Repainting rooms in your home is a fun way to refresh your décor and give a space an entirely new feel but picking out colors can be totally overwhelming. Let’s start with a little “Paint 101.” Step back from that massive display of paint swatches at your local paint or home improvement store and consider your options: the color “groups.” Here’s a quick look at some popular color families to get you familiar and help your creative juices start flowing:
Neutrals – Neutral paint colors are versatile and easy to work with because they pair well with anything—from that oversized art print you love to that bright red couch you’ve had your eye on. If you prefer your wall colors to be subtle (letting your furniture and décor shine), you might feel most comfortable in this color family. Look at shades of white, gray, beige, griege (gray and beige mixed), brown, and black.
White – Yes, white is a category of its own—and one shade of white can be completely different than another. There are warm whites (undertones of red, orange, and yellow) that can take on a pastel hinge, and there are cool whites (undertones of blue, green, and purple) that feel more crisp and clean. White can be the perfect option for homes with lots of windows so the outside views take the stage. It can also help enlarge a smaller room or highlight a home’s unique architecture.
Gray – There’s no doubt that the gray trend isn’t going anywhere soon. Technically, gray is a neutral color, but when paired with other neutrals like white, it can be a nice accent—especially if paired with wood tones, stone, and brick throughout the home. Go bold with charcoal or chic with a powdery silver-gray. There are lots of choices, and gray really does go with everything.
Brown – Yet another neutral that deserves its own grouping, brown offers endless possibilities. Deep chocolates give a room more depth and interest, while a lighter taupe is perfect for those who love both gray and brown. Go lighter if your goal is to keep things friendly and cozy, or darker for a more dramatic effect.
Bold colors – Think of bold colors as those that catch the eye: bright, confident, energetic. Many homeowners use bold colors sparingly—on an accent wall or a door—but anything goes! Colors set different moods too. Orange can be fun and playful, red passionate and sophisticated, green refreshing and tranquil, blue calm and relaxing, and yellow happy and optimistic.
Muted colors – Unlike bold colors that tend to be vivid and lively, muted colors are softer, creamier, and less vibrant overall. Usually, adding a neutral color to a bold hue achieves this effect—picture what might happen to a bright purple when mixed with white. Muted pastels are definitely in style right now but muted definitely doesn’t have to mean lighter.
Here’s the good news about choosing paint colors: the only person you really need to please is yourself! If you gravitate toward neutrals, stick to neutrals. If you want to play around with bold or muted colors in different areas of your home, go for it. Or, maybe you like white best of all. Once a color goes up, live with it for a while to see if it makes you happy. With paint, the stakes are low—and it’s easy to make a change. Get out that color wheel, get inspired, and experiment!