5 Tips from a Designer to Pick Out the Right Paint Color for Any Room

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If you’ve spent weeks agonizing over what color to paint one, or more walls in your home, you’re not alone. No matter how many little test paint splotches you paint on your walls, it can still feel impossible to pick an interior paint color. 

But what if we told you that feeling can be avoided? 

You don’t have to agonize over your paint colors as long as you start with a good plan. We have five tips to help inform your paint color choices today and for the years to come. Most of what we’ll teach you happens before you head to the store to pick up the paint! 

So, don’t run off to your local paint shop yet. Use the following advice to make an intentional decision for your home’s interior paint colors.

#1: Planning is Key to Nailing Your Interior Paint Color

If you’re doing a renovation or remodel on your own, it may be tempting to do most of your design and then ask a designer to come in and pick your wall colors. This is known as a color consult. 

No matter how talented a designer is, it is extremely challenging to select a paint color for a room they didn’t design, let alone a whole house! For this reason, we recommend working with a designer to intentionally design each aspect of your home together. Paint should never be an afterthought! 

Since everything has to make sense with the colors you select for your home, use the following steps to make your painting plan! 

If you’re only painting one room, or one wall, don’t worry! This advice applies to you, too! You’ll still make a plan now to help inform your decisions for all the painting you do moving forward.

#2: Consider How You Want Your Home to Feel

This may sound like a silly question, but when you walk into a specific room in your home, how do you want to feel? 

This is one of the first questions we ask our clients, because color has a psychological effect on us. What you may expect of your living room, for example, likely won’t be the same for someone else. Some people may want a calming, relaxing living room to read in. Others may want a more lively room where they’ll host parties.

Write out a list of each room in your house, how each room will be used, and how you want people to feel while they’re using the space.

Next, get familiar with color psychology. Color psychology is the way color makes us feel or the emotions that can be evoked by a particular color. Some common associations with a colors include:

  • Red: Linked to love, desire, passion, warmth, or anger.
  • Orange: Linked to a positive, rejuvenated, and at times an overwhelming feeling.
  • Yellow: Linked to optimism, joy, and enlightenment.
  • Green: Linked to nature, harmony, tranquility, and peace.
  • Blue: Linked to serenity, orderliness, and tranquility. It’s also an appetite suppressant. 
  • Pink: Linked to innocence, calmness, and love.
  • Purple: Linked to dignity, magic, and royalty.
  • Black: Linked to power, mystery, elegance, and evil.
  • White: Linked to purity, innocence, and integrity.

If you’re looking to capture a certain feeling, consider what colors are associated with it. This can help you narrow down your paint choices. Rather than having to pick between every color out there, you’ll be deciding between different shades of one or two colors. 

You can learn more about color psychology here.

#3: Use One Key Item for Interior Paint Color Inspiration

Before you run off to Home Depot or your local paint shop to start purchasing those tiny paint cans, it’s important you know that color inspiration doesn’t have to come from a paint store, or from the paint.

Try picking out a key item, or a couple of key items in your home to guide your design decisions. That goes for your paint, too! Out of all the items in your home, is there something that you really love? A favorite rug, a piece of artwork, or a family heirloom that brings you a lot of joy? 

If so, make this piece the focal point of your home and your guiding light for picking out colors. Use the colors from the piece to pick out additional furniture, finishes, and your paint. 

That’s one of the biggest secrets in this blog post: color inspiration doesn’t always need to come from paint.

#4: Choose a Family of Colors for Your Home

A family of colors often consists of one to five colors: two that are neutral, and two or three that are colors dispersed throughout a home. By picking out a family of colors, rather than a solitary color, you’ll be able to create a more cohesive feeling throughout your home. 

Take some time to play around with different whites, other neutrals, and colors that you love or you think you’d like to paint your home. Swap out different shades until you find the right fit. 

It’s important to note, the additional colors you pick out don’t have to show up as paint colors. You can instead invest in a beautiful sage green couch, fun yellow tiles in your kitchen, or a piece of artwork that includes a periwinkle in your family of colors. 

The family of colors can guide you through many decisions during your design process. Establishing this family of colors can also help you later on when you’re ready for a refresh. 

If you decide one day you want to paint a room a new color, or redesign it, you won’t be considering every option under the sun. Rather, you’ll have your family of paints to inform your decisions and guide you to your new paint color.

#5: Invest in Quality Paint, No Matter the Interior Paint Color

It doesn’t matter which color you pick, if you pick low-quality paint, it will have a negative effect on your room. While it can be tempting to go with a cheaper brand or finish, picking a high-quality paint is a worthwhile investment. 

Be sure to use a primer before painting. The biggest paint myth out there is that paint and primer can be an all-in-one product. It’s just not true. Primer helps your paint to stick to an already painted surface, which reduces the chance it will chip or scratch.

Don’t use your paint as an area to save on cost. You’ll thank us!

Some other things to consider when picking out the right paint:

  • Pick a paint with a low VOC. Picking a sustainable paint isn’t only good for the planet. It’s also good for you, your family, and your guest’s health. 
  • Pick a paint that has good covering ability. When you apply the paint, it should go on smoothly and cover the entire wall without creating splotches or cracks. 
  • Paint sheen matters. Please don’t put a shiny semi-gloss for handrails for your bedroom walls. 
    • Semi-Gloss: Good for trim, handrails, doors, and any area that could be susceptible to scuffing easily.
    • Satin Finish: This finish is great for cabinetry, and if you prefer a lower sheen you can use it in place of semi-gloss on trim and doors.  
    • Eggshell: Good for all walls. Check your paint brand here. The high-quality brands, like Sherwin Williams & Benjamin Moore, are more scrubbable than others. Because of the advancements in technology over the last several years, most designers and builders are using eggshells in bathrooms and kitchens these days! 

Flat or matte: We always recommend this finish for the ceiling, or if you are going for a dramatic effect! Again, the higher quality brands now have a scrubbable matte that is simply dreamy!

Does Spark Interiors Offer Color Consulting?

We’re not color consults. This is because we prefer to work with our clients on a bigger scale. 

Your remodel or renovation is important to us. The end product will be your home, the place you’re likely going to spend most of your life. We take that very seriously, and don’t jump in and out of projects, only providing guidance for one piece. 

Instead, we partner with individuals and families to create the home of their dreams through intentional, thoughtful design decisions that bring your home to life. We couldn’t do that by simply telling you what color to paint the walls or the trim. Your home is so much more than that to us. 


Feel free to reach out to us for a full design consultation. We recommend using the tips in this blog post if picking out a paint color is the only guidance you need. Good luck!

Picking the Best Paint Color for Inside the House

The next time you’re ready to re-do a room in your house, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I made a plan for this room, and my home, already? 
  • Do I know what the purpose of this room is?
  • Do I know what emotion I’m trying to evoke when someone is in this room?
  • Have I used a key piece for inspiration?
  • Is this aligned with my established color family?
  • Have I invested in quality paint? 

If you have a concrete answer to all of these questions, then you’re ready to put the paintbrush to the wall!


If you’re picking out new paint and floors, check out our blog post on the most sustainable flooring options in Colorado.

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