How To Create A Whole Home Color Palette!

2 Materials
4 Hours
Do you struggle with getting your home to look cohesive? Have you decorated several rooms only to be left feeling like the spaces don’t “flow”?

If so you are not alone, in fact, one of the things people struggle with the most when it comes to decorating is creating a whole home color palette. This is often how a home ends up feeling like the style is all over the place and you can quickly end up hating the direction you choose… I know I did!

Color is hands down one of the most important factors when it comes to interior design, it can truly make or break a space. Adding color into your home is great but understanding the role it plays and sticking to a plan can help you save some major bucks down the road.
In this post, we will look at the mistakes I have personally made (some recent) and help you learn how to avoid making them in your own home by creating a color palette that works!

By creating a whole home color palette, you are not only creating a cohesive flow from room to room but you are also making it so much easier and less expensive when it comes time to change things up.

When refreshing a space you can easily pull items from any other room in your home without worry that things won’t transition well.
Over the years I have found I have a major love hate relationship with color… There have been points in my life where I have convinced myself I loved this color or that color but I almost always end up sick of it within a matter of months. Color gets old…

There are people in this world that love bright bold everything and I am not saying there is anything wrong with that because at one point I also felt that way but I have found the older I get the more I want calm and peaceful.

Instead of having things jump out at you I want something that makes you feel comfortable and is visually pleasing to the eye no matter which room you’re in.

This is where a whole home color palette comes in, but sometimes the guesswork of coming up with it all on your own can be completely overwhelming, so to keep things easy we’re going to break this down into bite-sized steps to help you create a whole home color palette that will take you from room to room easily and effectively.

Before we really dive in take the time to think about the questions I am about to ask you because the answers will be important while you’re choosing your colors.

  • What are a few colors you are almost always drawn to? These can be colors that you instantly know you love or it could be a common theme of colors in the inspiration photos you save. Study the style and spaces that you love, what colors are you seeing most often and what one color jumps out at you the most?

  • Think long term, you may absolutely love the color red that doesn’t mean that you should go paint the walls red… Let's be honest, how long are you really going to love that? Our goal here is not only to choose a whole home color palette that works but also to prevent you from having to do this again in a year.
Three Types Of Colors Schemes
  • Complementary: Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. Each primary color has a complementary cousin that can be used to create an amazing high contrast pop.
  • Analogous: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Using these colors will create a relaxing and calm feel.
  • Monochromatic: Using colors that are the same color but different shades. Monochromatic is one I see a lot of and its actually one of my favorites.

Choosing A Whole Home Color Palette
Creating a color scheme can make the entire decorating process a breeze. You will instantly know if something is going to work in your home or not which in turn cuts down on those needless purchases.
If you do this for no other reason do it to save yourself some time and money because it will.

Choose A White
Choosing a white is almost always necessary, it will be used on places like trim, doors, closets, ceilings, and even cabinets if you decide to paint them.
Before choosing a white you will need to really take note of the undertones that appear in your home especially in things you don’t plan to change like cabinet tone/color or brick for example.

To help determine the white you’ll choose remember which of the three color schemes you are going with and choose based on the undertones in your home.

Insider Secret: Please remember white paints are not created equal, just like gray there are a million different white paint colors that each have different undertones. So choose carefully and be sure to try out your color in several places in your home before purchasing. 
Pick A Neutral
When I say pick a neutral I don’t automatically mean beige either, a neutral can be a color that is a VERY subtle shade. The neutral we chose is  repose gray by Sherwin Williams  which is a very warm gray with minimal undertones.
If you are the type that likes to change things up often then I cannot stress how important this choice is, using a light neutral will make changing things up easy and cheap! Because who really wants to repaint every time they get ready for a change? I sure don’t.

Pick A Color With Saturation
Remember earlier when I asked you to think about a color you are always drawn to? Well it’s finally time for it to make its star appearance.
This color will be the jumping off point for the colors that follow. If you love bold color this will probably be an easy choice for you but if you are a little bit leery of bold hues that is okay too, just choose a lighter shade of the color.
For instance,  when we first started this process I was in love with bright bold color and loved navy but over the years have grown tired of the bold pops of color throughout our home so changing things up to a much lighter shade of the color was the answer I needed.

Pick Another Color
Choose another color that will blend well depending on which color scheme type you are going for. For example if monochromatic is the look your going for this color will be one step down from your saturated color. Throughout this process you really want to pay attention to how your color palette is coming together, does it blend well? Does this look like something you would love?

Pick An Accent Color
Choose an accent color, this color can be used as an accent color in one room and the main color throughout. Remember the key here is using the same color palette in different ways throughout your home so one room may have the accent as the dominant color and another room may have it in the accessories. Once you have your whole home color palette determined you can play around with it and see which variation suits the room best.
Staying True To You
When you’re first starting out decorating its easy to think I’ll just slap some stuff up on the walls and it will be good but that my friend is where shit gets hairy. Do things this way and I promise will never be satisfied with the space, you will forever be locked in a constant state of change and who has the time or money for that?

When I started decorating for the first time I flat out skipped this step and I cannot tell you how big of a mistake that was..

Its been years since the initial realization that I had totally screwed up and I am still cleaning up the mess which hasn’t been easy.
Because I had no direction, I chose colors that didn’t blend well together at all which made each room feel like its own space instead of having a natural flow from room to room.

The bright bold colors that I had convinced myself I loved were now giving me anxiety like I’d never felt and deep down I knew I hadn’t stayed true to myself throughout this process. If you take anything away from this post let that be it.

Staying true to yourself is the most important thing you can do when it comes to creating a home you love. Don’t be misled by trends or the latest popular paint color, be you!

Make your home work for you and your family while also being a reflection of who you are. Trust me, I know that choosing paint colors probably isn’t the most favorite or glamours step but it is 100% essential to achieving a cohesive home and now you have the skills to do it.
Suggested materials:
  • Repose gray   (sherwin williams)
  • Ulta white   (behr)
Project Allen Designs
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2 of 4 comments
  • Project Allen Designs Project Allen Designs on Aug 23, 2018

    Thank you so much Kay, that truly means the world to me that its been helpful for you and I totally feel where you're coming from, I've been there myself but the good thing is you can fix it. I'll be here cheering you on!!!

  • Gina Hanson Gina Hanson on Mar 08, 2019

    I think some of this is regional as well. We moved from an area where people painted at least the main floor (or common areas) all the same color and then accented with colorful pillows, etc. When we were looking for homes in our new location it was just the opposite - every room was a different color, and they were strong colors. I prefer having a light neutral on the walls throughout and then you can use your colors in various decor choices. I love purple, but the only time I did purple on the walls was in a laundry room and then a lavender in my daughter's room.