The big picture helps homeowners coordinate wall colors throughout a home

Mar 23 2011

Homeowners should paint no more than four colors throughout their residences.
Homeowners should paint no more than four colors throughout their residences.
When homeowners decide their entire house interior needs a fresh coat of paint, design consultant Cindy Lee Bergersen has these words to guide them - think about the big picture.


"Devise a color plan that makes sense for your whole residence," she writes in her home design column for Hamptons.com. "The goal is to give your rooms a cohesive look as a unified environment."
 

One way to create continuity is to limit the color palette that will be used throughout the house, picking a limited number of hues from fabrics, rugs or window treatments. Those colors, or shades of them, can be repeated in different rooms, but in a unique way in each space.


A good way to implement Bergersen's advice is to paint no more than four colors throughout a residence and to unify all of them with the same trim and molding. A wall color in one room can be the ceiling color elsewhere in the home.


"Another method is to use only one color family," Bergersen advises. "Choose the lighter tones for the public spaces and the darker tones as you move back into the private areas."


In addition, the hallways should be painted the same neutral to tie different areas together. The ceiling can be a pale shade of the wall color used in a room. Or for a bolder palette, paint the ceiling in an accent color.
 

The colors of a window covering take on extra importance when the ensemble creates a focal point for a room. Valances combined with curtains that cover underlying window blinds or shades create a layering effect that should coordinate with the wall color, as well as the hues of the room's most prominent furnishings.


On her website, DecodingDecor.com, Bergersen suggests an easy way to test different colors without painting large practice swatches around the house. Instead, paint two coats onto a sheet of white foam core - available at arts and crafts supply stores - and move these sample boards around a room at different times of the day to see the effect of natural light and how the colors look in both light and dark corners.


"It’s important that all of your choices play well together even if they are in different rooms," Bergersen writes on her website. "You want your entire home to have a very considered and coordinated look."
 
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