One of the unique benefits Home Comfort Company provides our clients is Bonnie Wanta’s design expertise. Bonnie helps our clients with many of the design details involved in building a new home, including choosing the color palette.
Recently Bonnie made a guest appearance as a Color Consultant in the paint department of a hardware store here in Madison. We asked her to share some of her tips for choosing colors for a home.
Tip #1 Choose a Color Palette
Choosing a color palette for your home has never been easier. You can use social sharing tools like Houzz and Pinterest to find the colors you like. Create an Ideabook with room colors that appeal to you. As you add pictures and pins to your collection, you’ll begin to see a pattern in the colors that attract you. Create your color palette from those colors.
Another great online tool is Design Seeds®. Design Seeds® allows you to create a palette by pulling colors out of a specific photo that appeals to you. (See photo below.)
For a more traditional approach, find a curtain or rug with colors that appeal to you. Use that piece as the foundation for choosing the color palette for your home. Many paint companies also provide brochures with color palette suggestions.
Tip #2 Designate Your Interior & Exterior Colors
Once you have your color palette, determine which colors you would like to use for the interior and exterior of your home. Look at your house – inside and out – as a whole. When considering the outside, think about what you want to say to your neighbors and guests as they approach your abode:
Friendly? Think blues, greens or earth tones.
Traditional? Consider tans or other neutrals.
Daring? How about navy blue with a salmon pink or sunny yellow front door!
As you move inside, borrow softer or bolder versions of what you see on the outside. Remember, colors set the mood for a room and either enhance or detract from the ambiance and enjoyment of a space. Blues and greens are relaxing and ideal for bedrooms – especially in soft tones. Red and orange are stimulating and exciting, perfect for dining areas such as the kitchen or breakfast nook.
Browns create a feeling of warmth and safety and are good for a man cave, family room or office. Purple evokes romance or contemplation and dreaming (perfect for the master bedroom!). Yellow is a “pick-me-up” color and is ideal for smaller spaces like a powder bath as it makes the space feel bigger and brighter. It is also a good choice for a cheery kitchen, hallway or laundry room with little or no natural lighting.
Tip #3 Avoid Common Color Mistakes
Limit your focal points. Be strategic in using color to make a statement. Pick a few places throughout your home to be dramatic and bold. The rest of your home should be more neutral, complementing the focal points. Use various shades of one color throughout the house to create a flow from room to room. The focal points will then stand out tastefully, giving your home a personality that welcomes rather than overwhelms.
I also caution clients about going too dark. I work with them to select the perfect shade. I help them visualize what that small swatch of color on the paint chip will look like on a much larger scale in their living room. When you have a large area of concentrated color, you tend to get tired of that color over time. Hints of color are better. A smaller area of color also allows you to more easily make a change with fewer coats of a small amount of paint. Finally, going dark can be dramatic in a small powder bath with no window, but it may be frustrating in a family room or dining room because it tends to make the room feel smaller than it actually is.
What does Bonnie enjoy most about helping people pick the colors for their home?
“I love helping people achieve the feeling that they want for their home,” says Bonnie. “A home is a special place, and you should truly enjoy living in it. It should be an expression of you. I’ll ask a client a lot of questions about her lifestyle: Do you entertain? Where do you spend the most time? Do you prefer urban settings or the outdoors? I use the answers to design a home that reflects the client’s personal style, her ideal color palette and a home that truly reflects her.”