Room Colors

Updated on August 02, 2011
A.L. asks from El Dorado Hills, CA
14 answers

We are moving in a few weeks and I have decided that I want our new house to have some color in it. Our current house has all white walls (except kids rooms). I am not looking for circus colors but something warm and inviting. Maybe having one wall a deep color and other walls something to complainment deep color. I don't know. I am not good at decorating and colors at all.
Our couch is beige and our Tv and entertainment stuff is black and sliver.
Office has light wood desk and bookshelves. (Kind of thinking maybe 2 walls where desk sits a sage green or a brown and other walls an oatmeal color)
Dining room, I am hoping to get a black table.
Master. Any ideas would help. =)

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answers from Houston on

a light dove gray would be beautiful.

"rice grain" by Sherwin Williams is also a lovely, oatmeal type color color.

I read a lot of interior design blogs and these colors are popping up all over. Scroll down a bit here to see some lovely colors:

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answers from Philadelphia on

Check out the following website. There are thousands of pictures per room. This way you can start to get a feel for what colors you like and don't like.
Also don't forget your ceilings. I just started putting color on the ceilings and I love it. FYI...I don't have a single white wall in my house.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

My sister just bought a new house and was at Home Depot or Lowes and they have an interior designer that will help you pick good colors for you house for free. You might want to check them out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I would suggest you buy some home decorating magazines and flip through all the pages. ALL the pages. Every time you see something you like (whether it is a bedroom suite, a dining table arrangement, a fireplace, ANY thing and EVERYthing that grabs you and you think "I like that") pull out that page of the magazine. Keep all the torn out pages in a manila folder. After you have accumulated a lot (won't take that long, really, just be sure to get a good variety of magazines--even old magazines, or women's magazines that show room makeover pictures), then take them all out and sort them into groups. By color.

Lots of greens? They go in a pile.
Lots of yellows? They go in a pile.
Lots of orange/red colors? Another pile.

You could also divide them up by groups of palettes like "pastels", "earth tones", bright colors, etc.

You will start to notice a trend. The trick is to look past the EXACT furnishings, and notice how the color FEELS to you. I did something like this and ended up with a muted foresty green color in my bedroom and I LOVE it. It is sooooo soothing and relaxing... exactly what I want in my sleep space.
I noticed that I liked "natural" colors too. I put those in my bathroom. Limestone floors, matching shades for marble countertops, the walls are sort of a taupe mud color. It's BEAUTIFUL and SO easy to decorate. I sometimes throw in pops of lavender or pale pink or pale peach. Even plain cream stands out. And it is easy... it feels CLEAN like the beach. Not stark white which shows every speck of dirt or hair on the floor. :)

Don't think at first. Just start tearing out pictures of things that appeal to you, even if you don't know what it is about the photo that draws you to it. You will pick that information out later when you have compiled a big stack and you will notice trends.
Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My living room is painted almost the same blue as the Mamapedia bar up there ^ We have chocolate brown (just a dark rich brown) to compliment it and then white. I think that is my favorite room in the house!

I love the green and brown together. Hubby doesn't like green otherwise we'd have that combo in ours. Our bedroom is a deep red almost burgundy with black and gold accents. It's a Mediterranean feel/theme.

Last but not least, don't be afraid to go and grab several sample paints (little "buckets" of paint for $2-$5 each) of all different colors and paint a 2x2 square of each color on a wall...then stare at it for a bit. (We left ours up for 4 weeks!) Once you've looked at it for a while you'll start to realize you can't stand one of them, one of them is nice, one you love and so on. Then take the ones you love and choose from them.


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answers from San Diego on

I'd recommend that you start looking through design or architecture magazines and clip colors and decorating ideas that look good to you.

There is an excellent book called "The Emotional House" that helps you figure out what you want from each room in your home. Lots of good ideas in that one, but it mostly starts with having an idea binder.

I also read a feng shui book a long time ago when we were moving into our current house that had color recommendations based on the orientation, function, and desired ambiance of each room in your house. I can't remember which book it was, but it was pretty interesting. Maybe look for something similar if you need ideas?

Have fun!

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answers from Honolulu on

You said your house has white walls.

Well, Whites: comes in various tones or hues.
ie: warm or cool, tones.
Whites can look "gray" (ie: cool), or it can look 'warm' (ie: it has creamy undertones and therefore looks warmer and cozier).

- Colors: also comes in warm or cool tones/hues.

So, the bottom line is: KNOW what you want and the ambience. You said you prefer 'warm and inviting' colors. So that would be a 'warm' toned color family. No matter what the color is.

