How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior: 8 Key Tips

Let's take a look at some ways to use paint to transform the look and feel of your home. Paint is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to give your space a whole new look.

So we will explore how to choose paint colors for your home’s interior that showcase the best architectural features you have.

Remember, home paint color design is an intentional process, but with the tips I am about to share, you will be able to curate home interior paint color ideas that match your taste in no time.

Paint can help you create an overall atmosphere, so the first thing to ask yourself is how you want your space to feel.

Think about the mood you want to create rather than the trends of the moment, which change from year to year. This is big when it comes to discovering how to choose paint colors for your home.

Neutral tones in a living space

1. Neutrals

Neutrals are calming colors that are muted or less saturated and are restful to the eye. They can be done in light and airy ways to brighten up any space and make it feel almost ethereal.

Light walls with neutral furnishings

These looks are often created with soft to warm white paint that can be used not only on walls, ceilings, and trim but on cabinetry as well.

Light walls with darker furnishings

2. Deeper tones

But if you want a relatively light look with a more grounded and intimate feel, you can go with deeper tones to create a calming and natural cocoon of color.

Dark walls with lighter furnishings

Dark colors add visual weight and depth, creating an intimate atmosphere. Even though they're moody and dramatic, they can also be calming and restful.

Dark walls for a cozy and intimate vibe

Painting walls and ceilings in the same deep shade will create a cozy and intimate room envelope.

Bedroom with dark walls

Depending on the particular home, it may not be the best choice for overall paint color but could be a great choice in rooms separated by a door or in semi-enclosed areas.

Bold paint colors in a living space

3. Bold colors

Another fun way to go if you want to create spaces that are bold and fun is to go with deeper colors that have retained some of their brightness.

Bolder colors coming from opposite sides of the color wheel will create more visual excitement because of the high contrast.

Using the same paint color on the walls and ceiling

4. Color drenching

But another way to use color, and one that is very on trend right now, is to use color drenching to create that excitement, but in a more cohesive way.

Example of color drenching in interior design

Color drenching consists of choosing a single color and using it throughout a space, even adding furnishings in the same color family.

Color drenching with soft pinks and neutrals

You can drench a space in soft neutral colors as well, creating visual excitement, but in a softer way.

Using paint to create shape in a room

5. Creating shape

Paint can be used strategically to shape your space.

Using the same paint color on the walls and ceiling

Using paint that's the same or slightly contrasting in color on walls, ceilings, and trim, whether it's dark or light, establishes continuity and expands the room by blurring the edges of the space.

Different paint colors on the walls and ceiling

But if your ceiling color is significantly lighter or darker than your wall color, it creates a line of demarcation so you won't get as spacious of a look.

Using crown molding and paint to create the illusion of taller ceilings

You can get the illusion of taller ceilings by installing crown molding and painting it the same color as the walls to draw the eye up further or painting the ceiling and any crown moldings in a darker shade than the walls to make it look lower and create a cozy and intimate feel.

High-sheen walls and cabinets in a kitchen

6. Sheen

Sheen is a great way to create a cohesive look while providing just enough contrast to keep things interesting.

High-sheen paint on baseboards

This strategy can be used when painting the same or similar colors on ceilings, walls, cabinetry, and trim.

Flat matte finish on wall paint

The best paint finish for walls: flat or matte

For walls, flat or matte finishes do a great job of de-emphasizing texture and imperfection and have a soft appearance.

Satin and semi-gloss finishes on cabinets

The best paint finish for baseboards and trim: satin or semi-gloss

For baseboards and trim, you can go with satin or semi-gloss depending on your preference for shine.

If you have painted cabinetry, a satin finish is a great choice to help differentiate them from flat or matte walls and coordinate them with the trim.

Flat sheen finish on ceilings

The best paint finish for ceilings: flat sheen

For ceilings, a flat sheen is best at hiding imperfections and keeping the focus on the floors, walls, and furnishings.

Neutral painted walls with a warm undertone

7. Undertones

Undertones are the result of blending more than one color together.

The dominant color is the mass tone or overtone, and it's the color that's perceived. The color you don't see is the undertone, a tint that's added to the paint that gives it warmth or coolness.

Light reflectance scale

8. Light reflectance

The light reflectance value or LRV of a paint lets you know its brightness and how much light it'll reflect.

The scale is from 0 to 100 with 0 being absolute black and 100 being the brightest white. Paints with an LRV of 50 or above will reflect light while those under 50 will absorb it.

How the same color is perceived in different lights

Light plays a huge role in how color is perceived.

North-facing room

North-facing rooms

Natural light from north-facing windows will tend to cast a cool light, make things look more gray or blue, and enhance any cool tones in the room.

South-facing room

South-facing rooms

Light from south-facing windows will cast a warm light, make the room appear more yellow, and enhance any warm tones in the space.

East-facing room

East-facing rooms

With east-facing windows, you get bright soft morning light, but the light turns cooler from midday through the afternoon.

West-facing room

West-facing rooms

West-facing windows will give you more subdued light before noon, and it will get warmer and brighter as the afternoon progresses.

Home paint colors

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that will affect how home paint colors will look in any space, so be sure to get samples and view them in the space you'll use them in at all times of day and in all lighting conditions.

Discovering how to choose paint colors for your home’s interior is a process but one you can master with time.

How do you use paint to shape and transform your home? Let me know in the comments down below.

Disclaimer: I may receive a small affiliate commission from purchases made via links in this article but at no cost to you.


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