Color schemes can make your home look hopelessly dated or vibrantly on trend. But how do you know which colors are in and which are out? Here are seven tips to best choose a modern color palette.
1. Color palette dictates ambiance.
Consider the room, how you want to feel, and what you will be doing in the room. Lighter colors reflect light, making the space seem open and airy. Dark paint colors absorb light, making a room feel more closed in. Bright colors evoke excitement and alertness, while subdued or neutral colors bring feelings of relaxation and calm.
2. Stay away from white!
Glaring white walls are – blessedly – a thing of the past, and so is the 1990s “builder’s beige.” However, doors, door casings, and other moldings should be a crisp, glossy white.
3. Make a neutral backdrop.
The best choices are the new beige or grey tones, or a trendy combination known as “greige”. Then layer one or two contrasting colors with furnishings and art. Even colors with an undertone of brown or grey in soft, muted tones can look neutral – while still adding a touch of color. Neutrals like this are always preferable when staging to sell.
4. Ditch the 80s and 90s.
Also avoid The 1980s neons and pastels, Southwestern palettes (lots of turquoise and mauve), and Day-Glo everywhere (think pink, yellow, teal, and purple). The 1990s introduced forest green, deep reds and golds, and earthy tones. However, modern color palettes prefer soft, muted tones more than vibrant, staying away from anything too saturated or primary-hued.
5. Patterns or not?
Today’s focal walls are more than just a bold paint color. Patterns can be dramatic or subtle, depending on the level of contrast. Bold patterns exude energy, while tone-on-tone quietly hints at a pattern’s existence. For a modern color palette when staging, use patterns as a subtle backdrop, rather than a screaming neon green and turquoise chevron.
6. Where to go bold.
Kitchens can often boast a brighter, bolder paint on the walls, primarily because they have little wall space. Bonus rooms or playrooms also carry bright wall colors well, giving them an energetic vibe. Finally, guest and children’s bathrooms are another place to experiment with bold colors.
7. Go monochromatic.
Monochromatic color schemes never go out of style. The most successful way to create a tone-on-tone scheme starts with selecting your wall color. Paint small pieces of furniture in the shades just lighter and darker on the same spectrum. Take those colors onto your furnishings with curtains, bedding, throw blankets, and upholstery in that same color family. This soothing look is easy on the eye and works well in bedrooms.