The Secret to Choosing the Perfect Color Palette

Do you look at photos on Pinterest and in magazines and think, I could never put that together? You can! There’s literally a formula to it. Here’s the secret, you need to find one thing that you really LOVE to go in your room. In interior design, they call it an inspiration piece and that should be your starting point for all your color choices. Once you have that, you have the tools to pull together the perfect color scheme.

What Is An Inspiration Piece?

An easy way to identify an inspiration piece is to find anything in a room that you love. It can be a rug, drapes, a piece of art, or even a photo. It can also be a statement piece of furniture. There’s no wrong answer as long the piece has enough visual identity to be noticed.

You might find you already have something in every room that you really like. If so, use it. It doesn’t have to be something new. It’s just something that can help you tie all the colors in the room together.

I really love colorful rugs and they are often my inspiration piece. The reason is that I can see a rug and immediately think, I love this one. That’s the feeling you want.

Can You Choose an Inspiration Piece that is Neutral?

These days you see a lot of rooms that have almost no color in them or have a monochromatic color scheme. If that’s a look you are drawn to when you look at Pinterest, you should still choose an inspiration piece to be your focal point.

For example, if at first glance, you are drawn to rooms where the dominant color is all different shades of whites and creams with leather and wood, your inspiration piece acts as an anchor for the room. Here’s the difference, since you don’t have much color to draw the eye in, you MUST use lots of different textures instead of a collection of colors. I also believe you should incorporate a dominant metal (black, gold, or silver) and wood.

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Let’s look at a couple of different types of color palettes.

If this Birch Woods In Winter from Minted was your inspiration, you could still use it to tie the room together with neutrals of different tones. I think a large neutral piece of art can have a huge impact and really anchor an interior color scheme.

Neutral inspiration piece

What’s the 60/30/10 rule?

You might have read that experienced designers recommend choosing your color inspiration for a room using these ratios, 60/30/10. Let’s say your inspiration piece has blue, pink, and gold colors in it.

A great way to achieve the right color scheme is to use that set of colors to accessorize. When you are choosing accessories for your room, choose the one main color that you like the most. If it’s a navy blue, as you add accessories or furnishings, buy most of your accessories in navy. Buy the remaining accessories in the secondary colors. A few accessories or accents in the second color, pink. Buy one or two accessories in the third accent color, gold.

The inspiration piece below is the painting, available on Minted from an artist named Patricia Vargaz. Can you see that if you added these accessories to a room, even if the walls and furniture were a neutral color, it would have a cohesive look? This is the perfect color palette and complementary color scheme with the painting as the focal point.

Blue pink and gold color palette

What is your inspiration piece? I’d love to see photos of what accessories you chose to complete your color palette.

tips for choosing a color palette

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