The sky's the limit when it comes to all the color interior decorating choices that one has.

Even so, having a number of tones, hues or shades to choose from isn't always the wondrous thing that one would think. Like life in general (for most of us anyways less is more).

With that said, designers and those of us in the painting trades do try to select colors with as much ease as possible.

Below you'll find color choosing tips along with some suggestions to tools and pages on this site. Such pages should hopefully help with getting your color interior decorating process completed.


Do keep in mind that once a color is applied the chances of it looking exactly like your selected color is virtually impossible. In more than 25 years as a painting contractor I have seldom seen an exact match to the color sample (or swatch) that the retailer, painter or designer gives to the home owner.

In most cases an exact match happens only when a very skilled paint store representative does a color match to one of their competitors colors. The majority of colors, once applied, differ after drying because of lighting, assorted paint sheens (finishes) or the number of product formulations (paint types) that the colorant is mixed into.

At best, your colors (in most cases) will be very close to the color you selected but not an exact match. Of course anything is possible so hope for the best.

  1. Pull colors from items, furniture or a piece of art that have colors which are appealing to you.

  2. Ask an interior designer, paint contractor, acquaintance or someone who is skilled with colors to assist you with your selections.

  3. Certain paint stores sell very large color samples (2'x2') for hanging on your walls prior to painting. You could also purchase paints in smaller quantities testing them on the walls of your room.

  4. Another option would be paint retailer brochures. Stores that sell painting products have leaflets containing suggestions for a number of color combination.

  5. Match colors from unlikely sources. I've used the colors from the label of a paint can to paint the exterior of a home.

  6. Drive around newer neighbor hoods looking for exterior color combinations. Doing so will give you ideas for modern colors that you can use on the interior of your home.

  7. Wallpaper or wallpaper boarders tend to make an excellent color palate when deciding on colors. You don't even have to use the paper on your walls.

  8. Some people visit furniture retailers just to see the colors that they are using in combination with the furniture being sold.

  9. libraries, along with decorating magazines are also good place to find color inspiration.

When looking for colors and find something you like, keep in mind that your not stuck with specific color combinations. Colors from one family will work just as well with that of another.

For example, say you see an Ikea throw pillow with good coordinating colors but the colors are to dark for your walls or woodwork etc. Just take the pillow to your local paint store and they will show you colors of the same color family. If the color family colors are appealing then the store sales representative will create the colors in the paint of your choice.

Once done at the paint store return the pillow to Ikea. For those painting a bedroom or living room though, I would recommend buying more of the same pillows along with other items that complement the pillows themselves. Doing so will make the room flow together while at the same time complementing your matching paint (color family wise) to that of your Ikea pillows and accessories.


In the end, the most important thing to keep in mind is your colors need to work with the items that will be in your rooms. You may find a color you like but if it doesn't interact well with the carpet, drapes or coach etc. you'll end up disappointed.

As a final note there's a well priced ebook, that you can buy or If you prefer a regular type color interior decorating book then heres one that we professionals love. For those who learn visually this home color selection DVD should do the trick.

Last but not least would be some more color selection help.

From the color interior decorating page to colors and sheens

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