How to Pick a Color Scheme

Sometimes the most daunting decorating task is also the most basic: COLOR!

One of the first things to consider when deciding to re-vamp a room is the color scheme that will float your boat. For some this is easy. Your favorite color is blue. You like a bright and breezy coastal theme. BAM! You're pretty much set, right? Maybe.

Color theory isn't limited to ROYGBIV (aka. red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet for those who've not had the pleasure of working in retail merchandising).

Haha! I love this. So true, right?

Okay, moving on...

Say, you're favorite color is blue and you want to use that in your decorating. What is your favorite version of that color? Navy? Aqua? Pastel? Bright? Bold? Understated? What is the mood and look you're going for? How do you want people to feel when they enter the room?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing color if you don't want to hate it six months later (unless you're a DIY/interior decorator/artsy fartsy who will start looking at new color schemes almost immediately after the room is complete...for you, I recommend neutral furniture and accessories that can be given the ol' switch-a-roo whenever the mood suits).

So, to help jump start your new color endeavor, here are a few ideas on how to choose your palette:

1. Take colors from a rug. Rugs are one of the best ways to anchor a room. Do NOT begin with choosing a paint color. It's much easier to match a paint chip to a rug, fabric, or piece of art than the other way around.

2. Choose colors from art. Have a favorite painting or photo? Display it prominently in the room and pull colors from it to create a fun palette.

3. Begin with fabric. Sometimes it's a gorgeous fabric that" speaks" to us can be the best way to create a cohesive look.

4. Decide on a theme. Beachy? Try cream, aqua, and warm natural hues like sand. Rustic? Earthy terracotta, wine, and sage will be warm and welcoming. Nautical? Navy, bright white, ruby red, and a touch of yellow will look great. Modern? Try bold contrasting hues like black, hot pink, and silver. Eclectic? Choose a neutral base and add colors that make you happy.

5. Create a palette that will showcase your collectibles. Have an extensive collection of white ceramics? Floral plates or chinaware? Vintage books? Take a look at the colors that inspire your collections for a theme that's sure to be pleasing to your eye.

{Love that the walls and couch are totally neutral, yet the room is totally fun and vibrant using only accessories and decor items}

6. Base your color scheme on how you want the area to feel when you enter. Vibrant colors create visual energy, while paler hues ensure a peaceful vibe. Bold colors add drama, while muted tones create warmth. Muted or pale colors typically offer a feminine vibe, whereas pure or shaded pigments often lean more toward the masculine.

7. Pick your palette based on your favorite color. Add tertiary hues for a relaxed scheme, or complimentary colors for a more dramatic or fun vibe.

8. Sometimes the best color is texture. Not a huge fan of ebony, cerulean, or persimmon? That's okay! Often what gives a room it's best look is the use of texture and layers. When all else fails, opt for neutrals (technically, black, grey, and white - but often "neutrals" also refer to taupe, sand, beige, cream, gold, silver, etc.) and add interest with textured linens, bamboo shades, nubby silks, woven baskets, velvet, throw blankets, and other visually interesting accessories.

Hope this help get your started! I'm a serial color changer and can't seem to even limit myself to changing only with the seasons. *sigh* It's a lot of fun, but I think my hubby is going to lock me up if I buy another pillow. ;)

Feel free to comment if you need any specific advice. I'm more than happy to help! You can also follow me on Pinterest for some more of my favorite decorating ideas.

Happy Decorating!

P.S. Take a peek at BHG color schemes article for more ideas on how to choose your hues!

{photos via Pinterest ♥}

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