How To Create A Whole Home Colour Palette
When creating a home you love, one of the most important choices you make is colour.
The paint colours you choose for your home will affect the way the space looks and feels, the mood it creates, even the actions of those who spend time there.
That’s why it’s super important that the colours in your home work well together.
Choosing a colour palette for your whole house means selecting colours that you can use in different ways in each room to create a cohesive look. By repeating the same colours throughout, your home will flow from one room to the next.
There are many advantages to having a whole house colour palette. For one, you can always move furniture and accessories between rooms to refresh a room and update the look and feel of it. When you have a whole home colour palette you know it’s going to work wherever you take it. Simply by rearranging furniture and accessories, you can make a space feel new again.
Another advantage of using the same colour palette throughout your home is that it creates a comfortable, welcoming feel. As a major plus, if you’re a little on the indecisive side, you won’t have to keep making new difficult decisions on your colour choices, you just have to keep following the plan in each room, but in new ways to give each room an individual feel.
AND you won’t be stuck with items that just don’t look right in your space. Having a colour plan makes other decorating choices and even shopping so much easier. And who doesn't want stress free decorating??
The Colour Wheel.....
If choosing a colour scheme for your whole house seems a little daunting and you’re not in too much of a hurry to get started, you should get yourself a colour wheel (here’s a link to get one from Amazon). There are so many beautiful colours to choose from and you might as well get a good look at your options before you start.
Of course the colour wheel is a tool to help you understand more about the theory of colour, I’m totally not suggesting you paint your home primary yellow / blue, but it will help you look at colour relationships and colour schemes with a little more ease.
So, before we jump into how to create a whole home colour scheme, you need to understand a little about some colour basics. For designing your home, there are really only four colour schemes you’ll want to take a look at.
A monochromatic colour scheme (one-colour scheme) is made up of different tones, tints and shades of the same colour. If you normally shy away from bold colour and want your home to have a modern feel with a more subdued look, a monochromatic colour palette is a good choice.
If you love the look of contrasting colours, a complementary scheme (two-colour scheme) is going to be right up your street. Complementary colours are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. For example, green is the complement of red, yellow the complement of violet and orange the complement of blue (here’s where that colour wheel comes in handy!)
Split - Complementary
A split-complementary colour scheme (multi-colour scheme) uses one main colour and the two colours on each side of the complementary colour opposite it on the colour wheel. This type of scheme is similar to complementary, but a little more toned down so can be easier to live with.
An analogous (related colour scheme) uses one main colour and up to six colours that are side-by-side next to it on the colour wheel. This colour scheme is often called harmonious because the colours blend together, such as blue and blue-green or yellow and yellow-orange. Analogous colours create a sense of peace and calm in your home. If you want a serene environment with a relaxing feel, you’ll probably want to use an analogous colour scheme.
Warm or cool.....
All colours can be classified as either warm or cool. Warm colours include red, orange, yellow, and variations of these colours. When you think of warm colours, think of fire, the richness of Autumn leaves and the warmth of the sun.
Cool colours include green, blue and violet. When you think of cool colours think of refreshing blue waters and the crisp greens of a rainforest. Most people are drawn to either Warm or Cool colour palettes.
Warm colours are: Red-Violet, Red, Red-Orange, Orange, Yellow-Orange and Yellow.
Cool colours are: Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue, Blue-Green, Green and Yellow-Green.
Why is it important to know whether a colour is warm or cool? Because there may already be items in your home that you are not planning on replacing or changing which will affect the overall look of your space.
Let’s say, for example, you have kitchen cabinets or flooring that have a dominant colour, such as oak with orange undertones. Orange is a warm colour. Your paint and accessories in this room should have warm tones vs. cool ones.
Metal finishes in your home will also have warm or cool undertones. Gold and bronze are metals with warm tones, whereas silver and chrome are cool metals. Be aware of your current finishes and decide whether or not you plan to change them any time soon. This will be a factor in your colour scheme choice.
Your colour BFF....
Most of us are drawn to a particular colour and will surround ourselves with that colour in your home as well as your wardrobe. Open your wardrobe and you’ll probably notice that you have a lot of clothes in your favourite colour. You’ll probably also have that shade throughout your home.
Colours evoke emotions and people tend to be happiest surrounded by colours that appeal to them. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Ask yourself how you want your home to feel? Do you want it to be bold and lively or spa like and serene. As an example red is a stimulating colour that raises your heart rate, while blue is a colour that is calming. Do you want your home to feel energising or relaxed? Your home should be your happy place.
Using your favourite colour in your home is a good starting point for pulling a whole home colour palette together.
5 Steps to Creating the Whole House Colour Palette That’s Right for YOU
Choose a white
White is white, right? Wrong!
There are a ton of white shades to choose from and every white has either a warm or cool undertone. It’s important to pick a white that works with your existing metal finishes or flooring if you are not changing them.
When you have the right white paint, use it on the skirting, doors, trim, cornice and ceilings throughout your home.
If you have an oak kitchen or brass fixtures everywhere, these are warm undertones. Based on the colour scheme you are going for, you should choose the following tones of white:
- Warm monochromatic or analogous colour scheme: choose a warm white.
- Cool monochromatic or any complementary colour scheme: choose a cool white.
Choose a neutral
Most popular neutral colours are beige, grey, greige, cream and taupe. Your neutral colour is what you will use in hallways, open spaces or connecting rooms. Your neutral shade can even be a toned down version of your favourite colour.
Choose a main colour
This colour will be used everywhere and will set the mood for your entire home. This can be your favourite colour. It won’t necessarily be the wall paint colour in every room, but it will appear in the accessories such as rug, cushions, throws or decorative accents, tying all the rooms together visually.
Choose a second colour
Refer to your colour scheme choices:
- Monochromatic: choose a lighter or darker version of your main colour
- Complementary: choose a colour opposite your main colour on the colour wheel
- Split-complementary: choose one of the colours on either side of the colour opposite your main colour
- Analogous: choose one of the colours beside your main colour on the colour wheel.
Choose a third colour
Once again, refer to your colour scheme choices: (we're almost done I promise)
- Monochromatic: choose another lighter or darker version of your main colour
- Complementary: no third colour for you!
- Split-complementary: choose the other colour (not the one you chose as your second colour) that is beside your main colour’s opposite (still with me?!)
- Analogous: choose the other colour beside your main colour, that you did not choose as your second colour)
I’m a neutral woman at heart, I don’t like too much contrast in my designs so a mainly monochromatic neutral scheme works perfectly for my design style.
It’s of course easy to visually display colours using paint colours, but these are the colours you’ll use in all the elements in your home not just your paint choices.
I have six colours, as you decide your colours above it’s a good idea to think about depth and contrast too. What metals will you be working with? What furniture finishes etc. The Charleston Grey represents the colour of furniture and metals around my home, I like to stick around golds and antiqued bronze which works well with my neutrals.
Please remember that once you have your palette, this is just your starting point. You can create interest by going up or down a few shades in your colours to create unique spaces. Use this as a guide!
As I'm still saving for my home decorating pot and dreaming about finishing the room designs in my budget busting renovation (bats, bridges, water voles, contaminated land.... ALL the unexpected and costly!), I'm still to complete most of the decorating in my home.
I thought I'd show you a sneaky peak at one of my total interiors crushes The French Mix and where I'm heading in my home. I am in love with the designs created by Jennifer Dicerbo and her amazing team. I love nothing more than spending hours browsing their portfolio, thought you might like a little look too!
And if you're inspired, you might also like a look at Rachel Parcell designs #homegoals