If you’ve been less conservative in your color choices, this thought may not have crossed your mind, and you should definitely continue to embrace the many paint ideas and paint tricks on offer.
However, if you, like many of our readers, are stumped by endless color options and many subtle nuances, then let us guide you on how to choose paint colors for your home, whether you prefer a modern mix-and-match approach to your room color ideas, or you want a color scheme. Whole house knit.
Here, we talked to a few of our favorite designers and decorators to find out how to decorate an entire house with color with confidence, from using the color wheel to create powerful color combinations in every room to painting the entire house a single color.
Should the entire house be painted the same color?
Whether to paint your entire home a single color is an endless debate, and despite the pros and cons, there is no definitive answer to this color conundrum.
Most interior designers will say, as a rule of thumb for design, that you should never paint your entire home in one color. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the same color palette throughout your home. For example, if you love decorating with neutrals, use variations of this color palette to create harmony and interest from room to room.
Here, we take you through some of our favorite home decor ideas that make smart use of color.
1. Combine the shapes with the unusual conjunction
Designers and designers often say they don’t follow the rules when it comes to decorating, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that colors never need to match, they just need to work together.
To achieve this balance, it helps to keep in mind that one color can also be stronger than another. Interior designer Nicola Harding, founder of Nicola Harding & Co, explains that using an unusual pairing of colors in a room will change the atmosphere in a space. (Opens in a new tab).
“The higher the contrast, the more drama there is in the room and when the contrast is lower, the space is calmer.” As a general rule, you want to include high contrast when you want a dynamic, energetic, high-energy feel but it should be done in a space that you don’t spend a lot of time in like the guest bedroom, powder room, or rooms of the house that aren’t used frequently.
2. Use the entire house’s color scheme for coherence and continuity
says Sarah Ward, co-founder of Ward and co (Opens in a new tab).
“A full-color home doesn’t have to be one solid color for the blanket—instead, consider arranging the color you choose into spectrums or seasons,” she says.
Winter and spring suit cooler tones like blues, grays, mauve, and shades of white, while summer and fall offer a rich palette ranging from muted neutrals to deep browns and eggplant tones. Incorporating a spectrum approach is essential to ensuring that each room provides continuity while retaining its own unique individual character. When each room complements each other in this way, it can be very relaxing and naturally creates a more peaceful environment to live in, especially when space is limited.
3. Paint the entire house one color for dramatic effect
Your entire home’s color palette doesn’t need to be limited—in fact, it can be completely liberating once you choose your base color scheme.
Paint is the perfect way to easily transform a space, adding character and character, says Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene. “Using bold, vibrant colors works well in rooms designed for entertaining or seeing a lot of activity, such as kitchens and living rooms. A dark color is also great for spaces that have a lot of light and can be used in greater proportions without being ‘too much.'”
For a strong approach, embrace the color-inundation trend. This leads to seeing medium-strength tones, in one or two closely related colors, used to create cohesive, enveloping interiors that allow color to be a focal point.
4. Use different colors to create “zones”
The benefits of painting your home in contrasting colors are endless. Adding an accent color is a quick and easy way to transform a space, define an area, or highlight architectural elements, says Ruth Motterside of Little Greene. (Opens in a new tab). If you’re lucky enough to have great architectural details like arched walkways, moldings, or picture rails in your home, paint is the perfect way to highlight them to create a design detail.
Here, the architecture of Suzy Hoodless’s home was painted yellow to create division between the two rooms but also to inject some sunlight into the space and elevate the room, she says.
How many different colors should you paint the house with?
Color theory in its entirety can be complex but there are some basic principles to help point you in the right direction when it comes to using different paint colors, explains Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball.
While the short answer is that you can use as many colors as you wish, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help you decide. Light is a major factor and should be at the forefront of your decision, and the best way to address this is to consider the side of the room.
As a general rule, the number of colors you use in a small or dimly lit room should be minimal, while a larger, brighter space may be able to take on more colors or many accent colors.