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How to Use Color in Your Home

Color is very personal, and somewhat, intuitive. The way we adapt to a particular color or color family has been developed over the years by our upbringing, our individual cultural experiences, our present surroundings, and what we see come across our social media pages and television screens, every day. That is why color, is usually, the last element of design, and the most emotional of all the elements.

Many factors influence the way we see color in interior design. In the home, we are free to select colors that are most personally appealing. Color is the most efficient and effective manner to change the look and feel of a home, mood or formal appearance.

Colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows are stimulating. The use of these colors in a home environment gives a friendly, cozy and inviting vibe. On the other hand, blues, greens and violets are calming. Installing these colors in the home suggest restraint, dignity and formality.

Aqua & red printed wallpaper, white futon bed in front of bed, yellow throw, colorful accent pillows, gray/white/blue damask bedding set, mocha wood nightstand, and Indian hand-beaded jeweled art piece.
Eclectic Master Bedroom Design Incorporating Yellow, Oranges, and Reds Against a Bold Background

For your home, you want to achieve color harmony. Color harmony exists wherever colors are mingled and united in a scheme pleasing to your eyes and senses. Color harmonizing may come naturally to some, and only after effort and toil, for others. As a precaution, be advised that colors can change their identity and character as they are blended with other colors, and visually when placed next to other colors.

In this blog post, I will provide you with a quick guide as to how to choose the best colors for your home design scheme, based on your personal style and home design objectives. Keep in mind that these are generalities. Ultimately, you are free to choose how to and where to apply color to your home. It’s your home, make it yours!

Let’s get started with neutrals.

Neutrals, are defined as, families of whites and off-whites, grays and blacks, off blacks, browns and beiges.

Whites and Off-Whites

  • Increases visual space

  • Use this as your background to make your room look light, spacious and farther away

  • Colored furnishings seem cleaner and crisper surrounded by whites

  • Off whites are produced by adding other neutrals to white. Seen in paints, wall coverings, textiles, floor coverings and accessories

  • Avoid using off-whites that are not similar in undertone. Off-whites with similar warmth, clarity and color undertones blend harmoniously


  • Ideal background to use to showcase other colors

  • May be rendered cool or warm, depending on undertones

  • Warm grays are usually welcoming and comforting

  • Cool grays tend to be cold and uninviting

Blacks and Off-Blacks

  • Gives deep, bold values to your home design

  • Sharpens and adds richness to other colors placed next to it

  • Installed in large amounts in a space gives your room a dramatic and theatrical look and feel

  • Accents of blacks gives richness to interiors

  • Off-blacks are very dark grays or tinted blacks

Browns and Beiges

  • Often favored for the warm qualities they bestow to an interior space

  • Can be added to your home design in the form of stained woods, which don’t necessarily need to match to be in harmony with one another

  • Applied in large amounts, can create a cozy and inviting vibe to your space

  • For a beautiful, well-designed space, well-dressed with lots of texture and movement, distribute various levels of browns by utilizing layers of lightness from beige to very dark brown

One major advantage of selecting neutrals for interiors is the adaptability and fluidity of being able to diversify color schemes, without being locked into a set color. Neutral colored furnishings allow you to move furniture and accessories form one room to another.

Next, let’s move on to common color groups [the other colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet], and their respective emotional associations. Recognize that colors, for all of us, can produce specific sentimental and impassioned responses. For example, bright colors tend to produce feelings of spontaneity and happiness. Light neutral hues birth feelings of calm and relaxation. Dark neutral color groups induce seriousness and of a prolific mentality when walking into such a space. While, pure dark, deep hues, including jewels tones, implies richness and strength.


