How to choose paint colors for your home interior

If you want to achieve a perfect style and comfortable mood within your home, you have to choose the right paint colors for your interior spaces.

Paint color is usually the backbone of any interior room design, but with many different brands, finishes, undertones and lighting conditions to consider, choosing the right color for any space can seem like an overwhelming task.

There are, however, several steps to help you on your way. This includes finding inspiration for your color scheme, testing various colors, being adventurous with your color choices and avoiding just picking a color on a whim.

Following these steps will help you to choose a paint color for your home interior just like an interior designer would.

The importance of interior paint color

Paint colors are the backdrop of your space and can have a bigger impact on the overall look and feel than you may realize.

Painting the interior of your home is an expensive and time-consuming task and getting this color choice right the first time can save you a lot of money and time.

However, with so many brands, paint colors, trends and finishes to consider, to choose the right color for your home interior can be easier said than done.

There are many different factors to consider when you are choosing the right color for your space.

Personal preferences and design styles that really appeal to you personally will inadvertently affect the colors that will work well in your room and make the interior of your home feel like it really belongs to you.

Another consideration is the usage and popularity of the different rooms. While personal bedrooms can be painted to reflect personal styles and maybe be a bit more daring with colors, rooms that are used by many people should also be designed in a way that appeals to many different people and styles.

Therefore, high-traffic rooms and areas within the house are usually more neutral in color.

The lighting in the room, the functions of the space and other furnishings and elements already in the room are all important considerations when you are deciding on just the right colors for the interior of your home.

How to choose paint colors for your home interior

Your choice of interior paint color can help you to capture nuances in design- and personal style but can also ruin the entire design if you pick the wrong colors.

To help you to avoid choosing the wrong colors, there are a few factors that expert interior designers consider before choosing interior colors for their spaces.

Before you even start thinking about color schemes, it is important to understand warm and cool undertones. Warm paint colors have red, orange and yellow undertones.

These colors create a welcoming and lively atmosphere within the space. Cool paint colors have blue and green undertones, and these colors often create a calm and serious mood.

The key to creating a color scheme and design within a room, which is both functional and beautiful, is striking a balance between warm and cool colors within the room.

Cool and warm colors will also reflect differently in a space depending on the lighting of a space.

It is important to consider the lighting conditions at different times during the day for different rooms, as this may affect what a certain interior paint color will look like.

Incandescent lamps may have a more warm-toned light and fluorescent lights may have a more cool-toned light, and this may affect the way the room looks and how different colors interact with each other.

Natural lighting may shift throughout the day and this will also affect the appearance of different colors in your interior space.

Thus, it is important to consider when a certain room will be used more during the day, in order for you to closely observe what a certain interior paint color will look like in those lighting conditions.

The placement of your room and the exposure of the room will also affect the way natural light interacts with the colors in the room.

This interaction can be summarized as follows:

Type of exposure Temperature of the light Colors that will work best
South-facing rooms Slightly warmer, yellow light Cooler colors to balance yellow tones
North-facing rooms Cooler, blue or grey light Warmer colors to soften shadows and liven up the space
East- and West-facing rooms Depends on the time of day but could lean cooler or warmer Either warm or cool colors depending on the time of day the room is used most often

Only once you have considered these factors, can you start deciding on a paint color or color palette for any given room.

Finding color inspiration

Finding a color scheme that you love can be an overwhelming decision. This is why many paint brands have created curated online and print catalogues filled with room and design inspiration pictures and examples.

Many different paint brands also have visualizer tools on their websites where you can pick colors to see what these colors would look like together in an actual room.

Some brands even let you upload pictures of your own space to give you a more realistic view of what these colors would look like in your own space.

Interior design magazines also often have professional and well-rounded inspiration photos. These photos may also give you a glimpse of the current trending colors and finishes that the designers are choosing in their spaces.

Creating a mood board of different photos, colors and styles that you find appealing might also help you to narrow down certain colors which you gravitate towards naturally.

Looking at what you already have can also be a great source of inspiration. Your favorite furniture pieces or accessories such as pillowcases or artwork can be a great source of inspiration for the colors in your home.

Since you already love these pieces, chances are, rooms inspired by these colors will also have positive connotations and help your space to feel like it was designed especially for you.

Choosing color swatches

Once you have enough inspiration, it is time to visit the hardware or paint store to start choosing colors. Interior designers all recommend using paint swatches to test your colors before committing to painting your whole interior space.

Choosing about three to five color swatches or even more if you are unsure, is always a smart choice.

Considering the effect that different lighting conditions, furniture and other elements can have on the appearance of the color of your interior paint, it is important to pick up different shades and variations of any color you are considering to see which variations suit the look and mood of your space the best.

Designers also recommend that you paint a large portion of the walls and even different walls and placements with your sample swatch color, to ensure that you get a good idea of what the room will look like once it is covered in that color.

Being diligent and taking your time with choosing and using paint swatches will ensure that you are left with an interior paint color that you will love and appreciate for years to come.

Choices to avoid

When it comes to choosing the perfect interior paint color, knowing what not to do can be just as important as knowing what to do.

If you would like to avoid creating a dull and drab interior color scheme, do not be afraid to experiment with your color choices.

If your mood boards or inspiration pieces indicate a certain color that you would not normally pick for your interior walls, the price of a test swatch is all you can really lose if you want to test this color on your walls.

Not testing colors in your actual space in different lighting conditions can also be detrimental to your overall design. It is always best to swatch your color in the room you are planning to use it in, rather than just relying on a color card in the store.

Swatching colors can give you a better real-life representation of what your color will look like and how it will interact with your furniture, floors, rugs and even other rooms, which will help you to visualize the design of the entire interior of your house and ensure a cohesive design and color scheme throughout the house.


The color scheme of your space is a determining factor in the success of your entire interior design and style.

The undertones of your paint colors and lighting conditions of the room are all important considerations when you choose a color for your home interior design.

You can find many different inspirations for your interior color scheme to help you on your way to choosing the best color for your space.

Moreover, swatching some of the colors that inspired you is also always a good idea, as it will give you a more realistic picture of the overall design and color scheme, and help you to avoid some common mistakes.