How to Pick the Perfect Color Palette for Your House’s Rooms Like a Pro

Updated on July 31, 2019
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Alison Brown is the brains behind Panel Wall Art and she loves home decorating and all things fine art.

Choosing blue and going with every shade that corresponds to the color may seem like an easy task. But if done seriously and truly, selecting a great color palette isn't quite that easy.

Have you ever wondered how interior designers do it?

It's not a carefully guarded secret that's only exclusive to the ones who are meant to practice the profession. You don't have to learn the complexities—just the basics. And here are a couple of color rules that designers swear by to make picking color palettes just a smidge easier.

Picking the Perfect Color Palette

Colors catch people's attention. It can be overt or subtle. And the colors you choose for a particular space can dictate the prevalent atmosphere that exists there for as long as the colors remain. For instance, in bedrooms, you'd want a relaxing atmosphere and an atmosphere that encourages appetite in a dining room.

The colors you choose can subtly manipulate a room's vibe. Plus, it's not bad to have rooms in the house that are aesthetically pleasing to look at and be in.

Reference the Color Wheel

The role of the color wheel in the basics of deciding which colors to use is integral. Maybe some of you can even recall how the color wheel was drilled into your knowledge vat a long time ago—when you were still in elementary school or even kindergarten.

We won't go to the point-to-point basis of color theory. But you need to keep the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors in mind. And in general, the color schemes that are next to each other on the color wheel like green and blue, make a good combination to have in a room.


Employ the Use of Dark to Light

The world's best designers advise using darker color values for the floor, medium color values for the walls, and lighter colors for the ceiling.

Looking at it visually, you'll notice that it replicates the outside world. Notice how the ground beneath our feet is often darker than what you can see straight ahead, like trees and infrastructures, while the sky is light blue accented with white clouds.

This is a good technique for making the space look good without too much risk.


Deriving the Color Scheme from the Biggest Pattern in the Current Space

If you're the type of person who has a thing for having patterned upholstery in a room, it's a good idea to derive your color scheme from the largest patterned object you have in the room.

For the most part, a large fixture in the room naturally drives the most attention, and basing your would-be color palette off of that (or starting from that) isn't such a bad idea.


Consider the Neutrals

You can never go wrong with tastefully utilized neutrals for a room. Black, white, and gray are classic staples that can never get old.

Having a bit of black in the room can serve to clarify the other colors, helping them stand out more, according to the world's leading designers like Mark McCauley. Black can be used to create a big impact by having notable furniture in black (like your end tables and maybe even the kitchen cabinets).


For a smaller scale distinguisher, you can make do with black vases—or even a lampshade or some other object that's starkly black.


Another way of incorporating neutrals is to go with the use of grays. Perhaps this generation's trendiest neutral to use, gray has this chameleon-like quality that lets it appear cool or warm depending on what it's paired with.


And of course, you can never go wrong with the timeless and chic pairing that is black and white—a dynamic duo and a classic combo. It never goes out of style.

Accented by metallic shades or warm and cool colors, your room can tell a unique story.


Go Safe with Monochromatic Colors

Some people find too many colors distracting. And there are others who don't see the appeal in it. No shame if you're that type of person. After all, you can always shine the spotlight on your favorite color and express its entirety in varying shades across a room.

Balanced correctly with the right floors and white walls, these saturated shades of color can be lovely to look at while not coming off as too overpowering.


The 60-30-10 Rule

Take this piece of advice from Mark McCauley. According to him, it "works every time!"

In decorating your interiors, proportion the colors into components of 60% dominant color in the walls, 30% secondary colors found in your furniture and upholstery, 10% accent colors on notable room objects.

The ratio makes sure that all your colors are appropriately balanced, and there will be enough color popping to draw interest to important parts of your interior design.


The Rule of Three

As the basic of all basics, interior design experts advise you to limit your color palette to just three colors. It's a safe strategy that will never lead you astray.


On a Final Note

Color schemes that are present in designing interiors come down to the choice of colors being implemented throughout a space. And these colors serve to influence how people like you experience a room. It creates moods, emphasizes particular styles, and cultivates a cohesive relationship between two totally unrelated things in one open area.

With the ingenious use of color, you can create a design with visual relationships no matter the room.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile imageAUTHOR

        Alison Brown 

        2 months ago from Deltona, Florida

        Hi Jeremy

        Glad you found it helpful :)

      • JeremyA profile image

        Jeremy Aron 

        2 months ago from CA, US

        Thanks, great tips!


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