» Interior Details » Create Color Harmony in Your Home

Create Color Harmony in Your Home

| January 1, 2016

Accenting neutrals with medium to light tones of similar colors keeps the mood calm and mellow.

Accenting neutrals with medium to light tones of similar colors keeps the mood calm and mellow.

Color Expert Shares Her Tips For The Process

By Kate Smith

Selecting colors for your home is enjoyable when you understand a few basic principles of how color works. A bit of color know-how will allow you to turn your vision into reality. Keep these things in mind when selecting colors for your home and it will be smooth sailing.


It is very important that you take time to really look at what you are working with before you make the first design decision.

Begin by sizing up the space. Does it seem too small or too large for how you plan to use it? As you make your choices, think about how color and the arrangement of furnishings in the room can visually expand or shrink the space to make it feel just right.

Next, look around the room and decide what you love, what you need and what you plan to get rid of. You will want your new look to show off the things you love while still working with the things you will live with until you are able to replace them.

Lastly, decide how to light it all up, considering that color is only seen because of lighting. Study the way light comes into your home, how much brightness you want to add to the space and what type of lighting will work best.


You may have an idea of some of the colors you would like to use, but how do you bring your colors together in a pleasing scheme? It may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

One easy way to find a harmonious scheme is to look at how those colors have been used together in other situations. See if you can find the colors you are thinking about in art, fashion, food, gardens, magazines, nature, or fabrics.

Beautiful color schemes are everywhere, and once you start looking around “your” colors will start popping out at you. Do you see other colors that work well with your existing colors? It is much easier to make sense of how to bring colors together when you can visualize your colors in a scheme.


Envision the mood you want the room to have or the way you want your room to feel. Are you trying to create a space that is calm and restful, upbeat and invigorating, or warm and friendly? Whatever the mood, color is the single most important element used in a living space to evoke emotion.

Capture the feeling of the mind and body relaxed and refreshed by using cool colors such as light blues, greens, and lavenders. To create a calm environment that also feels nurturing, add in warm shades such as pastel coral or tan.

Warm hues like burgundy or gold and rich textures feel luxurious and intense. Mid-tone, mellow colors of pinks, greens, yellows, and creams set the tone for a romantic, feminine space. Traditional colors such as burgundy, wine reds, hunter greens, and navy paired with wood-tones and fabrics in stripes, paisley and plaid evoke a sense of history.

For an energetic space use a color scheme that includes neutrals such as black, gray or white, paired with bold and bright colors. Neutral-colored furnishings accented with pops of color can be classic yet a bit adventurous.

With the emotion-evoking aspect of colors in mind, think about not just how you want your space to function but also how you want it to feel. By thinking about the mood you want to evoke in a space, you will be able to pick colors that create those feelings and set the right tone in your space.


One of the easiest ways to create harmony throughout a home is to have colors that flow naturally from one room to the next. This doesn’t mean that you use the same exact colors. Each room can be different but they need to be unified by a few colors and design elements.

Have you ever created a display of photos by placing each one in a similar type of frame? The same concept works just as well for creating interior flow. Carry the same neutral trim color through each room. By incorporating the neutral throughout the floor plan, you’re framing rooms in a way that allow them to flow from one room to the next.

Just because the kitchen flows into the family room doesn’t mean you need to use the same wall paint color in both areas. Instead, vary the look by choosing a different shade of a particular color for each room. For example, a lighter or darker shade of the green used on the family room wall could be added as an accent in the kitchen to visually tie the rooms together.

It takes a little time to get the beautiful vision out of your head and into your home, but it will all seem well worth the effort. All it takes is a little color know-how to create color harmony and give your home a designer look.

Kate Smith is the author of a new eBook, {FRESH} Color Schemes For Your Home Exterior. She will answer questions at the Sugar Land Home & Garden show on Jan. 30-31 at the Stafford Centre. She will be at the Color Desk from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Visit SugarLandHomeandGarden.com for more information.


White comes to life in a room with lots of natural light. The ambience of the space will change as the daylight changes. This is Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year, Alabaster.


When using Pantone’s Colors of the Year together — Serenity and Rose Quartz — choose one to be the predominant color and use the other sparingly to keep the look modern and fresh.


Create harmony by having color flow from one room to the next.


A colorful piece of furniture pops against a wall of white.


Create a blank canvas by painting walls, ceilings, and trim all the same white. The focus instantly becomes the art, textiles and furnishings. Interesting finishes or textures work especially well with white. This is Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Simply White.

Category: Interior Details

Comments are closed.