4 Color Secrets to Achieve a Designer Look in Your Home

Do you want to make your home look just a little bit better? Learning how to incorporate colors like an interior designer is one way to do that.

You don’t have to go to design school to do this. All you have to do is embrace these 4 tips for using color in your home decor. I talked before about an easy way to choose your colors and the 2024 colors of the year.

If you already know what colors you like, this is the next step.

If you think color is not your thing and you like only neutrals, these tips are still going to help you. Neutrals are STILL colors and I’ve got lots of examples from real homes where most of the colors are neutral.

1. Be Intentional About Using Colors

The reason that some rooms look “designed” is that they chose a color palette and they stuck to it.

The trap that many of us fall into is that we buy things for our homes randomly just because we see something that looks cute. We don’t have a plan and as a result our homes reflect that.

Determine the colors you want to use in a room and don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit that plan. The surprising benefit is that you will end up saving money.

Have you come home with something from Home Goods that you just thought was such a good deal but it doesn’t work? You get it in your living room and you hate it. This is not the way interior designers shop. They have a plan and a color board for every room.

Tip: Create a physical or digital color palette for every room. Use pictures and fabrics that you want to use. Keep a photo on your phone that you can use when you shop that shows the colors for the room you’re working on.

2. Disperse the Colors Throughout the Room

If your color palette has a denim blue, cream and a few shades of brown use each of those in at least three places.

Some designers like to use a 60/30/10 rule for using color. They choose one main color that will make up 60% of the color in the room, and accent colors that they use 30% and 10%.

Here are two example from real homes (not magazines).

3. Use Cohesive Colors Throughout House

You don’t have to use the same colors in every room in your house. In fact, using different colors in different rooms is a good way to add interest.

But you want to use colors that look natural together. Here are four real homes where the designers chose different color palettes in the kitchen, dining and living areas. Sometimes they carried one color through the house and sometimes they used colors that look good together but are different.

whole house colors

In this house they used different shades of brown and beige and pink in every room.

In the kitchen they added two shades green but carried through the brown and beige.

In the bedroom the added blue to the pinks, browns and beige. All of the colors work together.

In this house they wanted a bold blue in the dining room but that color.

Most of the house is shades of gold, beige and brown.

whole house colors
whole house colors

In this house they used shades of teal blue in every room and mixed in neutrals around that.

The living room has just small touches of the blue in accessories and one chair.

The bedroom has two shades of blue.

4. Make Color Work For You

Colors can be used to change the way a room feels and even change how big or small it looks. You can use colors to trick the eye. If you have a room that you want to feel very warm and cozy, use deeper colors.

If you have a small or narrow room that you want to feel more spacious, use one light color. If you have a room that you want to feel smaller and more intimate use darker colors .

There are lots of ways you can use color to make things appear different than they are. For example, painting one wall a dark color in a large room can make the room feel smaller.

If you don’t like the size of your room, color can be one way to change the way it feels.

If you are looking for help with using colors in your home, ask your question in the comments. It’s a great way for me to share examples that might help you with decorating dilemmas in future posts.

If you liked this you might like this post about decorating with neutrals or check out this cottage academia bedroom design plan.

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