The Essential Do's and Don'ts of Decorating With Color

Learn how to Decorate With Color
Learn the Easiest Tips for Decorating With Color. ©Behr

Here's How to Avoid Getting Overwhelmed With Choosing Color for Your Home

Choosing color for your home can be overwhelming.  You can spend hours collecting images and inspiration for your next decorating project, and still feel a little lost when it comes to putting those decorating ideas together. Get the confidence you need for your next decorating project with these easy tips.

DON’T be afraid to express yourself with color.

If you love the color orange, then find a way to incorporate that into your decor.  If you simply must have those vintage floral drapes in shades of pink, then surround them with colors that complement them. If you’re not feeling bold enough to paint an apple green accent wall,  try it instead as an accent on painted furniture. 

DO consider the existing colors in your room before adding more color. All the colors in a room are not apparent at first glance. You can walk into an empty room and not realize that there is already color in there that will affect future color plans.  When you’re adding color to a room, don’t forget to consider the existing color. This can include flooring, cabinets, ceilings, counters and even the colors coming in from the windows. Many color schemes have been derailed by the lush green landscape outside, turning everything green when the drapes were opened. 

DO learn the difference between warm and cool colors.

Knowing how to identify a color’s temperature is going to make your color decisions so much easier.  If you’ve ever brought home a color sample or decor accessory in a neutral color that never quite felt right with similar colors, most likely it was a color temperature issue. 

DO sample any paint color you’re considering for your home.

 When so much of our initial paint color selection begins online, your color is only as accurate as your computer monitor. When you're in the paint or home improvement store, you are choosing colors in their lighting. When you tape the paint strips on your wall, it’s still not the best indicator of how the color will look painted on the wall. Properly sampling paint is the most important DO when it comes to  choosing paint for your home.

DO use sample paint boards to sample color at home. This is a great way to sample color that you’re considering in a room. Using a generously sized board, you can see how the color reacts in the space. The beauty of using sample boards is that you can move them around to assess the lighting from every angle.  Using sample boards also allows you to concentrate on viewing one color at a time, rather than those big rectangles of color painted next to each other on the wall. Check out the newest products for paint sampling, too. Your local paint or home improvement store offers more than just paint boards now. Repositionable paintablefilms are great for sampling color throughout your room.

DON’T be afraid of using dark colors in small spaces. Conventional decorating wisdom has always been that a small room should be decorated in light colors so that it appears larger.

 While this may be good advice if the room is abnormally small, it’s not always the best advice. A dark color with light trim and accents can create a stylish look in a small room. You can challenge the idea that you should be decorating to make a room appear larger, by instead decorating to make a room feel wonderful. 

DON’T get overwhelmed with color choices. There are thousands of color and style options out there. If you’re going to be tackling a decorating project soon, set a deadline for the moment that you’ll stop searching and start decorating. Set a deadline to create your color palette, and get to work on creating the room of your dreams.