Home Color Schemes
Guidelines To Color Your Home In An Elegant Way

Color is an important part of our daily lives. It influences the way we feel.

Home color schemes that have a positive impact on us, creating an environment which is soothing and invigorating at the same time, make a space come to life.

Choice of color is a personal thing. But the feelings evoked by the use of various colors are similar.

By understanding the attributes of colors, you can use them in a thoughtful and well-balanced way. Home color schemes can be made then, which create appropriate moods and feeling.

Colors can bring about these impacts, if used properly -

  • Highlight and enhance interesting features.
  • Disguise ugly elements or unbalanced proportions of a space.
  • Draw attention to the desired objects.
  • Create a particular mood or ambience.
  • Create decorative themes for a home.
  • Enhance the lighting in a space.
  • Define an individual style and personality.

You can use colors on virtually any surface - walls, flooring, furniture, furnishings, lighting, accessories, decoration pieces or just about anywhere.

It can be used in large volumes for maximum effect and in lesser quantity for subtle effects.

To start experimenting with colors use them on soft furnishings like pillows, cushions, rugs and on accessories, displays and decorative pieces like lampshades, paintings etc.

Once you get the feel of the impact colors have, you can move on to painting a whole wall in the color of your choice.

Thereafter, different locations in the house or even the whole house can be taken up for painting in different colors to get the desired effects.

Before painting a room or the entire house in colors, it is advisable to have home color schemes worked out. It will depend on what impact you want to achieve in different areas and the whole space as a whole.

See home interior color schemes for more information.

Different rooms in a home have different functions. As are the feelings and moods associated with them. Use colors as per the requirement of each room.

But also ensure that there is harmony in various colors used to create the overall home color schemes.

Now let us see how each room in a home can be best treated in colors to complement the functions and feelings associated with that room.

Living Rooms

It is the hub of the house hosting a multitude of activities. Also it is the most used room in the house. Hence choose a color scheme where you feel comfortable at all times.

Do not use too bright colors everywhere in the living room.

An accent color on a wall or in accessories and soft furnishings with neutral colors everywhere else can be a good solution to create an identity without going overboard with colors.

Visit living room ideas to see how colors can help to create living room themes as part of home color schemes.

Dining Rooms

Since the dining room is associated with eating food, it is preferable to use warm colors, like red, yellow and orange, here.

Cool colors, if you want to use, should be used in moderation and in accents, not as the main background color.


A bedroom is your private sanctuary. It is a place for intimacy, rest, relaxation and sleep. Colors used here should create a calm and soothing effect.

Earth-tone colors in pastel shades and soft colors like beige, cream, peach etc. can impart a feeling of cosy relaxation.

See bedroom color schemes for detailed information on various home color schemes used in the bedrooms.


In the kitchen, the emphasis is on maintenance, hygiene and ease of cleanliness. It is good to have light fresh colors like tones of beige and cream there.

Coordinate different materials and finishes with the colors used in the kitchen. A strong accent color on the countertop, backsplash or on the storage cabinets can brighten up an otherwise functional color scheme.

Visit kitchen colors for ideas and in-depth information on how colors can be used to maximum effect in the kitchen.

See small kitchen designs for ideas on using colors to optimize the space in a small kitchen.


Natural light is, usually, very limited in the bathrooms. On top of that if you have a small bathroom, it is best to use lighter colors. They will make the bathroom look more spacious.

The reverse is true for dark colors.

You can make a light color scheme interesting by having multi-color accessories like shower curtains.

Do not use more than two colors or shades, whatever the size of the bathroom. It will make it look very busy as already so many materials, accessories, fittings and fixtures are used there.

Since bathroom is a place for freshening-up and where lot of water is used, earthy themes with tones of blues and greens complement these activities, making the room vibrant and refreshing.

Children's Room

For decorating a kid's room and using colors there, first take into account her age, activities, interests, likes and dislikes. It is always better to discuss with the child what her wants and aspirations are.

Bright and warm colors are usually recommended for a child's room. The children have a lot of energy. The bright and playful colors like red, yellow, orange complement that energy.

A blend of hot and cool elements is a good option for children's room.

See girls bedroom ideas for more ideas on using colors in a girl's bedroom.

Home Office

The colors you use in the workspace normally depends on how often you use it and at what time.

If you use the space occasionally, you can experiment with a bolder, more colorful scheme. But if you use the room all day, you would need a sober approach.

It is always better to avoid too bright colors as these can be distracting. A calm and soothing color palette is more conducive to the work environment.

If you recieve visitors in your home office, the whole decor including the color scheme should convey a professional approach. It should also be comforting and relaxing.

Green is a fresh, harmonious color. Shades and tints of it can help you create a soothing environment.

Home Theater

Use darker or neutral shades on walls of home theater. Bright colors will reflect light from the screen and cause glare.

Apart from colors, even the paint should not be glossy or semi-glossy. It will also reflect light and cause glare. It is advisable to use flat paints or even better cover the wall surfaces with fabrics.


When selecting colors for a passage, consider the overall home color schemes and the colors used in the adjacent rooms.

Neutral colors, specially off-white, are a good choice as they are compatible with any adjoining colors.

Contrasting colors in the niches set into the wall can give a break from the neutral colors and make an interesting feature.


If you want to make you house look bigger than it actually is, use light colors. On the other hand if you want to make it or a part of it look smaller, go for darker home color schemes.

For a contrasting style, have a light colored background with some surfaces or volumes highlighted in dark accent colors.

Avoid using too bright colors in the exterior. It is surrounded by the colors of nature and seen by everyone. Something toned down is a good option.

Finally, it is to be noted that color schemes and suggestions outlined above are guidelines. Individual home color schemes depend on many factors such as -

  • size of the rooms
  • location of your home
  • The amount of natural light it is getting
  • your personal choice
  • the effect you want to create
  • the wear and tear in the rooms etc.

I am sure you must have got a lot of ideas for creating home color schemes of your choice. Go ahead, make your home an oasis of beautiful colors and add style and personality.

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Sushil Wadhwa

Sushil Wadhwa
Architect, Interior Designer, creator of Homes and Interiors... more.