True Colors: Choosing a Color Palette for Your Home

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Ok, so by now, you’re probably aware that I’m working with my husband to remodel an old trailer. If not, now you do. 🙂 The process is coming along beautifully and I’m getting more and more excited, as things are starting to really come together.

As a quick update, we’ve been working diligently on the paneled ceiling. We’re finished in the master bedroom, laundry area, and almost finished with the hallway. I’m thinking the whole thing will be finished in a couple weeks. Yay!!

The more we get done, the more I start thinking about decorating, and what kind of style I want, and where to get the cheapest home decor, and where to find furniture to refurbish… My mind is going non-stop. I have a slight problem. Haha!

One of the questions that I keep coming back to is the color palette. For various circumstances, we are stuck using a yellow paint for all the walls in the trailer. Yellow isn’t my color of choice, but that’s what I have to work with, so I’ll make due. Thank God yellow goes with most any color, especially blue, which is my favorite.

color palettes

So, how do you begin the process of choosing a color palette? If you’re anything like me, you’re visual and have to be able to see the colors in action together. Most of you are probably thinking that the simple solution is to go directly to the paint store and pick up color swatches. If you can go in and not be overwhelmed by all the hundreds of options, be my guest. I’m not that good, myself, so I choose to go a different route.

The first place I begin is by going to a furniture store and looking at throw pillows and area rugs. Find something that you can’t live without and look at the colors in the pattern. For me, I’ll look for pillows and things with little pops of yellow in them to find colors that will coordinate with my walls. Cornflower blue, charcoal grey, and dove grey? Those look great together, check, check, check. There’s my color palette, easy peasy!

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Now, I say that you’re done, but you may not be. For me, I was far from done after finding that pillow and, honestly I’m still weighing my options. The other thing I am taking into consideration is that our living room furniture is tan and brown, so whatever I get MUST coordinate well with those too. I think it’s the most difficult when you have furniture and wall colors that are dictating what you can do with a color palette. If I had all the money in the world, I’d just start from scratch. But, alas, I don’t.

At this point, I know a couple of things:

  1. My favorite color, blue, goes great with yellow/brown
  2. Most shades of grey are great neutral colors that coordinate well with yellow, as evidenced by the pillow pattern.

So, now, what about the number of colors? How many of those do we choose for a room? I’ve heard a couple of different suggestions about this.

60-30-10

One option is to go by the 60-30-10 rule. You choose a color to represent 60% of your room, in my case, it’s the yellow walls. Then, you choose another color to make up 30% of your room, usually your furniture/large decor (think rugs). Lastly, you choose one more color to represent the final 10% of your room color. People will typically choose throw pillows, vases, and other small decor to make up this color.

 

Another option is to choose 5 colors: 2 neutrals and 3 coordinating accent colors.

You can’t go wrong, whichever method you choose. There’s not really one method that works best, it’s just whichever works well for you. I may only choose 4 total colors in my color palette, and that’s ok.

Now that you have a better idea of what colors you’re looking to incorporate and how many total colors you want to use, go to your paint store. If you want your 60% color to be tan, pick out a couple tans that you like. 30% is grey? Pick up a few. The last 10% is blue, grab some of those too. Put them all side-by-side and see which ones look the best to you. If you’re looking to match a color pattern on a pillow, take the swatches home and see which ones match the closest.

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Once you have the color palette you want to use, don’t feel like you have to use the same percentages in every room. If you want to use a similar palette throughout the house, mix it up a little. If you have tan walls in the living room and grey furniture, try grey walls and tan furniture in the bedroom. You can use the same colors throughout your house without having to put them in the same exact place. I think it makes your home design a little more interesting, while still having a nice flow from room to room.

Choosing a color palette is a big decision, so don’t feel like you have to rush it. Make sure that you are in love with it before painting all your walls and buying up a bunch of furniture. It’s an expensive mistake to buy everything and then hate it months down the road.

I hope these tips were helpful in choosing your color palette. Remember to take your time, don’t get overwhelmed by your choices, and most of all have fun with it! This is your chance to express yourself, so don’t be afraid to get a little bold!

~ Brittany XOXO

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