Interior Design – Choosing the Right Colors for your Home

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,119
    Interior decorator Denise Willard discusses how to choose the right colors for your home when planning a new interior design.

    Denise Willard

    Denise Willard is the president of Decor by Denise, a full-service interior decorating firm based in Vienna, Virginia. For nearly a decade, Denise and her staff have transformed the homes of clients in the Disctrict of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. With her talent in color selection, space planning, interior arrangement, window treatments and fabric decor, she helps her clients transform their homes from ordinary to extraordinary! The combination of her southern roots and urban lifestyle can be seen in her transitional design style, which combines the comfort and hospitality of the south with the flair of the big city. Denise has been professionally trained in all aspects of interior decorating, including the newest trends in redesign and feng shui. In addition, she is a certified real estate staging professional, as designated by Realty Enhancements International. Denise and her staff take a hands-on approach to every project, providing each client the personalized attention he or she deserves. Denise maintains professional memberships and affiliations with the Interior Design Society, Realty Enhancements International, the Interior Arrangement and Design Association, the Washington Design Center, eWomenNetwork, the Interior Design Directory, the Redesign Directory and the Better Business Bureau.

    Hi, I am Denise Willard and I am with Decor by Denise. Today I am here discussing the psychology of color and how best to leverage it to build out a perfect color palette for your home. Right now we are actually going to take all the things we have learned up to this point and start actually picking colors for your home. There is a couple of different ways to approach this, but first of all, we want to recap everything that we have learned in terms of mood, in terms of room functions. So, you want to figure out the mood you're trying to create, and you want to figure out which room you want to focus on first, because remember I said, start small and think big. So, let's focus on one room at a time. Then we want to take those several items and add in a little bit of inspiration, and that's how we're then going to go off and pick colors for your room. Before we do that though, let's talk a little bit about inspiration and where it comes from. Inspiration can come from many different places. It can come from a beautiful piece of art or it can come from a rug that you love or a piece of fabric, but it also can come from some of your favorite decorating magazines, which you can pick up at your local grocery stores, or you can pick them up at bookstores. When you flip through here you can find all kinds of inspiration pieces for you to then leverage as you build out your palette. It's also important to note not only what you like, but the things that you dislike, because those are the things you want to stay far, far away from, and it's very helpful to remember that as you go through the process.

    The other place where you can get inspiration is if you visit your local paint store. They have all kinds and there is all different brands of paints out there, but all the different brands have various color palettes that they've already put together for you, to help you with this process. So, now that we know which mood we are trying to create and which room we want to focus on, let's now talk about selecting colors. As an example, I am going to use this beautiful piece of artwork behind me in the room that I am in, to give you an example of how you could apply the same process to your color palette. So, let's start with our beautiful piece of artwork back here, which is very bold, bright colors, and has a lot of warm tones, but also has some earth tones and some cooler tones mixed in. So, in order to get started what we would do is we would take our Fan Deck, which we have purchased, and it could be from any brand really, but as long as you have one that you really love. We want to go up and hold it up to the painting and actually pick a few colors out of there so that we can then go and use that in picking fabrics and picking paint colors, etcetera. So, that's the first starting point. Next what we do is using the colors that we have pulled out, and what we did in this piece is we have pulled out -- you may not be able to see this, there is some orange, there is some undertones of brown in here, which is up in this space, and there is also quite a bit of green. So, what we have done is we've pulled out those tones and actually incorporated them into the window treatments over here in order to balance out this beautiful artwork, but also add color to the space without necessarily putting it on the walls. Oftentimes we will be putting it on the walls, but because this is such a bold and big piece in the space, we wanted to let it shine. So, we purposely kept the walls more muted and pulled out to this more neutral tone for the walls, and then tied it all together with the chocolate brown that you see on the molding, which also ties in to the window treatments, which also ties back into the artwork.

    So, that's just sort of a quick example of how you can take an inspiration piece, build a color palette from there, and then build out your whole space in terms of color. Again, color includes everything from wall colors to trim colors to ceiling colors, but also to the fabrics that you use, the artwork that you use, the color that you choose for your pieces of furniture, as well as any rugs, etcetera. So, that's just a little brief example of how you would leverage an existing piece or an inspiration piece to build out your color palette. Now, what we are going to focus on is how do you take a palette that you have developed for one room, and then actually build upon that as you go from room to room throughout your home.