How to Pick Paint Colors for Your Home

Switching up a hue in your home, but not sure where to start? Read on for expert tips to learn before you grab a brush.

Ready to paint a room in your home, but not sure which hue is for you? According to Karen Sacksteder, owner of Sacksteder’s Interiors, you should start with the colors you love. “When you start with the colors you love, you’re not going with what’s just trendy or canned color schemes for a certain decorating style. You’re going with what makes you happy, which the most important.”

She suggests working with a paint strip of like-shades of color to see how it looks in day and night, in artificial or natural light, is very important. This will create a calming blend of color tones throughout your home. It’s also important to think about directional lighting throughout the day.

“Accent walls with large windows is a great place for the darker shade on the color strip,” Sacksteder says. “And if you are adding an accent or gallery wall, make sure it is opposite from your source of natural light.”

Southern-facing windows usually provide the most intense natural light, which can be harsh on sunny days, especially in the afternoon. Pale colors and whites may seem to be faded or dull, while darker colors can appear brighter. Windows facing east may flood your space with lots of natural light in the mornings but get darker later in the day. Dark colors will appear intense in the bright, morning light, but may have a drab effect as the day progresses. West-facing rooms, while darker in the morning, flood with rich yellow or golden tones of the late afternoon. Red or yellow colors may become overwhelming on bright, sunny days. Click here to learn how to get more natural light into dark rooms.

“No matter how much or little natural light you have in a room, you want to play it up as much as possible by making it a focal point,” Sacksteder explains. “Drawing attention to the light makes it seem more substantial.”

After picking a color you love, use that as your base color, and create a color scheme around it for furniture, artwork and accessories. “Wall color sets the landscape for the interior design elements to create a happy home,” says Sacksteder. Use a simple color wheel to learn the basics of how colors relate and compliment each other. Or you can go the easy route and opt to use one of the top color scheme generators or online tools..

You can also take a cue from your clothes. “Interior trends always follow the runways,” Sacksteder says. “But that’s not necessarily why I tell people to look in their closets for inspiration. I tell them that because you usually wear clothes in colors you love and look good in, so why not have them in your home too!”

When you do decorate and put the final touches on your space, remember to decorate from dark to light, vertically. “Our world of interiors usually mimics the outside world,” Sacksteder says. “In nature, it’s generally darker below our feet, medium-valued as you look straight ahead, and lighter skyward. So, you want your interiors to do the same.”

And lastly, Sacksteder says, use the 60-30-10 Rule. “Your 60 percent is the main color for your room, usually your wall color. The 30 percent is the secondary color, usually your upholstery. The last 10 percent is an accent color, and usually the accessories),” says Sacksteder. “This ratio ensures that the colors are balanced but there’s just enough pop for fun and interest.”

Sacksteder’s Interiors is located at 9797 Montgomery Road in Cincinnati and 4101 U.S. 52 in New Trenton, IN. Call (513)791- 5022 or (812) 637-1422 to learn more and follow along on Facebook or Instagram. Click here to shop the Sacksteder’s Interiors catalog.

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