And your complimentary colors, would need to be in the same color tone/hued family.
Complimentary colors, are the colors "opposite" on the color wheel.

Accent colors are used to emphasize a color scheme, or contrast it or create a rhythm to the room. Any 'accent' color, should be in the same hue/tone as the other colors. But it is usually a 'denser' color.

Colors, have as a base, warm or cool. ie: there are warm or cool reds, for example, depending on what base color is in it. There are blue reds (which would be a 'cool' red), and orange reds (which would be a 'warm' red). For example.



answers from Albuquerque on

Check out Home Depots website. They have a color selector for their Behr paint that shows you how different colors go together. I've used it several times and it's helped me pick main colors and find what coordinates too.



answers from Sacramento on

We had all beige and I was so sick of beige. I hired a painter and went to Kellyey-Moore for help. They were great. I did my living/dining room in 3 walls of "swiss cream" and an accent wall in "dark cherry tart." It's so pretty! We did the kitchen and family room in what I think was called "woodland sage," which is actually brighter than a true sage, but looks very pretty against our black accents and light wood. Our bedroom is "Buchard gardens" or "woodland forest" (One is just a lighter version of the other. Can't remember which we ended up choosing.) and is actually more like a true sage. It is so soothing and calming. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Go to home depot and look thru the stuff they have there. They have lots of pictures and samples and tell you exactly what color to use.
I use LOTS of color in my home and get LOTS of compliments.
My family room is a really warm terra cotta. My living room is a light sage. My office, entry & hallway are a neutral cream color. My laundry room and bathroom are sunny yellow. My master bedroom - a deep rich brick red. And in all cases the colors are contrasted with big bright white trimmed windows or doors.
Have fun with it!



answers from San Francisco on

We hired painters and they charged according to the number of colors you selected, so we tried to keep the colors throughout the house minimal, and then I went back and did accent walls in each room to match whatever the decor was in that particular room. For the entire house, I chose Behr Paints "Mushroom Bisque". It is the perfect, modern, Taupe-Beige color that you see in all of the model homes and was a perfect backdrop for us for the whole house. We did Swiss Coffee for our trim, and I can't remember what shade we chose for ceilings, but I'd be wiling to bet it was the lightest shade on the color stick where "Mushroom Bisque" was shown. Mushroom Bisque, because it had taupe/grey undertones, went well with ALL of the accent colors in our house, no matter how opposite they were in each room. In my kitchen, the accent is colbalt blue. Brick red in the livingroom, sky blue in my son's room, cream in the bathrooms, and olive green in the master bath and bedroom - all blend beautifully with the Mushroom Bisque. Also, advice on accent walls... if you are choosing a deep, saturated color for your accent wall, make sure that you do not use it on the wall that is opposite from where the natural light enters the room. For example, if you have a living room with one wall of windows, facing west, all of your natural light will come in through the windows on this wall. If you were to paint the wall directly opposite this window wall with a deep, saturated color, the dark color on the wall would soak up all the light, instead of bouncing it all back into the room again, and the room would have a darker appearance and would be harder to keep lit. Accent walls with deep colors have to be done on walls that hold the windows, or walls that are adjacent to windows and doors where natural light comes in.



answers from San Francisco on

The Behr paint is wonderful.
Make sure to look at burnt scone (I get lots of + complements)
but I can't wait to paint ovver toasted almond...



answers from San Francisco on

Look at magazines for ideas. Most rooms look best with a uniform color vs. an accent wall.



answers from San Francisco on

A good rule of thumb is to look at your own personal skin tone (and of your family), whether you are pale and tend to pink or more yellow-toned and autumn coloring, and colors of the clothes you tend to wear, which usually end up being the same as your skin tone. These will be the colors that you are naturally drawn to and will feel most comfortable with in your home. From the description you've given, you seem to prefer the cooler colors (black, silver, sage), which means you may want to stick with those for your walls as well. Another safe method is to have your walls and furniture neutral colors and accent with two/three other colors of your choice; this way, if you change your mind you don't have costly changes to make. Personally, I like a warm, soft terracotta color (think the faded look of pottery) for walls in the living spaces, yellows/reds for the kitchen, and cooler colors for the bedroom, like a soft, soft, soft silvery blue and whites for linens. Make sure, especially with kids, that you go for the newer and evermore popular and easier to find NO-VOC paints. If you're not familiar with those, they're paints with no toxic chemicals, which all other conventional paints have. Don't let the paint salesman try to fool you, they exist at many paint stores out there. Good luck with the painting and have fun!

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