Home Stager with Colorado Premier Staging, LLC
Color swatches

Have you ever had color block? You know, that terrible, queasy feeling that comes when you can't decide if the colors you've chosen (and purchased) to paint your rooms are the right ones?

Or have you picked out a chair or sofa only to get it home and find the color just doesn't go? Here are some tips to help ensure you don't have color regrets.

  • Determine your Overall Color Scheme. Choose 3 complimentary colors.
    1. Choose your color scheme based on colors in your existing furniture and artwork. Or, if you are starting from scratch, based on colors you enjoy
    2. Study the color of your clothes. Most people buy clothes in the colors they like and feel good about. Similarly, you should decorate your rooms in colors you like, enjoy and feel good about.
  • When choosing your colors keep the Color Wheel in mind. In general, analogous color schemes; i.e., colors next to each other on the color wheel, are more casual and relaxing and work best in informal or private spaces; for example, blue and green. This is a good strategy to use for a bedroom or master bathroom, where you want to rest and relax. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel really pop and can add great interest; for example, blue and orange. These are fun colors for a child's room or to add energy to an office space.
  • Use the 60-30-10 rule. Use your dominant color for 60 percent, your secondary color 30 percent and 10 percent as your accent color. The walls and carpeting are normally the majority or dominant color. Use the neutrals from your color palette, like blues, greens, whites, grays, browns and beiges, for your wall color and carpet color. Use varying shades of your dominant color to add visual interest. For example your carpet is a deep forest green while the walls are a softer moss green. The secondary color is used on your upholstery and area rugs, and lastly the accessories such as floral arrangements, throw pillows or artwork would make up the final accent color. Hint: Make your accent color fun, and one that pops!
  • Decorate your space vertically, from dark to light. Think about nature! The earth, grass, dirt are darker value colors while the sky is lighter. Use the darker color values for the floor, medium for the walls and light for the ceilings.
  • Carry your color scheme throughout the house. That doesn't mean you have to use the exact same colors throughout. You can use varying shades of the same colors to add interest to the home. For example, if you used a red sofa in the living room use a toned down burgundy for the upholstery on your dining chairs. Or, use the same basic paint color you have in the living room for other rooms but have the hardware or paint store tone it down slightly by adding white.
  • Stick with your own personal style. You've got to live with it once it's done. If you take your time and do it right, you'll have a hit. People will love visiting your home and seeing you in the décor.
  • Remember to add a few Black Accents in each room; e.g., a black vase, black picture frame, black trimmed clock, etc. Black brings the colors together and adds the "final touch" to your rooms.

Good luck and have Fun decorating!!


If you need help with choosing colors, we have a great Color Analysis service just for you. Give us a call.

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If you are in the Denver Metro Area, give us a call. We can help with all your Home Staging needs including Vacant Home Staging, Curb Appeal and Color Analysis.


Teri Clardy, PMP &
APSD Certified Home Stager, Vacant & Distressed Property Stager & 
Home Stager Trainer
Colorado Premier Staging, LLC
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Comments (8)

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Never have color block. The best colors are outdoors in Maine!

May 08, 2013 01:54 AM
Karen Gray Plaisted
Design Solutions KGP~ Home Staging and Interior Decor - Warwick, NY
Staging Spaces, Renewing Places, NY


Great post and lots of good information. When selling, some of the colors may need to be toned down so they have a wider appeal to buyers. Smart agents and home sellers know this. Those loved colors instead can be used in accents. Thanks

May 08, 2013 02:04 AM
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Teri -- thank you for some very insightful information on properly selecting colors for home decorating.  My wife has been making some noises about needing to do some painting, so this might come in very handy.

May 08, 2013 05:10 AM
Teri Clardy
Colorado Premier Staging, LLC - Littleton, CO
APSD Certified Home Stager Pro

Karen, thanks for stopping by. You're right. When painting to sell you need to stay neutral but neutrals can be fun and exciting too if used correctly.

May 09, 2013 01:51 AM
Teri Clardy
Colorado Premier Staging, LLC - Littleton, CO
APSD Certified Home Stager Pro

Steven, thanks. I hope this can help make choosing your paint colors easier and more fun!

May 09, 2013 01:52 AM
Teri Clardy
Colorado Premier Staging, LLC - Littleton, CO
APSD Certified Home Stager Pro

Andrew, great pictures of Maine on your link. We've got some fabulous colors here in Colorful Colorado :-)

May 09, 2013 01:52 AM
laura turley
Novel Home Design - El Paso, TX


I had color block in my own home but at the end it came out amazing. Great post and tips. Thanks

May 09, 2013 02:23 AM
Teri Clardy
Colorado Premier Staging, LLC - Littleton, CO
APSD Certified Home Stager Pro

Thanks Laura, I'm glad your colors worked well. One of the great things about paint is it can be changed if you mess up. :-)

May 10, 2013 01:16 PM