How To Work With Color In Your Home Like A Pro

A coordinated color palette provides a peaceful flow to your home




A few years back, one of our associates rented an apartment with five main rooms. Each wall of each room was painted a different color. None of the colors were repeated anywhere else in the apartment, and the result was a stress-inducing environment that took a lot of effort (and money) to correct.

The hardest part, this associate admitted, was that her old roommate’s house was white. All white. White walls, white furniture, white flooring, white window treatments, with a dash here and there of chrome, stainless steel and glass.

It was from one extreme to the other, and in this post, we want to show you that you needn’t go to such lengths either to infuse color in your home, or to tone it down.

We’ve got a few pro tips to help you balance your colors from room to room. We refer to this as ‘flow.’


Color Flow Tip #1: Use Different Shades Of The Same Color Throughout Your Home

First off, looking at a paint chip with five shades of the same color does NOT mean that you need to pick all your colors from this one chip.

In fact, using different shades of the same color in the same room, can look quite disjointed.

You can however, choose to use different shades of the same color in different rooms, pulling tones of the one into the other.

For example, four walls of light grey in one room, and a slate grey accent wall in the next room. This allows for visual interest without the feeling of one color overwhelming any single space.

A tip: We recommend choosing two to five colors for your whole décor plan.

Out of these two to five colors, make sure that one to three are shared by ALL the rooms in your home, ideally with one being neutral and the other two being accent colors.

Next, let your furniture lend a hand. Strategically use glass or metal furnishings and position them to reflect those accent colors back into the room.

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Eden Mirror Cabinet


Color Flow Tip #2: Select Colors With Similar Undertones

Look for colors that complement each other, rather than contrast.

Contrasting colors, like red and blue for example, can be too much in one space. However, a shade of red with an undertone of blue (leaning towards a cool violet, instead of a warm tone) can work well with other colors that also have a blue undertone.

An important tip is to be careful with white.

There is a misconception that all whites are alike and nothing could be further from the truth. Each shade of white has different undertones.

So make sure that, if you are choosing white as a ceiling color or main color, it shares the same undertone of your accent color whether that be red, pink or blue.


Color Flow Tip #3: Pick Up Colors From Existing Pieces

Ideally, of course, you would use a focal piece from which to pull colors, like a much valued piece of artwork.

That said, the particular shade of mocha from a favorite couch or the burnt sienna color from a lampshade you love can become the palette inspiration for the color choices in your home.

This is when a fan deck or color chips from the paint store are useful. Carefully choose complementary shades and colors that will balance out to ensure that flow that you want to establish throughout your home.

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Color Flow Tip #4: Use The Same Color In Different Ways In Different Rooms

Spaces for color are considered primary (main wall), secondary (ceiling) or accent (just as the word suggests.)

For example, if one of your chosen colors is a light robin’s egg blue, you can use it on a full wall in one room, on the ceiling in the next and on pillars or as wall stencils or window treatments in the next. Doing this with three or four colors throughout your home will create a cohesive look.

For transition spaces, like entryways or stairwells, you are better off staying at the neutral end of your palette, reserving the splashes of accent color for the rooms themselves, whether those accents be in paint, furnishings, accent pieces or other decor.

melville room copy


Do the colors in your house flow or is it a Jackson Pollock painting of color? If you have a favorite way to choose colors for your home that worked for you, share it with us!