Design and Architecture

A Guide to Interior Design Color Schemes

by Ana Maria
March, 2022

When it comes to interior design, colors are one of the most important decisions to make. Your interior design color schemes impact everything from the obvious, like paint colors, window dressings and soft furnishings to background elements like flooring or interior doors.

This guide will take you through all the elements you need to consider when creating your color scheme. You’ll find ideas about how to brighten a room, and what colors work best in what space. You’ll also learn how interior design colors might affect our lives in the long term.

Interior design color schemes: why is color so important?

When we design an interior, we want to create a particular mood. Perhaps the space needs to be a place where people relax and unwind after a long day. Or maybe you want it to be a space where restful sleep comes easily.

On the other hand, we might be creating a space that inspires and enthuses, or that has a distinct party vibe. Color is a crucial way to create a particular mood – a colorful interior will create a space that stimulates and enlivens. Grey room colors will encourage calm reflection.

Another key role for interior design color schemes is to manipulate space. The depth of color you use significantly impacts how ample space feels. Moreover, the way colors work with each other affects the flow and functionality of a room.

The science behind why red is such an excellent choice for dining room paint colors is well documented, and the understanding that blue is calming is part of almost every designer’s DNA.

Is plain white always the best color scheme?

An all-white color scheme has been the go-to for a classy, versatile interior for decades. While white will always have its place, modern designers are moving towards the bolder, more creative use of color.

A colorful room does not have to be loud or intrusive, though. Subtle use of color can break up an open plan living space and create suggestions of varied function, and the practice of having one colorful room as part of an all-white color scheme is often used to a superb effect.

grey room colors

What color is classy?

If you’re in love with the classy tone that a white or neutral scheme creates, you may feel hesitant about using color. It’s easy to associate color with garishness.

However, if used with care, color can be classiness personified. Bold colors like teal, or rich blues, can create an air of elegance, and even more outré colors such as orange can offer sophistication when paired with complementary finishes.

When it comes to interior design color schemes, it’s as much about how you use the color, as the color itself.

Living Room Interior Design Color Schemes

Your living room is often the most used room in your home, and it certainly has a huge range of functions.

Your living room has to be a place for the whole family to relax, a space for adults to snuggle down in after a long day, and a place to entertain.

You may decide to stay neutral in the hope of pleasing everybody. Or, you may branch out and use color to invigorate your space.

If you choose to use a bold color, you may be concerned that your living room will look small. However, this isn’t always the case. Clever tricks like matching the living room wall color with living room paint color create a seamless look that will make a space look larger.

living room interior design color schemes

Brightening a room

A common hope for interior design color schemes is that they will brighten an otherwise dull space. A room that has limited natural light can be tricky to enhance, and clever use of color can be your secret weapon. Sunshine colors are superb ways to brighten a room.

You can use paintings and various wall coverings in soft yellows, zingy oranges, or even sunset hues to spark thoughts of bright sun-filled spaces.

If this color scheme sounds a little too bright, an alternative is soft greens or blues. These have the same effect in that they turn the mind towards thoughts of being outdoors.

Feeling inspired already?

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