Choosing a color scheme is difficult when starting from scratch

Use these methods to choose colors that you will love from the first day

Choosing a color scheme is the next decision you are facing in your home decorating project. By now you have done some dream shopping, started a collection of pictures and ideas you are drawn to, and decided on some of your color preferences. But still, deep down you are saying, “But I still don’t know how to start choosing a color scheme.”

This is a very emotional area of home decorating. Once you make a large purchase of a sofa or carpet that item will be a fixture in your home for a long time. No wonder there is so much anxiety attached to this part of home decorating. Look here for more about color properties of individual colors such as red, purple, green, etc.

Do not worry. It does not matter how much you really know colors, pallets, complimentary couples … You do not need to be an artist or have studied similar items to become a color expert. It’s enough to know what you love and build it easy on it.

Choosing a color scheme from something you love makes the decision easier

One of the easiest places to start is to look at the items you already own. Do you have an area rug you bought because you loved the striped pattern in it? Do you own a vase or teapot with 6 different colors in it that you just had to have because of the colors? Look at your wardrobe. Is there an item of clothing you keep picking out to wear because of the color combination?

I call these inspiration items. Professional designers designed these items. Most likely if you bought it because of the colors, you will be able to design a room around it that you will be happy to be in.

Use an inspirational item in choosing a color scheme

Suppose you have a lamp with an oriental design of beige, brown, oranges, peaches, yellows, and a touch of green on an eggshell background that you absolutely love.

Use this lamp as your inspiration piece. Use the colors in the lamp keeping the same color proportion in your room. The walls would be eggshell, the floors and wood furniture would be the various shades of brown, your upholstered furniture would be chosen with the orange, peach, yellows in mind, and the green would be used as accent pieces such as lamps and pillows. This could all be tied together with an area rug containing this same color scheme.

Of course, this color scheme would not be everyone’s cup of tea but is used only as an example of how to use an item you love as a starting point for choosing a color scheme.

One more caveat to be aware of

Do not be distracted by the myriad patterns and your likes and dislikes in this area. You are looking at colors and color schemes. The pattern only matters if you are considering using this fabric as part of your decorating scheme. Otherwise, look only for colors you want to use in choosing a color scheme.

Use photo references for help in choosing a color scheme

paintThere are so many photo sources available today it would be impossible to not find one or two you love. The most obvious are home decorating magazines. There is an enormous selection of these available at every checkout counter in the country. There are brochures and folders in paint and wallpaper stores. There is the internet with it’s 6 million home decorating sites. When you see a photo image you like, cut and paste it into your computer. If you are using these photos for help in choosing a color scheme and want to print it out, make sure you use a great color printer that will print exactly the same color that is on your monitor. Then lastly, there are the photos you have been taking as you go on your dream shopping tours. Remember your mission!

Once again, I’ll use this mantra: “Remember your mission!”

As you look through these photos, you are not looking at furniture styles, or how accessories were used. You are looking for help in choosing a color scheme you love. You are looking for details such as a type of color scheme you are attracted to (analogous, complementary, split complementary, monochromatic). You are noticing if the color scheme in the room was designed around an inspiration item such as a rug or piece of art. You are looking at the proportions of color used (how much is a neutral color used as opposed to an accent color?). In short, you are becoming a color expert about what your color personality prefers.