are the best options to remain neutral, as well as dusty, herbal shades. Think of a flower’s stem and you’ll realize that every color goes well with green. Many neutrals are pulled right from nature; sage green IS a neutral! Peach is also considered a neutral.

Peach as a neutral.
Peach as a neutral.
Sage green as a neutral.
Sage green as a neutral.
Taupe/beige neutral room.
Taupe/beige neutral room.

Using Color to Link Rooms

Many homes these days have open floor plans which makes it more important than ever to link one room to another with the use of color.  You can still give each room its own personality while keeping the rooms cohesive.  Repetition is the key, but don’t do it literally.  What’s meant by that is if you paint your kitchen cabinets red, that doesn’t mean that you have to paint something in the adjacent room red, too.  Use the color as a cue and instead choose a red sofa and matching chairs or dress a large window in red.

If your living and dining rooms are combined, side by side, into one great room you can link them by painting the portion of the wall under the chair rail in the dining room one color and using that color as an accent on one wall in the adjacent living room. 

Add a Little Texture with Your Color

Texture is important in a room, even though it may not be as exciting as pattern and color. It is definitely most important in a room that is nothing but neutrals – without texture, a beautifully designed room will look flat. Texture adds diversity and interest, especially when you combine different textures in a room.


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    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks explorations, glad I could be a part of your learning - and thanks for the link!

    • explorations profile image

      explorations 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      I had a lot to learn from you, thanks for this! Also, I couldn't resist not to link it to my blogpost - it's just too helpful :) Thanks!

    • profile image

      Clara 6 years ago

      Incredible colouring tips.

    • profile image

      abida 6 years ago

      These room pics are beautiful and incredible.Super decorated rooms with colors are chosen.This hub provides useful information.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 6 years ago

      Beautiful writing, beautiful photos. Nice job!

    • lea86 profile image

      lea86 7 years ago

      Very nice.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

      Thank you, giwrgos12!

    • giwrgos12 profile image

      giwrgos12 7 years ago from San Diego

      You have chosen very attrative pictures as well as provides useful information.

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 7 years ago

      Very good information! I use to work for an interior design firm and learned so much from the designers. Color choices really do create a room!

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

      There's nothin' like a little inspiration, right?! Thanks for your comment.

    • MKayo profile image

      MKayo 7 years ago from Texas

      These room pics are just incredible. This hub is giving me the itch to start painting around my home. Hmm...

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

      That's funny, SteveoMc - maybe she's already found her calling! I'm glad my buits of information can be useful to you; thanks for stopping by!

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thanks for the information. I am trying to help my son re-do his condo and we have been stymied over some of the decorator ideas. My granddaughter who is 10 years old, has proven to have more decorating sense and an eye for what works than both of us put together.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      You chosen some super decorated rooms with colours I love. Well done.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

      Good morning, B-Pop!

      I'm deep into studying and researching it all and creating a heck of a dream list!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Love the hub and the advice. I am deep into re-decorating now and loving every moment.