Interior Design and Color: Choosing the Right Palettes

Red Dining Room

Beautiful Red Dining Room by DGR Interior Designs

One of the first, and probably most difficult decisions to be made in an interior design project is to chose a color palette for every room. There is the challenge of picking the favorite colors among a myriad of choices and then find just the right hues, the right shades, for each part  of the project.  And then, make sure that the colors will actually give you the expected results under each room’s specific lighting (or absense of it).

A brightly lit room might make that very pale green wall look more dirty than colorful.  A light shade of terracota might end up looking like dark brown in a dimly lit basement.  Colors can make a room look bigger or smaller, formal or cozy, welcoming or uncomfortable, cheerful or depressing.

Even if you are recruiting the help of a good Connecticut Interior Designer, it is a good idea to know what kind of effect you are looking for in your projects. It is better if you have at least an idea of what kind of colors will match your taste and personaloty.

There are a few tips that will make this task much easier.

1- Know your colors

According to this article,  there are basically four types of combination for color palletes:

Calming, stabilizing, and harmonious, neutral colors run from white to black, including all shades of gray.  Some consider brown a neutral.  Neutrals balance brighter colors and handsome woods.  Maybe you’re considering a single red wall to give your living room some pop.  Natural elements like a stone fireplace and lodge-inspired wood beams will do well with stabilizing neutrals.


Complimentary colors schemes lie on opposite sides of the color wheel, yet simply match, and are familiar side-by-side hues.  Complimentary colors exist in harmony but add uniqueness, as they seem to burst and glow quite well together.  A common complimentary scheme is red and green around the holidays.  Think blue and orange, and purple and yellow.  Complimentary color schemes are often seen on sports uniforms.


Again, interior design is art.  Analogous color schemes are used to show dimension in painting—and when designing and decorating a home.  It is simply the use of colors that come from a common hue on the color wheel.  Green is a combination of yellow and blue, and earth tones like brown and terra cotta come from green.  Playing on green, one may create tones sharp and vibrant, like lime green, or quiet, calming, and natural, like sage green.  Analogous color schemes play on one hue they share, to create depth and thoughtfulness.


This is the technique of shading and tinting by adding black or white to a single color.  It is similar to analogous scheming, but with a bit more structure.  If a single blue hue is taken, and white is added for a lighter blue, and black is added for yet another hue, three wavelengths of the same blue exist—monochromatically.

Warm and Cool
Simply, some colors have a cool vibe, and some colors have a warm vibe.  Warm colors are yellow, red, orange, and perhaps some browns.  Cool colors include blue, purples, and greens.  Some prefer to keep rooms either “warm” or “cool.” ”

2. Know your color personality

Color has the ability to influence your mood,  and the atmosphere in your home. Pick the wrong scheme and you might feel overwhelmed, or soon get tired of it. Pratt and Lambert Paints offer this cool “Color Personality” Assessment tool that might help narrow down your choices and find a pallete that suits your personality and lifestyle

3. When in doubt,  go with the trends.

The biggest names in color design for the interior design industry release, every year, their forecast on color trends for the period. Looking at their suggestions is always a great idea.  Choosing a trendy color palette will make your project look stylish and fashionable.

For 201o. for example, the Paint Quality Studio, came up with palettes to suit just about any style. Behr Paints, the famous manufacturer of one of the best brands of interior and exterios paints, also have interesting suggestions for 2010, right out of their own collection.

Want to look at some professional palletes or try your hand at creating your own palette? Pantone has the MyPantone site where you can see suggested professional palletes or  play around with colors and design your own palettes.

4. Inspiration bits.

I have a friend who designedher bedroom with a collor palette based on the cover of her favorite album. Do you have a favorite painting? A carpet? A beautiful print or a dazzling patterned fabric? Why not use these as inspiration to build palettes?

Once you made up your mind, show your interior designer your choice ot palettes. That will save the professional a lot of guessing and you will be one significant step closer to your dream decor.

If you live in Connecticut, give Diane Geltman-Rivera, from DGR Interior Designs a call. She will be happy to assist you in every phase of your decoration project.

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