Choosing Your Interior Paint Colors with Ease

Updated paint colors are the easiest way to make a major impact in a room. For some, choosing paint colors is the fun part. It is the start of the interior design adventure. Others may beg to differ. Standing in front of a display case full of color swatches may quickly go from headway to headache.

Paint Brushes

Don't fret. There's an easier way. Look for color inspiration in the room you will be painting. If it's a living room, use a decorative pillow or some artwork. If it's the kitchen, look for a color in your dishes.

I call these items inspiration pieces. They may not only help inspire your paint colors but may also help define your theme. Most people typically have a color direction they would like to go but if not, this is a great way to start building some ideas.

If I were to use a decorative pillow as an inspiration piece to develop my design theme, I may pick a more subtle color from it that made sense as a wall or accent wall color. Also keep trim colors in mind as you search for ideas from these items around the room.

In the example below you can see how I used a decorative pillow as the inspiration for the color on my wainscoting. The darker green stripe was the least used color on the pillow and seemed like an excellent accent color for my walls. This was also a nice starting point for developing the color cohesiveness of the room.

Decorative Pillow

I looked at sample paint color swatches that included the green of the pillow stripe and then went one shade lighter or darker with paint and accessories for this room. I could have even had the stripe color matched exactly by taking the pillow to a paint center. They have equipment that determines how to replicate the color as paint. I've had exact color matching done many times with excellent results for wall and trim colors.

Decorative Pillow Paint Color

A pillow inspired the earthy yellow chosen
for this family room's accent wall color.

Family Room Paint Colors

Are you still stuck on color? Check out my personal color picks. These are some nice combinations that I have used, would like to use, or are current trends.

Once you have determined your wall color, you will need to decide what type of finish the paint will have. In the above examples, I used a semi-gloss paint finish for the green wainscoting and a flat paint finish for the family room's yellow wall color. To help determine which finish is best for your project, see the paint finishes section.

Want a creative and easy way to add a splash of color to a room? Try color blocking.

See what you can accomplish with faux finishes.

If you need some additional help or just want to be sure you are properly prepped for paint day, see Painting a Room for some tips and guidance.

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