Home Decorating with Color

Choose the Right Colors for YOU

Home decorating with color is by far the quickest way you can change a room’s look and feel dramatically and inexpensively.

We talked about your color choices in the Ideas and Tips article and explored the colors you most like and gravitate towards, the colors you feel most comfortable with, or feel most energized by, and considered the colors of the clothing you like wearing, things you like collecting, amongst other things.

You may want to revisit that page briefly now – go here 

If you’re starting from scratch, wall color paint is the quickest way you can establish your canvas, make a statement and get the home decorating ball rolling.

If you’re wanting to achieve a makeover or a refreshing update, changing the paint color of the rooms in your home is the most impactful and fastest way to change, and bring your room, your home to life – and also the most inexpensive.

It’s like buying a fabulous new outfit or using makeup to transform your look.

Here are some guideline pointers – decide which you feel the most comfortable with in the following:

  • If you’re just starting out, you may want to work with just one paint color on the walls throughout your home. You can always build on that later. Better to take it gradually, than to feel that you’ve overstepped the mark and don’t like it, can’t live with it, and have to redo it.
  • Ideally, colors are best flowing through your home – tones of the same or similar or complementary shades work best. Or graduations in varying intensities of the same color palette throughout your home also work well.
  • If you’re painting your home in stages, make sure you find colors that blend together in your overall long-term plan. Try not to use more than 2 or 3 different colors throughout your home. If you like variation, use different shades of each color, but make sure they all blend together in your overall plan!
  • It’s best that you keep your walls subtle. It’s tasteful, understated and classical. These can be creams, pale yellows and greens, pale melon, or other pastels.
  • Be sure you go for an off-white or cream and definitely avoid extreme stark bleached white (unless you want the antiseptic feel of medical rooms or a hospital).
  • Be careful using colors that are too dark, or too strong – you should tread carefully with dark browns, dark reds and dark greens – they can overpower a room and make it seem daunting, uncomfortable, unrelaxing and even claustrophobic.
  • For dramatic impact, you can experiment with one wall as a ‘feature wall’ and make a theatrical, spectacular statement! This way you can also see whether you like and feel comfortable with incorporating a bit of dramatic ‘look at me’ impact into a room, and how you feel about the intensity of the color. It’s better to start with a lighter version of the color – you can always darken the intensity. That’s easier than the other way around.

You may even want to try faux painting, mural walls, or trompe Liouel (‘trick-of-the-eye’)

You can create something quite whimsical or reminiscent of your travels to far away places, perhaps Africa or the Meditteranean.

Ocean and nature scenes are very soothing. Or you could create something dreamlike for a child’s room. You can do this with both interior walls in any room in the house – a feature wall in a living room, bedroom or bathroom.

You can also apply this technique wonderfully exterior garden walls around a courtyard or to make a feature of an otherwise rather bland garage wall. 

If you’d like to explore color and your preferences further you can take some color personality quizzes.

Color is Magical and Transformative!

Your color preferences reveal a great deal about you and your attitude towards life as well as your emotional states at any given time.

  • Color is a great atmosphere and mood creator – it has a significant influence on the atmosphere you create in your home and your mood and of those around you …
  • Your color preferences say something about your personality and style and who you are …
  • Color can be used creatively and wonderfully to express who you are …

Let’s explore each one in turn:

  • Color as the Great Atmosphere and Mood Creator in Home Decorating
  • What Do Your Home Decorating Color Choices Say About You?

Color as the Great Atmosphere and Mood Creator in Home Decorating

Let’s explore Colors and their effects on atmosphere and mood and their best uses in Home Decorating …

1. The Blue Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator

  • Cool, serene, calming and restful

Illusion Qualities 

  • Cool colors recede, so they make a room look larger

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • It’s a popular bedroom color for its restful and rejuvenating influences
  • Blue/turquoise is superb for focus and concentration, so it’s great for business working areas like the home office
  • Good for rooms with southern exposures

Great Accent Colors 

  • Yellow, orange, gold or terra cotta

2. The Green Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator 

  • Cool, soothing and natural, reflects the colors of nature
  • Known as a ‘healing’, replenishing and restorative color

Illusion Qualities 

  • Cool colors recede – so they make a room look larger

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • Great for rooms where the focus is rest, relaxation and recreation like family rooms, sunrooms, also bedrooms
  • Good for rooms with southern exposures

Great Accent Colors 

  • Green works well with and complements most other colors – a genuine team player!
  • Green teams up superbly with apricot, soft peach or terra cotta
  • Soft greens mixed with natural colors create a relaxing and restful room
  • Sage green is a hugely popular decorator color, around which many other colors complement and accompany in perfect harmony
  • Team it with purple for a sumptuous mix – try apple green and blueberry purple, or teal green and deep lavender


3. The Yellow Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator 

  • Bright, light and cheery, warm and sunny
  • Promotes togetherness and friendly, congenial interaction

Illusion qualities 

  • Creamy yellows and warm golds make a room appear brighter and larger – creating a comfortable appearance to your room

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • One of the most popular colors for kitchens and family rooms – fantastic, glowing and uplifting!
  • A beautiful light and pale buttermilk yellow will simply make your room glow!
  • Good for northern aspect and exposures. Keep it light and don’t overdo it!

