4 Things to Remember When Choosing Your Room’s Color Scheme

Simple rules to keep in mind when choosing colors for your interior design.

  1. Pick your paint colors and carpet colors last.
    • It’s very tempting to select carpet first. However, professional interior designers know that both paint and carpet come in a endless variety of hues. Begin with the more expensive, less flexible things like furniture and fabrics. Then add in as many elements as possible. Choose carpet and paint to enhance those choices.
  2. Lighting is part of your color scheme.
    • The color, quantity, location and direction of light in your room will impact the colors in your room.  Daylight (and lighting that mimics it) shows more accurate colors. Incandescent bulbs warm up and redden colors. Fluorescent bulbs cool down colors and make make them bluer. Be careful here. If your room transitions from mostly natural light during the day to mostly fluorescent at night, the colors will change significantly. Try to have balanced light throughout the day.
    • Position lighting sources at several different elevations: ceiling, wall, and table height.
    • Under-lighting a room will diminish almost any room design. Over-lighting rarely occurs in residential interior design.  (It is depressingly universal in commercial interior design).
  3. Light and Dark.
    • Color value is relative lightness or darkness of a color. A range of values seem to help reduce the competition between different colors in your room. Many experts recommend choosing one dark color, one light color and one bright color.  Which color dominates will depend upon your personality and how you are expressing it in your room.
  4. Take a Risk.
    • How big of a risk should you take? Every room needs a splash of color.  Remember, any mistake can be changed. That said, you can minimize your risk by putting the bright colors and risky patterns on small components of your room. Accessories, area rugs, pillows and throws can add the pizzazz without breaking the bank. They’re also less expensive to change when you feel the need to freshen things up.