Thursday, September 18, 2014

Choosing Paint Colors for Rooms in Your Home

A mix of different wall colors in your home adds interest and variety; a good antidote for the dulling effect of the same monotone neutral color repeated through every room. However, to avoid a jarring, choppy effect, you need a simple palette of colors that flow smoothly from one room to the next.  If you have an existing color in a room that you want to keep, such as gray-blue walls in the kitchen, then build your color scheme from this hue.

Color Family and Undertones

For a seamless look between the kitchen and dining room, consider a hue in the same color family as gray or blue. Gray is a neutral color with one of three undertones, blue, green or purple. Blue, green and purple are analogous colors, meaning they fit within the same color family. So you could use a similar shade of green or purple with gray undertones. Conversely, a similar shade of gray with green or purple undertones would also work. 
image via CWB Architects
This lovely sage hue would flow nicely with a gray-blue kitchen.

Monochromatic Options

Another way to create unity and color flow throughout the home is to use lighter and darker shades of the same color. This is called a monochromatic color scheme and it is what you find on paint chip samples that show varying tints and shades of the same color. One option is to go much lighter with the gray, such as an off white with a blue undertone or go darker with a deep slate gray or charcoal hue. 
image via Pinterest
Choose a darker shade off the same paint chip to take the guess work out of mixing colors.

Complementary Choices

If the gray-blue color in the kitchen has a strong blue undertone, you may want to consider a complementary shade of orange in the dining room. The key to making this work is to keep the saturation of the orange consistent with the gray-blue in the kitchen, meaning you need to use a muted tone of orange.  Complementary color schemes take a little more courage to use but they can have stunning effects. In the following photo,

Not a dining room but a great example of a complementary mix. Notice the muted green showing in the adjoining room.

Building a Palette

Now that you have an idea of the types of colors that coordinate with a gray-blue kitchen, you’ll need to decide on a method for using them. A color palette typically consists of 3 to 5 colors. Once you’ve chosen these colors, alternate the primary, secondary and accent colors. This means you can repeat the same gray-blue in the kitchen as a secondary or accent color in the dining room, such as using it on the trim, on the ceiling or in the d├ęcor such as table linens. Mixing in a neutral such as white or brown helps you achieve a balanced flow from room to room.