How Do You Choose the Best Color for a Room?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:18:58 PM ET
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Abigail Batchelder/Flickr

More than furniture, lighting or anything else, paint can make or break the design of the room. Unlike buying a new rug or moving around chairs, it's also time-consuming, so you want to get things right the first time. This guide will show you how to choose a color for any room in your house to bring out the full potential of the space.

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Figure Out What Mood You're Going for in the Room

What mood are you going for in the room? Light and cheery? Moody and soulful? Bold and loud? People expect certain moods when they walk into a room, and paint color can help you achieve the feeling you want. Black or dark grey rooms feel dramatic and cozy. Soft, yellow rooms feel peaceful and cheery. Think of the colors that evoke the moods that you're trying to go for, and start with those.

Get the Best Quality Paint You Can Find

You may think that choosing the cheapest paint will save you money, since you can buy less for more if you end up underestimating how much you need. However, cheap paint doesn't adhere well to walls, meaning that you'll need and to use more cans of paint to get a halfway decent coat on the wall. Choose a good quality paint toget deep, rich color that goes on easily.

Look at Your Interior Design Style

Check out the rest of the room, and take note of your furnishings. Choose paint that flatters and complements your design style. Contemporary spaces look amazing with bright, white walls that show off the sleek lines of the furnishings and art pieces, while warmer, antique whites beautifully envelope classically decorated rooms. Pale blues and soft grays are perfect in quiet, cozy rooms like baby rooms and dens.

Look at Your Fashion Sense

You already have a look; it's in full effect every time you step out of your home. The colors you choose to wear are a good indicator of the types of colors you'd enjoy seeing on your walls. If you're a minimalist dresser cloaked in grays and whites, you'd probably appreciate a more neutral paint palette. If you're someone who enjoys vibrant, colorful clothes, you'd probably be open to having brightly colored walls.

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Go Bolder With an Accent Wall

If you love lime green to bits, but you're afraid of having a lime green den, paint one of the walls in the room that color. You'll be able to get your beautiful color without feeling like you're being overwhelmed. Don't forget to test a tiny portion out first to make sure that you've got the exact paint you're looking for.