Co-branding Airtasker OneflareCo-branding Airtasker Oneflare
Hero image

Find a local painter

    Choosing the right paint colours for your home

    Find the perfect paint palette that suits your home.

    Alex | Oneflare
    Updated 28 Sep 2023

    Choosing interior paint colours for your redecoration projects shouldn’t be done on a whim. When learning how to choose the right paint colour, you will need to consider things like the size of the room, what it’ll be used for, and your current interior style. 

    In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing interior paint colours that will work best with any living room or furniture colour scheme. Check out these nine tips before you hit the paint store to get the best results from your redecoration project.

    9 Tips for choosing house paint colours for your next painting project

    1. Learn about the effect of colour on moods

    Paint colours can impact the mood of the people in the room. They can energise, calm, or even help you focus.

    Certain shades, like red, can stimulate your mind and urge you into action, while other shades, such as blue, can put your nerves at ease. Choose colours that closely reflect your personality and motivate you to feel a certain way. 

    When learning how to choose the right paint colour, consider the purpose of the room and the vibe you want to achieve.

    2. Identify how cosy or airy you want the room to feel

    A cosy living room with neutral tones / Source: iStock

    Colour choices also affect how your room will be perceived. It can make a cramped flat feel airy or a large space feel cosy.

    For example, warm whites and warm greys have yellow undertones and give the appearance of a cosy, soft, inviting space. Using deep blue and other dark colour palettes can also help achieve the same cosy effect.

    On the other hand, cool grey or cool white interior paint colours can make a room feel more spacious.

    3. Factor in your current furnishings and decor

    While it may be tempting just to pick your favourite shade when redoing your interior house paint colours, you should never choose paint in isolation from the other elements in the room. Not everything has to match, but make sure that the walls, flooring, cabinetry, furniture, and accent pieces work harmoniously.

    While you can certainly pick different colour schemes for different rooms of the house, it may save you time to choose one that works for the majority of your home. Mixing and matching hues can guide the eyes from one space to another or delineate one area from another.

    4. Check the natural and artificial lighting

    A modern living room welcoming natural lighting / Source: iStock

    Lighting also plays a big factor in how your space will look like. Even if the paint swatch looks great in the store, it may look slightly different in the actual space where it will be used due to the natural light entering the room and the artificial lighting.

    As a quick reference, here’s how different lighting availability affects paint colour:

    • North-facing rooms will look bluish; offset this by choosing a brighter hue of your desired paint colour or using daylight-temperature artificial light. Warmer whites are a great choice for north-facing walls.
    • South-facing rooms will appear closer to the true paint colour thanks to abundant natural light.
    • East-facing rooms will appear more vibrant in the morning then duller in the afternoon. You can remedy this by choosing the right window treatments and artificial lighting. The opposite is true for west-facing rooms, which look bluish in the morning and warmer as the day progresses.
    • Incandescent lighting typically amplifies warmer colours and dulls cooler colours.
    • Halogen bulbs are closer to natural light so that interior walls will look true to colour with these bulbs.
    • Fluorescent lamps will make paint colours look more intense. Blue will appear as deep blue, for example.

    Before you decide on a paint colour, look at it against the morning, afternoon, and evening (artificial lighting) in the room. Talking to a professional house painter can help make this decision-making process easier.

    5. Consider neutral colours for common spaces

    Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! Neutral house paint colours can bridge pops of colour from room to room, like a pastel pink ceiling and accent wall in the living room or a patterned tile in the kitchen. 

    Blue and white are also a popular pairing that looks great in dining and living rooms. You can also liven up neutral paint by introducing patterns like a striped wall in cream and tan.

    6. Don’t be afraid to choose more than one paint colour

    A cosy dining space with turquoise and white walls / Source: iStock

    Two-tone interior paint colours are a trendy way to update your room. You can go with a lighter or darker shade for a monochromatic palette. Meanwhile, grey tones with orange make for an unexpected, vibrant pairing.

    Another example is combining dark brown and purple in one room. This can add just the right amount of oomph without deviating from your comfort zone.

    Implementing two-colour combinations for your living room is easier than you think. Even just painting one wall in two colours or having a solid colour theme for the walls, furniture and decor can create an interesting focal point in the room and delineate areas in open-plan spaces.

    7. Look at the room’s features for inspiration

    Your next paint colour choice might be hidden right in the room! Look at an architectural feature on the exterior of your house. Bringing your exterior house paint colours indoors brings a seamless flow throughout the house. 

    For instance, the trim or fascia might just be perfect for your interior walls, or the grey polished concrete floors could pair well with green or off-white walls.

    You can also look at nature for inspiration. If you have a lot of greenery outside, you can complement this by choosing green as one of your interior paint colours and pairing it with a neutral shade. A rustic surface like the hardwood on your floors could also inspire nature- or earth-tone-inspired colour choices.

    8. Factor in the size of your space

    A minimalist bedroom with white walls and wooden floors / Source: iStock

    When you know the colours you might like, consider the area you intend to paint. Take a moment to pause and think about the existing layout of the space or what the area will be used for, as the wall colour will affect the look and feel of the entire space. 

    Professional painters and decorators know which paint finish and what paint colour would work best for every space, considering all factors in the house. So, if you’re unsure how to go about a painting project, consult a pro for expert advice and painting cost estimates

    9. Use a colour scheme to choose the right paint colour palette

    Colour scheme and palette are often used interchangeably but are very different.

    A colour scheme is a framework or theory, for example, monochromatic, complementary colours, or achromatic. Meanwhile, a colour palette is the actual swatches: complementary colours, blue and orange, different shades and tints of the same colour, pink, and so on.

    When picking a colour palette, stick to a few hues or choose different tones of a similar colour group rather than contrasting shades. It helps to use a colour wheel or talk to a colour consultant when determining the right colour scheme or colour palette for your interior walls.

    Choose the right interior paint colours easily

    Picking paint colours doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. While doing it yourself can be fulfilling and affordable, reaching out to a painter can ensure a successful painting project that is worth your time and money, especially if it’s your first time repainting your walls.

    FAQs on choosing the right paint colours

    Should you go lighter or darker with paint?

    Paints typically dry darker, but if mixed properly, they should come out looking the same as what is on the paint swatch. So, it all boils down to your choice of the swatch and mixing the paint properly. 

    Should I paint my entire house the same colour?

    There’s no hard rule that says you shouldn’t; however, your home will benefit from using at least different shades of the same colour. This adds visual interest while maintaining a certain flow or continuity as one moves through the house. 

    How do I choose my exterior house colour?

    Below are some tips to help you choose your exterior house colour:

    • Look for inspiration in the finishes in your home, such as the foundation, trim, roof, and landscape.
    • Get a colour wheel and test out some palettes.
    • Consult with a house painter to get the best look for your home.
    • If you want, feel free to look at the colour scheme in your own neighbourhood to make sure your home fits in.

    What is the most popular interior paint colour?

    White is one of the most popular interior paint colours since it’s easy to pair with other colours. White can look warm and cosy or light and airy. Its classic look and ability to tie different colours together make it many homeowners’ paint colour of choice. 

    Facebook LikeTwitter

    How much will your job cost?

    The Oneflare Cost Guide Centre is your one-stop shop to help you set your budget; from smaller tasks to larger projects.