Interior Design – Building a Home Color Palette Do’s and Don’ts

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 40,195
    Interior decorator Denise Willard discusses the do’s and don’ts for building a home color palette.

    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 of Decor by Denise, and today I am here discussing the psychology of color and how best you can leverage it in picking the perfect color palette for your home. Right now we are going to focus on the do's and don'ts of picking colors for your home. First of all, let's focus on the don'ts first, because those are the things we really want to steer clear off. A lot of people will go into the homes of their friends or family members or associates, and they will oftentimes love a color and think immediately they can go out tomorrow, buy that color, and have it look the same on their walls. Unfortunately, color doesn't work that way. Because of architectural differences, lighting differences, various things, like your flooring may be different than their flooring, your cabinetry and your kitchen may be different, and those are all big colors in a home, therefore, that color will look very different in your home. So, you shouldn't just rush out and buy a color because you loved it in somebody else's house. So, that's the first don't. The second don't is don't assume that when you see a color in a paint store, for instance, or on a Fan Deck, that's its going to look exactly the way it looks in that Fan Deck. There are two reasons. One is the same reason I mentioned previously is that, just because you see a beautiful color in a paint store under florescent lighting in a little tiny chip, that little tiny chip isn't necessarily going to equate to the same exact color when you actually bring it into your home. So, that's the first thing. Secondly, when you see a color in a quantity that's really, really tiny, it oftentimes looks very different when it's in big expanses of color. So, you want to stay clear of that as well. Lastly, the last don't to steer clear off is, don't be overwhelmed. Most people get really, really just totally confused; where to start, what to do, overwhelmed with all the choices, but my motto is start small and think big. So, those are the three don'ts to focus on when you start to select colors. Now let's focus on the do's. What do you want to do? Well, first of all, you want to invest in purchasing a Fan Deck. This will become very, very key, especially if you have artifacts around your home, such as rugs, artwork or other pieces of big furniture, for instance, that has fabric on there that you love, but you can't physically take the sofa with you to look for color, this will become your saving grace. So, first invest in that. Secondly, what you want to do is instead of just purchasing a paint based on a little chip or based on what your friend down the street has, you want to invest in purchasing some samples of the paint and actually painting on your walls. Paint all four walls such that you have a big enough swatch of color and you can look at that color at different times in the day. You want to look at the color in the morning, in the afternoon, and late in the evening, especially if it's a dark color. You want to make sure you love it before you commit to it. If by chance you know someone who is in the trade, in terms of the paint trade, you might also be able to get them to order you some nice paint swatches without having to make the investment in the actual paint. This is what a swatch looks like. You can order them in many, many quantities. You can tape these up on the wall and test them out. It's very similar to actually purchasing the paint. The only difference is you can take these down very easily and throw them away, whereas with the paint you still have it on the wall. Just remember, if you do buy paint samples you want to always buy flat paint, because it's easier to paint over. The only other thing I wanted to mention in terms of do's is you want to make sure that you do visit the paint store, pull out some ideas for color palettes, just so you have them, you can start looking through them. Even though you may have an idea already of what you want to do, it certainly doesn't hurt to start looking through some of these additional ideas so that you can pull it all together. So, that's a little bit about the do's and the don'ts of selecting colors for your home. Now we are going to focus on how you can use color to correct certain interior problems.