Top 5 Ways to Choose the Right #Colors for your Home ~


By now, you’ve probably heard so many different viewpoints on how to select the right paint color or interior color themes for your home that  your head is probably spinning! I don’t even have time to go spinning, so I have made it easy for you.

Interior Designers, Home Decorator and Color professionals may each have a slightly different approach in achieving color selection.  Over the past several years, I have approached it in the following manner and found that it really, really works. And, works well. What I am sharing with you here, is not simply selecting a color for your walls or a color to “match” (hate that word) your floral sofa, but for your lifestyle and a cohesive design statement.

  1. What’s in  your closet?
    • That’s right, what’s hanging in there? Well, not sure I want the answer to that, but what do you wear, color-wise? Most of us select our clothing based on what we like when we FIRST see it somewhere else. On a hanger in a store, in a print ad, internet, etc. This means you like to look at it. Next comes the part where you determine if it looks good ON you. If so, decision made. Simple, it comes home with you and becomes part of your self-expression. If you feel comfortable wearing it, you most likely will feel comfortable living with it. This is closely related to personality. So, express yourself! Okay, this is obviously a staged closet, my closet looks similar…um, I have a bit more black.

Neutral palette ~ Interiors reflect this.

picture courtesy of

2. What’s the exterior of your home look like?

    • This is very important for cohesive design. Unless you plan to change the exterior color (like my client below), the interior will flow nicely if a visitor doesn’t have to put on sun shades or stumbles backwards upon entering. If there is a predominate color, (usually it’s neutral, even a red brick can be “neutral) that would be a good starting point. If it does happen to be red brick it doesn’t necessarily mean you must  have that color on the interior, this is just a starting point.

Front of home prior to Patti Johnson Interiors – Get rid of the RED mulch!

Exterior after by Patti Johnson Interiors

Interior by Patti Johnson Interiors

Notice how the Exterior and the Interior of the home are now in alignment. The existing golden oak handrails, posts and stairtreads were painted in a gloss black to integrate into the cohesive color palette.

Designs and photos: Patti Johnson Interiors.

3. Next is nature.

    • You’ve likely heard this before. This can include a number of thing such as: What colors are in nature? Well, just about every color you can think of. But more importantly, what non-neutral colors are you drawn to? If you adore poppies and geraniums, then accents of bright red will work well for you. This can be achieved in small doses by introduction of accent pillows, even small kitchen appliances. You get the idea. Even an accent wall. But it doesn’t need to be the over-riding theme. The red here sure gives a lot of punch.

      Red accents in kitchen via Interior Design Houses

4. What is your view like?

    • This is also very important. If you have an awesome water or beautiful landscape view,  then the interior should showcase that and not distract from it.  This is why you will find the color palette of many Coastal Homes in soft, neutral tones. AND, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term, “Bring the outside in?” It refers to letting the view take center stage and likewise setting the stage or designing around the view rather than competing with it on the interior.

As seen in Coastal Living by Phoebe Howard - Serene Palette

5. What’s the current trend?

    • And finally, let’s touch on trends. You may think, I cannot afford to update every time there are trend changes. You don’t necessarily have to but if you’re one of millions of  homeowners who like to be “on top of trends” well, yes, yes you can. If you invest in neutral upholstery and floor covering, you can update a paint color on the wall and change out your pillows and a new rug for a fresh perspective.

Orange as a trend. Picture via FLOR

So, there you have my philosophy in selecting both interior and exterior colors. There are many other things that as a Designer, I take into consideration. These are suggestions to get you started, Cohesive doesn’t have to mean boring or neutral, it can be bright and cheery. Cohesive means that there’s a REASON your foyer is electric blue, so let the colors flow throughout the space! I also suggest you experiment with small sample sizes of paint colors, you will be amazed at how different it can look on a wall vs. a 2 inch square!  Hope you enjoyed my guideline and if you still need some help, contact me! I LOVE to help with color selection for your lifestyle and to“Make Your Home Your Haven”!

~ Chatti Patti