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Picking the Right Colors
In many homes, the family room is the hardest-working room in the home, a place for socializing, for family recreation, and often just for quiet relaxation. So careful thought needs to be put into planning the paint color scheme since the room must meet the needs of many different purposes and many different people. And it must do this in a way that's less formal than is usually the case for a living room, but more formal than might be found in a rec room or rumpus space.
So, whatever you call it, family room paint has to match the function and feel of the room.
Let's look at 9 different ways you might approach the color scheme in your family room.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Here's a relaxed, Southwestern-themed family room color scheme, using paint from Ralph Lauren. The wall colors here is called Thunder Bay, and the ceiling is Stucco White.
A Southwestern scheme will make use of the earth-tone colors common to the Southwest U.S., and while beiges and sandstone colors will be common, muted greens and blues can also be part of such a color scheme. In this example, though, it is soft beiges and muted browns that dominate, with rustic ceiling beams that complete the feeling.
Continue to 3 of 10 below.
- TIP: Remember that paint manufacturers change their colors almost yearly. Don't expect to match paint colors by name, but rather by tone.
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Two-Tone Color Scheme
Recent years have seen the use of two-tone rooms, often in the form of one accent wall painted a color that either complements or contrasts with the other colors. This room uses colors called Yellowtail Dam and Go Blue, from Dutch Boy.
The selection of the two paint colors needs to be made carefully. Colors that are closely related or commonly seen together in nature will lend a room a relaxed but alert feeling. But a color that sharply clashes with other colors can, if well chosen, energize a room.
Continue to 4 of 10 below.
- TIP: Paint manufacturers may offer product brochures that show examples of how different colors work together. This is a good source of information when you are considering paint combinations.
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This is a family room paint scheme that's neither here nor there. Most family room color schemes tend to fall into two camps: the dark browns and greens, and the light blues and yellows. But here's a Behr paint (Pensive Sky) that straddles the line, an easy-going neutral that just might please both camps.
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
- TIP: A neutral paint scheme will work best if there is a bit of contrast offered by the furnishings. In this room, the warm beige in the sofa slightly offset the cool colors of the walls.
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Ocean Blue Scheme
With this family room paint, you could easily imagine that your house was on Sea Island or Jekyll Island, Georgia—no matter if it happens to be land-locked 1,200 miles inland. The colors are from Ralph Laren Home: Cloud Blue for the walls, and Deckhand White for the ceiling and trim.
Continue to 6 of 10 below.
- TIP: A bit of pale green adds a lot to an ocean-blue scheme, either in the form of plants (as shown here) or in wall hangings, draperies or pillows.
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Pictured is a rich, glowing, orangish family room paint that is still considerably soft and toned-down. The colors are from Dutch Boy: Amber Stone for the walls, and Almond Paste for the trim. Slight variations between wall colors and trim colors are a common strategy for creating a paint scheme.
Continue to 7 of 10 below.
- TIP: It is quite true that warm colors make a room feel physically warm. Beware of using warm colors in a climate that is already warm. But in a colder climate where a family room is used mostly in the colder months when outside recreation is impossible, a warm scheme like this one is very cozy.
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Sage Green Scheme
One of the unfortunate things about viewing family room paint colors online is that the color doesn't register as well as it would in real life. So, it takes a certain amount of imagination to see this lush, deep-green wall color from Behr: Painted Turtle, as it might look in your home.
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- TIP: Whenever using an unusual color, especially a dark one, it's a good idea to test-paint one wall to see how you like the effect. Paint stores usually sell sample pints of paint for exactly this purpose.
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Bright Green Scheme
Granted, it takes a certain amount of fortitude to apply this shade of green to your family room walls. But whoever said that family rooms had to be quiet, reticent places? This green from Dutch Boy is called Olive Fringes, for those who feel like living life on the fringes.
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- TIP: Note the trim molding installed to create the look of paneling on the walls. This is a remarkably easy DIY project.
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Solid Yellow Scheme
This family room has chosen pale yellow—Chamois, from Ralph Lauren Home. It is used consistently on every surface, even inside the recessed shelving. There are not even contrasting base or crown moldings to break the scheme; only the fireplace mantle in Design Studio White breaks the dominant yellow.
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- TIP: This room is more carefully designed than it might first seem. Look at the careful use of whites, blacks, and grays in the various accessories and furnishings.
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