How to Choose Colors You'll Love
With an almost infinite roster of color options, it can be a challenge to winnow down a palette to the right hues. Learn how to develop your eye for color and pick out the best colors for your decorating with these designer tips.
Everything In This Slideshow
1 of 21
Start with a color you love. Even if it’s not a trend at the moment, it will always be on trend in a space that resonates with you.
-- Khristian A. Howell, textile designer and color expert
2 of 21
3 of 21
Blend in strong colors. A bold color on the wall will feel jarring unless you consider the trim and ceiling color in your plans.
-- Patrice Cowan Bevans, designer
4 of 21
What’s more livable than the colors found right outside your back door? Look to earthy, natural colors -- blues, greens, beige, and taupe -- when choosing color for your rooms.
-- Sehra Han, designer
5 of 21
When choosing wall colors, find versions of your favorite colors that are muted with gray.
-- Erica Lugbill, designer
6 of 21
Choose the best paint you can afford. Good paint has better pigments and a more livable finish.
-- Courtney Price, designer
7 of 21
If you find a color that you love but you’re afraid it might be too dark, ask the person mixing the paint to do a 50 percent tint of the color.
-- Gail Wright, designer
8 of 21
9 of 21
Take It with You
When you shop for paint, take along an existing pillow, a piece of drapery fabric, or a photo of your space. You’ll make informed color decisions.
-- Alejandra Nernardez, designer
10 of 21
11 of 21
Warm colors like red, yellow, and orange have an energizing effect. Blue, green, and gray are calming.
-- David Bromstad, designer and HGTV star
12 of 21
Save strong wall colors for statement rooms that are smaller and visited less -- a library, guest room, or a powder room.
-- Lulu Dekwiatkowski, textile designer
13 of 21
You can take just about anything to the paint store and ask the associate to mix a paint that’s a perfect match using the store’s color reader.
-- Danny Seo, lifestyle expert
14 of 21
Rooms by Color
Choose colors based on the use of a room. Morning rooms can be brighter; rooms used at night can go dark.
-- Beth Kushnick, set decorator
15 of 21
Give yourself permission to use a bold color. You don’t have to love it everywhere -- one throw or pillow might be just enough.
-- Nate Berkus, designer
16 of 21
Propensity for Intensity
Play with intensity. I love monochromatic rooms that use a single hue in a variety of ways.
-- Sarah Richardson, designer
17 of 21
18 of 21
From Room to Room
When rooms open to one another, avoid choosing radically different colors, or the space will look choppy and small.
-- Courtney Price
19 of 21
Tone It Down
Choose your favorite color, but watch that it’s not too bright.
-- Maria Killam, color expert
20 of 21
Your home is made up of more than walls -- ceilings, floors, stairs, and doors are also great places to have fun with paint.
-- Bob and Cortney Novogratz, designers