Live Life in Color: Choosing a Color Palette

I recently moved into a new house and am eager to share what I’ve accomplished so far. I transitioned from a darker, more neutral color palette to something brighter and more bold. It’s all about choosing the right colors to compliment each other without going overboard. How do you choose a color palette? I started by looking on Pinterest. It’s an easy way to search for different combinations and get a general idea. You can also find inspiration in other ways like a serene beach view of blues, greens and tans or the colors of the trees and flowers on a Sunday hike. Maybe you fall in love with the combinations of greens when Spring arrives and the yellow blooming daffodils that scream “Welcome Spring!” each Midwest morning in May. You can replicate just about anything.


The most important aspect of home decorating is finding the right colors to fit each space. It is integral that your rooms are fluid as you walk through. This is especially important for open concept homes. I started in the kitchen first. I have always loved the combination of yellow and teal. I decided to make those two my main colors from the start. I also chose gray, the obvious neutral for this combination. You do not want your entire house in the exact same colors. When thinking about a palette, you must choose also the different shades you would like to incorporate. Intensity and shade matter! This makes for much easier decorating and will not make your home feel too match-y. Once you have your concept, pick out paint swatches to refer to! I carry mine in my purse whenever I’m out shopping! No more, will this match? Is it too bright? Is it too dark? They are very handy to have! I expanded my main colors by including bright yellow, light yellow, elephant gray, light gray, dark teal and light teal.


As I was building my vision, I felt something was missing. I needed a few secondary and tertiary colors. There had to be one or two more color that would really complement these! Refer to a color wheel if you are having problems! If you find your color on the wheel, look exactly opposite of it as a good choice! Make sure you’re sticking with cool or warm colors for the best ambiance. Paint swatch after paint swatch, I compared many colors. I fell in love with a plum purple and dark purple. My hubby really wanted to add orange to the mix as well. I agreed we could have a little bit of light orange but nothing too crazy! When building your palette, you don’t have to use every single color in every room. It is the cross over between the rooms that adds the fluidity. There is bits of orange in our dining room but it doesn’t linger outside of it.


Dining Room: Plum purple, light orange, yellow, pale green, gray


Kitchen: Dark Teal, light teal, bright yellow, light yellow, gray


Living Room: Dark teal, light teal, plum purple, dark purple, bright yellow, gray



Every color that you choose needs to show up three times in each space to make a difference. Side note: accent walls are considered in this mix as they are “art”. (For more on painting accent walls, head on over to Live Life in Color: Paint Party.) For example, let’s choose yellow. In my living room, I have yellow throw pillows and yellow art above my couch. However, the furthest wall is a bright yellow that peaks in from the kitchen and dining room. This helps with the fluidity of the rooms. If you’re sitting on my couch, you will see a very large teal rug, a small teal rug by the door, a light teal accessory and dark teal picture frame sitting on the kitchen counter. You will also see the teal popping up in the wall art above the couch. Placement of décor can be boggling! If you’d like to learn more about how I choose my spots, ready Living Life in Color: The Key to Accessorize.

For more on décor, read the rest of this series about Living Life in Color! Color combinations- coming soon!


-Mother Lee-



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