Have you ever been in a home that felt choppy? Like every room was a completely different color scheme. Where you weren’t ever sure what color surprise awaited you around the next corner.
Does your home ever feel that way? Not cohesive. Disconnected. Uncomfortable.
It’s okay. It happens to all of us.
Color can be confusing at first. With so many options at the paint store, it seems like you’re supposed to paint every room a different color.
But there’s a better way…
I want to share with you a few simple techniques that will help you add color to your home strategically so your rooms feel connected, cohesive, and comfortable. Even if you don’t want to repaint, you can use the last two parts of this strategy to create better visual flow between your rooms with accent colors.
In your home there are two color palettes you can use to create color flow:
- Wall Color Palette- this includes the colors on your wall, which can also be used on large furnishings
- Accent Palette – this includes small accent colors, metal finishes, and wood tones
In my class Create a Cohesive Home with Color, I teach how to create a whole house color palette—including wall colors and accent colors.
How to Tie Rooms Together with Wall Color
Creating color flow starts with your wall colors. It’s the largest surface area of your home and the biggest opportunity to use color to influence the mood of your space.
Your wall color palette starts with just five colors.
The five colors include a white and a neutral color. The white can be used on trim, doors, cabinetry, furniture, or walls. The neutral is what I consider your default wall color. It’s typically the one you’re going to use in all open living areas, hallways, and in any other space where you don’t have a color preference, like closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms.
In addition to your white and neutral, you need three other wall colors to complete your palette. One should be a bold color that can be used to make a statement either on all the walls in one room or on a special focal wall. The other two colors should go with your bold color creating a monochromatic, analogous, or complementary color palette.
The secret to a consistent, polished look in your home is to repeat a limited palette of wall colors strategically.
You don’t need a different color for every individual room. By repeating colors from a limited, well-chosen palette you can create color continuity throughout your home. Repeating the same wall colors or choosing tints and shades of those main colors tie your wall colors together throughout your home.
As you look around your home, you want your wall colors to feel expected or predictable—in a good way.
Follow the Three Places Rule
Wall colors alone aren’t enough to create a visual flow. You also need to use your accent color palette strategically.
Starting in one room, make sure you use an accent color in three or more places around the room. Use it on home decor, accent furniture, textiles (throw pillows, curtain panels, rugs), and wall art. This draws the eye around the room following the pops of color.
The same thing can be done by repeating a metal finish or wood tone.
You also need to keep your accent color palette limited.
- Use a maximum of three accent colors in one room. If you’re following the Three Places Rule, where each accent color needs to be used in three places, you won’t be able to fit in any more accent colors.
- Choose accent colors that you’d like to use again in other rooms. Try picking one signature accent color that you’ll use in most rooms. You can vary the secondary accent colors to change up your color scheme in each room.
It’s better to use a few colors repeatedly to create impact than to use a lot of colors sporadically.
How To Avoid Making Every Room Match
You might think with such a limited wall color palette and accent color palette that pretty soon every room in your home will match. They’ll be color clones.
Trust me, that won’t happen, if you use the two strategies below.
You can have color continuity AND make all your rooms feel distinct when you use your wall colors and accent colors in concert throughout your home.
Pull an accent color through your home by repeating it in other rooms. This is a must with your signature accent color, but can also be done with secondary accent colors.
- This makes it easier to redecorate because you can easily shift home decor around between rooms. It’s like musical chairs for decorating.
- You can also use this technique for a signature metal finish or wood tone. Use them repeatedly in several rooms to create continuity.
Echo wall colors and accent colors by using them in a different way in another room. This allows you to change up how you use your colors to keep it interesting.
For example, echo the wall color in the dining room as an accent color in the living room and bedroom.
Or take a minor accent color in one room and make it a major accent color in the next room.
Want some help choosing colors for your home?
Ever wish someone could just tell you what colors look best together? You’re in luck. Check out my Create a Cohesive Home with Color class and learn how to confidently choose colors for your whole home.