Great Accent Colors 

  • Bright yellow goes well with blues – awesome in fact!
  • Warmer tints go great with the red family
  • Great accent colors ‘combo’ – yellow with reds and a touch of Black


4. The Red/Orange Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator 

  • Stimulating, active, exciting, invigorating, sensuous, delicious, delightful, gorgeous, sumptuous
  • Red surroundings inspire energy, activity and movement and can make it difficult to relax in and may cause unrest and disagreement, because there’s just too much energy going on
  • Apricot and peach are variations of red, and have some of these characteristics, although softer and toned down

Illusion Qualities 

  • Warm colors advance and come toward you – so they make your room feel cozier and smaller

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • Great for making a grand statement with on a feature wall
  • Good for rooms with northern exposures

Great Accent Colors 

  • Contrasting green
  • Black
  • Yellow or Gold


5. The White/Off-White/Cream Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator 

  • Light, bright and airy
  • Pristine, elegant, understated

Illusion Qualities 

  • White will always make a room appear larger
  • White is a good color for making dark hallways or confined or small spaces appear brighter looking and larger

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • Be careful with using a stark white as it may give your room the antiseptic feel of a hospital – consider off-white instead
  • Consider using soft tint colors on walls and moldings that will make the room more appealing and be inviting
  • White on features like cornices, door-frames, skirting boards and picture rails throughout your house will really tie your home together with a fabulous integrating theme, no matter what other colors you have in your rooms


6. The Purple/Violet Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator 

  • Purple or Violet is a mixture of Blue and Red and therefore unites or blends the gentle calming effects of blue with the impulsiveness and activity of red
  • Regal and luxurious
  • Mystical and surreal

Illusion Qualities 

  • Gives a room depth, uniting the contrasting qualities or blue and re

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • A stunning feature wall• Paler purple or lavender are great for bedrooms

Great Accent Colors 

  • Apple green, teal green/blue
  • Apricot
  • Yellow


7. The Brown Color Range

Atmosphere and Mood Creator 

  • Brown is a mixture of Red-Orange and Black, combining the activeness of red with the strength, solidity and balance of black
  • Rich, traditional and luxurious

Illusion Qualities 

  • Gives a room depth and stability

Best Uses in Home Decorating 

  • If you’re wanting to achieve a Rich and Traditional look
  • Try a mocca or coffee pale brown – it’s exquisite!

Great Accent Colors 

  • Burnt or burnished orange, terracotta
  • Apple green
  • Warm Yellow or Gold

While not color ranges in themselves, these 2 colors must be included here 


  • Elegant and formal
  • Closely linked to the paler brown color range


  • One thing to say about black is that it’s Sophisticated and Solid
  • It’s a great accent color


What Do Your Home Decorating Color Choices Say About You?

If you’re drawn to particular colors or color combinations in home decorating, this is what it says about your personal tendencies and preferences.

The Blue Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re assertive, articulate, have deep feelings, recharging, tranquil, calm, tender, unifying, sensitive, foster contentment, focused on love and affection, visionary, strategic thinker, future-oriented …

Your Home Decorating Style – The Blue Color range is refreshing and invigorating and your color preference reflects that you look for your home to be your ‘Haven’, your escape, a totally replenishing retreat.

You’re a seeker of balance between your highly valued personal life and your busy working or business life and you reflect this in the way you feel about the ‘sacredness’ of your home.

Your home decorating choices are made with care and respect for this ideal. You surround yourself with the things you really love and nurture you, including symbols like water features, wind chimes, and other calming, soothing influences. 

The Green Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re empathetic, expressive, humanistic, idea-oriented, supportive, egalitarian, need variety and the chance to creatively bring about change and impact the lives of others.

You’re gifted in understanding people’s motivation and have an unusual ability to influence and draw out the best in people …

Your Home Decorating Style – If you’re drawn to the vibrant and alive Green Color range – you have a clear purpose, confidence and daring, you aren’t afraid of change and want your home to reflect your colorful personality.

You recognize and appreciate the nurturing and healing quality of green and you’re highly aware of how the color makes you feel. It’s a very personal statement for you. You use it liberally in your home decorating and weave it into your home. Your very fond of the color in your clothing also. 

The Yellow Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re friendly, energetic, spontaneous, original, optimistic, unpredictable, expansive, exhilarating, expectant, with a desire to be active & achieving …

Your Home Decorating Style – You love to surround yourself and incorporate into your home the yellow color range with all its elements of optimism, energy, friendliness, and ease. You prefer furnishings that are casual and comfortable and easy to live in – ones that you can easily curl up in and get really cozy. 

