A Designer's Advice for Choosing a Color Palette

The space of your dreams begins with a considered color scheme.

Selecting a color palette that feels cohesive, layered, and nuanced is overwhelming to most. Yes, it's important to consider your space and the furnishings that you have, but you should also have fun with the process. We've gathered some interior design tips that will allow you to commit with confidence.

Starting from Scratch

Courtesy of @theimaginative

If you're lucky enough to work with a blank slate, select a color that you absolutely love and run with it. Beginning with your favorites will lead you to a palette that you love. Often, we're drawn to tonal or complimentary colors, so chances are, things will work together. That said, you don't want your home to feel like a clown house, so you must learn the art of editing.

Begin with the wall color (this should be your favorite color). Then, move to the main piece of furniture in the space (like the sofa) and select either a tonal shade or a complimentary color for the piece. For example, if you select a deep, lush green for the walls, consider a lighter shade of green for the sofa or a complimentary color like coral. Layer in other desired shades through patterned accent pieces and accessories in the room, and voilà , you will have the beginnings of a developed and considered palette.

Embracing What You Already Have

Photo: Manolo Yllera, Courtesy of Architectural Digest

If you already have a few key pieces of furniture and are looking to develop a color palette that pulls them together, here's my advice: survey all of the pieces together and determine whether or not they actually work. If you're unsure, solicit an outsider's eye. Ask the friend who is your go-to for decorating advice. If there is any hesitation, it may be time to let go of the pieces that you can live without and replace them with something more intentional. If the answer is yes, there's likely a dominant color that you can pull to serve as a unifying wall color. If the pieces are different colors but compliment one other, consider a white backdrop that allows the varying accent colors to pop.

Capturing Your Essence

Artist and style icon Beatrix Ost

Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar Australia

This tip may sound a bit hocus pocus-y to you, but give it a chance. Each of us has an essence that is outwardly communicated to the world with the colors we choose to wear and surround ourselves with. LA-based color expert Jennifer Butler has spent her career reading clients' colors, and ultimately, transforming their lives. You can take a free quiz on her website to understand your own color essence. Once you have a better understanding of what your true colors are, think about incorporating them into your home to bring the space to life.

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