Cover Photo: Pinterest


2020 is officially the year of home projects. If you agree with this sentiment, we’re with you 100%. Quarantine life has motivated us all to take a second look at living spaces, peruse Pinterest for hours on end, and indulge in some late-night retail therapy. And re-painting is just one of many things on the list. The question is — how do you choose the right paint color for an already lived-in room?

Photo Credit: Pinterest / H&M


Color Theory


Before getting to color selection, there are few pro-interior designer steps to follow. First up is understanding the basic principles of color theory, and how they apply to your home (specifically the room you’re thinking to paint and existing decor).


Think back to grade school days when you learned about the basic color wheel in art class. You’ll recall it is an all-in-one visual (and tangible) representation of the color spectrum. Finding colors that play well together becomes infinitely easier as the wheel allows one to see how colors look next to one another. Consider these terms:

Photo Credit: Pinterest

  • Complimentary: These are colors that sit across from one another on the color wheel. They are visual opposites — like blue and orange, or purple and yellow. Such colors, because they are vastly different, should be used in moderation if used together. They draw the eye to a specific area of a space, and should be balanced with neutrals so as to not create visual confusion.
  • Analogous: Any three colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel are analogous – and typically include two primary colors and one that is a mix of the first two. If you’re drawn to this color scheme, choose a dominant shade among the trio. That should be the anchor color (and perhaps a great option to paint all or one wall in a room), while one of the others works as a supporter of the first, and the third is an accent color to be used minimally, but with intent.
  • Monochromatic: This color technique involves colors in the same spectrum. If for example, you’re drawn to greens, perhaps your dominant color is a deep evergreen and your supporting and accent colors are spring green and moss green. Though this concept may seem boring to some, the varying shades and tones add visual interest and dimension.


The 60-30-10 Rule


Photo Credit: Lulu & Georgia Site

The principle of all principles when it comes to color for a pro-designer. This rule will help to identify a palette to start with, ultimately guiding your paint selection. Below is a quick breakdown of how it works:

  • 60% of the room should be a dominant color of choice
  • 30% of the room should be a secondary color or even a texture
  • 10% of the room should be an accent color

Apply this formula to your paint color and complimentary décor, and you’re on to a winning combination! Surely, someone will think you hired a pro – don’t worry, your secret is safe with us!


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