Picking a Hue: Interior Color Schemes You’ll Never Get Tired Of
Color Trends

Picking a Hue: Interior Color Schemes You’ll Never Get Tired Of

Posted on December 30, 2022

There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” choice when picking interior color schemes for your home. However, if you need a guiding hand, there are standards and “rules” to follow that make choosing interior color schemes a little easier.

Here are a few takeaways that we’ll go into more detail throughout the article:

  • To create cohesive interior color schemes, utilize the color wheel to help determine which paint colors will complement each other.
  • Considering the saturation, lightness and temperature of paint colors is also important when choosing a color scheme. Too much of each will result in high intensity that may be overwhelming.
  • Use a warm color shade to make a room feel more intimate and cozy, while cool colors make rooms appear larger than they are.
  • Selecting the right color shade will help create your desired mood in each house room while promoting a positive flow of energy.

Using the Color Wheel to Choose a Color Palette

color wheel

Color wheels are the best tool to use to determine the properties of colors and which ones complement each other. It also allows you to determine the temperature of the color, which in turn helps create interior color schemes.

Anatomy of a Color Wheel

Closeup of hand holding color wheel while using computer at desk

The basic color wheel is divided into two parts: warmer tones and cooler tones. Warm colors start with red and run through yellow-green. Cool colors start with green and run through red-violet.

Examples of Color Wheel Themes

Now that you understand the basics of the color wheel, you can use it to create interior color schemes in your home. Below we’ll discuss the most common types of color schemes and how they come to life in interior palettes.

monochromatic interior room

Monochromatic Color Scheme: Monochromatic, meaning “one color” refers to a color palette using varying hues of a single color. Variations of lightness and saturation can create a crisp, clean design. The best part is you can do this with almost any color you desire.

One way to put this in effect is by varying neutral tones in a living room for a classic color scheme. Think of a beige like Sherwin Williams’ Unfussy Beige, accented by lighter colors like Mega Greige and Elder White.

Complementary Color Scheme: This means choosing two colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Depending on the saturation, these two colors can either be vibrant or more subdued. Either way, it will include both a warm and a cool color since they are on opposite sides of the color wheel.

One example of a complementary interior color scheme is an orange and blue kitchen. The kitchen is an inviting, happy place, so it’s fitting to use an exciting color scheme. And the contrast between the blue and orange adds an element of interest. Not to mention, the color orange is associated with stimulating appetites!

Analogous Color Scheme: An analogous color scheme is when three colors are used in a room adjacent to each other on the color wheel. An example of this is blue-green, green, and green-yellow. One color is dominant, while the other two colors serve as accents. Using these colors together makes for a harmonious, relaxing atmosphere.

Understanding Saturation, Lightness and Temperature

There are three primary attributes of color: saturation, lightness and temperature. These factors are crucial to consider when choosing interior color schemes.

Saturation is how intense a color is. 100% saturation is the most intense version of the color, while 0% saturation appears gray.

Lightness measures the degree of black or white mixed with color. More white creates a lighter color, while more black results in darker shades.

Temperature reflects to the color wheel, which refers to how warm or cool a color is. Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow; cool colors include green, blue, and violet.

Gradient of color saturation

Use varying degrees of each attribute when selecting your interior color scheme as a general rule of thumb. A color palette that is too saturated and dark will be overpowering, but if you use one highly saturated color with very light colors, it’s balanced and pleasing.

The goal is to achieve a palette of pleasing colors to create a harmonious interior design. While color harmony is subjective, and what may not be aesthetically pleasing for you could be for someone else, these suggestions will help you find pairings and groupings most likely to work well.

The Color Theory Behind Warm and Cool Tones

Warm colors typically draw in a space, making them feel intimate, while cool colors expand a space, making it feel more open. People use these general rules to help narrow down the best interior design paint colors for the various rooms in their homes.

Make a room cozy and intimate by utilizing warm colors. A living room in a light orange or red paint can draw in a room and make it feel smaller. You can also use this method for a large and sparsely furnished room for a more cozy feel.

Large green dining room with leather chairs and large windows.

Cool colors often reflect tones we see in nature, usually resulting in a calming effect. Use a cool color like blue-green to open up a small bathroom. These hues will make the room appear more expanded than it is.

For rooms where you want to relax, like bedrooms and bathrooms, the cool side of the color wheel is always a safe choice.

Cozy bedroom interior with a double bed, wooden cabinet, chandelier and blue wall

Can I Use Warm and Cool Colors in the Same Room?

Yes. Using warm and cool shades in the same room is called complementary colors and is a popular color scheme for increasing the energy in a room. For example, a bedroom with soft blue and tangerine pops creates a bright and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for a guest room.

Interior design of elegant bedroom with big orange bed, beige and grey bedclothes, blue curtain, rug, modern lamp, night stand, vase with dried flowers and personal accessories. Home decor. Template.

Another example is red and green color palettes. When done correctly, these jewel tones create a luxurious and rich feeling that can elevate any space, like a kitchen or living room.

Stylish refrigerator and counters near green wall in kitchen

Ground Complementary Colors with Neutrals

Keep your bright and energetic colors grounded with neutral shades or natural wood tones. White, light gray, and even black paint colors will support the bold shades in your interior color schemes to give your room an integrated feel.

modern sofa living room with stone wall and classic armchair, large frame

Overwhelmed with Choices? Our Color Experts Are Here to Help.

My PaintColors, CertaPro Painters® virtual house painter, can help you visualize your interior color scheme. And if you’re still having difficulty deciding, the experts at CertaPro Painters® will help you find the perfect color palette to create the ideal environment in your home.