The Red/Orange Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re forceful, willful, desirous, excitable, dominant, aggressive, passionate, action-oriented, spontaneous, autonomous, need the freedom to follow your impulses, focused on ‘now’, courageous, negotiator, trouble-shooter, egalitarian …

Your Home Decorating Style – You love to make a grand statement. You’re individualistic and like to surround yourself with dramatic colors and home accents and accessories. You’re not afraid to experiment with more outlandish combinations.

You’re house proud and love home decorating to be like a performance that makes your home ‘theatre’ – to entertain and be appreciated.

You love to decorate your home with great and dramatic ‘talking pieces’ that are outstanding, quizzical, quirky, amusing and grab everyone’s attention. 

The White/Off-White/Cream Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re classy, elegant, confident, innovative and like stylish, graceful simplicity …

Your Home Decorating Style – You’re confident and comfortable with elegant, understated surroundings, with simple, uncluttered lines. You like to experiment with a clean and neutral background. You prefer to choose and work with a pale wall color as your blank canvas against which you creatively add further colors with accents and accessories.

You enjoy versatility and change and often transform or add variety to your accent and accessories colors to achieve a new, fresh and different look. You love displaying your belongings lovingly and prominently with flair in your home decorating.

The expanses of too strong or bold colors make you feel hemmed in, constrained and claustrophobic. You prefer the light and bright airiness of an open and expansive feeling. 

The Purple/Violet Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re intuitive, perceptive, visionary, sensitive, magical, mystical. You’re also likely to be operating on a higher consciousness level most of the time …

Your Home Decorating Style – Purple or Violet is a mixture of Blue and Red and therefore unites or blends the gentle calming effects of blue with the impulsiveness and activity of red.

You love contrasts while at the same time seek a balance and this reflects your sometimes complex character. You will tend toward having some dramatic bold statements in your decorating style, contrasted with calmer tones – reflecting the balance that you desire between contrasting polarities. 

The Brown Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re grounded, realistic, accountable, sometimes conservative, earthy, appreciate the physical senses. Your preference for earthen colors signifies the need for belonging, stability and security …

Your Home Decorating Style – Brown is a mixture of Red-Orange and Black that combines the activeness of red with the strength, solidity, and balance of black. You love a home decorating style that achieves a Rich, Traditional and Luxurious feel.

There’s also an earthiness appreciation in your style – colors and textures representative of nature. You most likely love the physical sensations of a variety of textures and incorporate them prominently in your home decorating.

Other Color Variations and Groupings

Here are some further variations or combinations of the above color ranges that are distinctive in their own right.

If you like –

The Neutral Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re classy, elegant, confident, innovative and like stylish, graceful simplicity …

Your Home Decorating Style – This color palette is full of neutral colors like rich creams, buff, fawn, straw, camel, pale wood or blond wood. There can be a touch of the Brown Color Range in this so it injects earthiness and an appreciation of physical sensations in a variety of textures, for example.

If you’re attracted to these colors you appreciate a contemporary look and feel, with lots of texture, like coarse and chunky woven fabrics and raffia covered lamp shades, for example. Team or accent them with friendly, compatible ‘team player’ greens and you’ll create an environment that is both sophisticated and casual at the same time. 

The Pastel Color Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re romantic, sensual, imaginative, creative, dreamy …

Your Home Decorating Style – You love soothing pretty pastels and their softness, gentleness and ultimate enduring beauty. You’re soothed, while at the same time energized and rejuvenated by surrounding yourself with them in your Home Decorating.

You love to mix and match compatible pastel colors that incorporate the muted, dreamy colors of sunny summer days. You appreciate the effect that sunlight has in bringing out the vividness of these colors.

Colors that are reminiscent of Impressionist Art – like Monet’s Garden at Giverney, fields of wild flowers that stretch to the horizon, or Renoir’s scenes of happy people at garden parties under the dappled light that streams in through the shade of tree branches above.

You love the beauty of the color range used in Victorian, Edwardian and other period homes, and in cozy cottage gardens with fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs. 

The Classical Color Tones Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re classical, traditional, exude presence and strength, and have a strong eye for quality and the good things in life. Only the best will do …

Your Home Decorating Style – You feel confident with a mixture of the very classical Neutral and Brown Color Ranges, with the addition of Gold in your accents and accessories, trims, moldings, cornices, architraves, fine detailing, or other highlights. You love the luxurious and rich feel this gives to your surroundings.

You express your strength, power and authenticity with these classical tones. You appreciate time-tested tradition, good quality and prefer colors that evoke substance, stability, and a sense of history. Fads come and go and don’t interest you at all. 

The Mixture or Montage of Colors Range

Your Personality Qualities – You’re romantic, adventurous, imaginative, exotic, mysterious …

Your Home Decorating Style – You love to mix and match colors of rich and bold hues that are reminiscent of other cultures, exotic faraway locations, or other times. Bold blues, reds, greens, purples mixed with black and yellow.

Perhaps your home decorating reflects your travels. Think of Moroccan, African, Egyptian, Indian, Mexican, or Spanish influences … Lots of indigenous art and artifacts incorporated into your home decorating …

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