Favorite Way to Choose a Color Scheme
by Diane Henkler on April 19th, 2012
There are many ways to choose a color scheme for a room. One of the most common is to pull colors from fabric or furnishings. I have done this myself many times, but the method I use most often is to draw inspiration from my favorite things to create the color scheme. I figure since my favorite things make me smile, painting my walls and furniture in those colors is going to make my heart sing and I will feel very comfortable and enjoy every aspect of the room when it is completed.
Paint is the most effective and affordable element for transforming a room. I like to choose the colors for a room to create a feeling, mood, or to bring a pleasant memory to life. The easiest way to get a feel for doing this is to make an inspiration or mood board to help you see how all the colors of your favorite things will look together. Then you can pull your color scheme right off the board.
Creating inspiration boards is easy. There are a few different ways to assemble one. I did the one below in Photoshop, but you could simply cut and paste images you have taken of your favorite things or clipped from magazines onto a piece of paper or into a notebook. Another popular method is to use online mood board creation sites like Olioboard and Polyvore. They have extensive catalogs and files of just about everything you could ever dream about using along with the breakdown of the costs, names of fabric and paint colors, as well as where to buy the items.
To choose the colors for my bedroom, I gathered images of my favorite objects and created my board. I then asked myself: What is the mood or feeling I am trying to create in the room? In my case it was a picture that reminded me of a summer home I stayed in as a child where the ocean breeze blew in the windows 24/7. That pleasant memory is what I tried to recreate when I decorated my bedroom. Sky, sand, and watercolors with the accent of purple that was in the collection of shells I gathered every summer.
Ready to try it yourself? Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Pick out images of what you love and gather them onto a board. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just clear and large enough so that you can see everything at a glance.
Step 2: Study the colors and images on your board to determine what color seems to be dominant and what colors seem to only show up once or twice on your board.
Pick out paint colors simply by pulling out the colors of the items on the board. In my case they were light blue, white, tan, purple, pink, and navy.
Here’s how I used them:
1. Dominant color for the walls/trim – 60% – Spring Bluebell, White on White
2. A color to complement – 30% – Summer Sandcastle
3. Accent colors (I always use more than one) – 10% or less of each – Morning Heather, Pink Peony, Rich Navy
Step 3: Begin to put it all together in your room layer by layer until you have the room you envisioned.
When you pick your color scheme by using your favorite things, you’ll never have to second-guess yourself. The colors will be true to you and will be the perfect complement to your lifestyle and personality.