  • Pure form: danger, intense, love, excitement, stimulus, conspicuousness

  • Dark neutralized: wealth, power, sometimes evil

  • Pure pink: cheerfulness, youth, festivity

  • Light or pastel pink: femininity, innocence, relaxation, delicacy


  • Pure form: friendliness, warmth, celebration, clarity

  • Dark neutralized: wealth, success, fame, rich depth

  • Light or pastel: security, stimulation (to the appetites), relaxed euphoria (sense of well-being)


  • Pure form: cheerful, optimism, sunshine, springtime, renewal, intensity, demanding, revealing, warmth, intellect, stimulation

  • Dark neutralized, golden yellow: wealth, affluence, status, distinction, high-esteem

  • Middle to light pastel: Intelligence, wisdom, compassion, freshness, cheerfulness, optimism, goodness, clarity, cleanliness


  • Pure form: Nature, calmness, friendliness, integrity, practicality, frankness

  • Dark neutralized: solidity, wealth, anchored tenacity, security

  • Blue-green: sea and sky, cleanliness, nostalgia, calmness

  • Yellow-green: youthfulness, freshness, happiness


  • Pure form: loyalty, honesty, integrity, royalty, stimulation, restlessness. These are also apply to deep or neutralized blues

  • Deep neutralized: sincerity, conservatism, safety, peacefulness, kindness, compassion. These also apply to pure blues

  • Light or pastel: Tentativeness, cleanliness, calm, expanded time and space, lack of security

Purple or Violet

  • Pure form: optimism, imagination, royalty, dignity, poise, renewal, commitment, drama

  • Dark neutralized: depth, richness, security, sternness, soberness, sobriety, dullness

  • Light or pastel: Freshness, springtime, flowers, imaginativeness, femininity, kindness, sensitivity

Factors That Can Affect Your Color Selections

The main thing that affects how you see the color on a sofa, chair, coffee table, or even accessories, is light. Different lighting, such as natural light, halogen light, or fluorescent lighting, each have distinct energy distribution of light onto a surface. Simply put, colors are very likely to look contrasting or divergent under the lighting in your home than they do in the store where samples are displayed. That’s the advantage of working with a professional interior design firm such as K Lilia Interior Design, for your home design project. The reason for that is that we bring the samples of your fabric selections to be installed in the creation of your custom furniture directly to you, into your home. That way you can see first-hand how a certain color, along with its texture and graphic lines, will appear in your home environment, under your lighting. As your professional interior designer, I bring these products directly to you. You don’t even have to deal with retail stores. We not only work out the color, but also the dimensions, making it super easy for you to get the right products for your home design project.

Texture and Material

Texture and materials catch and absorb or reflect light. For instance, smooth surfaces reflect light, which results in colors appearing light and more intense. Dull or neutralized colors conceal dirt, and wear better, over time. This adds to the life of your purchase, whether is carpet, hard flooring, wall paint, window treatments, furniture or other fabric items. Grained woods absorb or break up the light, making colors appear darker. Patterns and textured products also wear well over the years and decades to come.

Color Placement

When colors are placed next to one another, they affect how you perceive each individual color. As an illustration, a color placed near red, may take on a reddish cast or bring out a reddish undertone. When you select a color for, let’s say a fabric for a sofa, be advised that when that color is installed in a combination with other colors, it may possibly take on undertones that gives an altered character to that particular color. This may cause you to be pleased or not with your selections for paint, drapery, carpet, seating and tiles/stones/etc. It is vital that you view your samples in your home environment, your own lighting, before you make any final decisions on the purchasing and delivery of your furniture pieces. Moreover, along those lines, getting samples from the paint store and viewing them in your home may avoid unpleasant surprises when colors are permanently installed in your home.

How to Do Color Sampling

Seeing colors in small samples can be ineffective in making important decisions for your home design project. A tiny paint chip cannot quite embody the color effect on an entire painted wall. Purchase 1 pint of paint from the paint store, apply it to a large piece of bard or even sheetrock, and place this sample in the room where you will be painting. Alternatively, in lieu of using board samples, you can also opt to apply small samples of paint selections directly to a wall in the room that will be painted. Either methods allow you to observe how the paint colors appears and behaves during different times of the day, as well as, during the night time, under the lights that are installed in your home. For carpet considerations, obtaining a sample of about 18” square, will give you a good insight into how the particular design will look in your space. Procuring a yard or two of fabric or a roll of wall treatment can verify if you are making the right choices for your home design scheme. Handling color sampling in the manners previously described saves anxiety, anguish, time and most importantly, money.

In using color in your home makes you apprehensive and uneasy, we can assist you in curating a harmoniously balanced color selections for your home furnishings and materials. Book a free consultation with us to discuss your home project.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting below! Share your thoughts, we read each one.

Empowering You To Smash Your Home Design Goals,



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