If you've ever stood in front of a wall of paint chips at your local hardware store, you may be familiar with the idea of analysis paralysis. This phenomenon appears when we're faced with many choices and we start to overthink our decision.
When it comes to painting your home, you may be wondering how to choose the right color scheme to create flow. For example, should the hallway be the same color as the living room? How do you choose paint colors that work well together between rooms?
If you're looking at repainting your home interior, but aren't sure where to start, be sure to keep reading below! We're here to unpack all the ins and outs of painting the main living area in your home.
The Problem With Monochromatic Neutrals
The popularity of open floor plans means that you can see almost every corner of your living space. It's easy to default to painting everything one, neutral color to create flow from room to room.
And there are a few rules to painting open spaces that lend to this belief. For example, we don't want to change colors between kitchens and dining rooms if it's one big room. If you don't have a separate foyer or entrance, then it doesn't make sense to change color schemes within the same area.
But if you decide to go with one paint color throughout your entire level, it can come across as flat and, well, boring. In the world of interior design, we want our homes to be inviting, aesthetically pleasing, and memorable.
The Art and Science of Color
Color is both an art and a science. Many of us tend to think of the use of color artistically through painting, design, and emotion. However, the science behind color is fascinating and can be strategically used to create stunning interiors.
Using the color wheel and color theory to guide your design choices is a great place to start. After all, color isn't static. How it looks in a given room will shift and change depending on a variety of factors.
How much natural light does the room get? What colors are most obvious through the windows? Where are the lights placed, and what bulbs do you use?
All these questions and more can influence the look and feel of your home. A color that may look wonderful in one room may not look as pleasing in another.
Colors will appear different depending on the amount and type of light in a room. In darker rooms without natural light, colors will appear darker and, oftentimes, less striking and intense. As the light increases, so does the intensity of the color.
You should take these factors into consideration when you choose colors for your home's interior.
Should the Hallway Be the Same Color as the Living Room?
The hallway, or foyer, is the first impression that guests have of our home and design choices when they first walk in. As such, it's a good idea to think about the effect you want to have on them.
Do you want them to feel as though they're walking into an airy, peaceful, and open space? Lighter, softer colors will help emphasize this impact. Think welcoming blues, soft whites, and gentle grays.
Or do you want to show guests right away your bold, striking design choices with deep, rich color and bright contrasts? Darker colors can create a cozy, den-like feeling and make a stronger initial impact right away.
Regardless of what you decide, the quest remains for many design enthusiasts, for a cohesive and connected aesthetic. But should you paint your hallway the same color as your living room to emphasize this flow? Believe it or not, there is a case for both sides.
Painting It All One Color
If you have a home in which all your living space is connected, then you should stick with one color to create cohesion. Otherwise, you can end up with a chaotic feeling space that seems disjointed when visitors first walk in. Going with one color can also make smaller spaces feel clean, connected, and more spacious.
If you decide to go with one paint color between your hallway and living room, buy a sample of whatever color you decide. Then, paint a few sample swatches on various walls in a different room. You can see how the color looks at different times of the day and in different lighting before doing the hard work of painting your whole great room.
You may not want to completely ignore different paint colors. You can introduce more options in a few different ways. Consider painting the inside of your front door to bring in some contrast. Or add a feature wall with shiplap, hooks, or even wallpaper.Go Bold!
You don't need to stick with neutral wall colors of white, cream, tan, beige, or gray. If you love color, you can also choose bold hues that reflect your personality and style!
To make a bold color work, choose contrasting colors for décor. For example, navy blue walls will look striking with coral curtains or throw pillows. Teal walls will contrast with pops of purple, which can show up in an area rug, lampshade, or even painted accent furniture.Experiment With Wall Treatments
There are many different wall treatments that you can go with that can add interest to any wall. You can choose the same color with different finishes or color intensity to create the illusion of separation and distinct spaces.
Another option is to choose similar shades of the same color that you use in different rooms and sections of your home. Use the paint chips you can pick up from any paint section at your local home improvement store to help guide you.
Changing It Up
If you have cased openings or doorways that create natural separation between rooms, consider choosing a few different, complementary colors when you choose paint colors.
There are a few ways to do this and be successful. Be sure to consider the entirety of your space. You still want to cohesive aesthetic, even if you choose to paint in a few different colors.
Some other questions to ask yourself are:
- What color do you want to be the most prominent as you look around your space?
- What other colors would complement your main color? Remember to revisit the color wheel!
- What is the emotion or feeling you want each room to convey?
- Do you want your space to feel bigger and more expansive, or smaller and cozier?
Once you've addressed some of these questions, you'll have a starting point to begin selecting colors for the different rooms and spaces in your home. Choose three to five colors to start.
You will want to make sure you balance the different colors, shapes, patterns, textures, and shades. Paint colors are only a piece of the interior design picture!
If you don't want to replace all your furniture, wall décor, or rugs, let some of those items help guide your decisions. If you've used navy as an accent color before, you could use sunny yellow walls as a way to introduce more color without needing to buy all new items.
You can also consider different wall treatments and finishes to help add more dimension and depth from room to room. Wallpaper is definitely back again, as are wall stickers to help introduce more of your unique personality into your décor.
How to Create Flow From Room to Room
When you've decided to go with a few different colors between your different rooms and hallways, the question remains how to make sure the rooms still feel connected. Having different colors can work as long as you carefully choose elements that help them feel all part of the same house!
One of the most obvious ways to create a feeling of flow from room to room is to carry the same trim style and color throughout the entire house. White trim is one of the most common styles and can help create a great contrast if you decide to paint with darker, bolder colors. White trim with lighter and more neutral paint also makes a room feel spacious, clean, and open.
Regardless of what paint colors you choose, consistent and clean trim throughout your home is vital to help your home improvement efforts feel more elevated and intentional.
Be careful with what shade of white you choose, however. You don't want to create visual dissonance with a white that looks too bright or even dingy next to your painted walls. A good rule is to choose your paint colors first and then find the right shade of white to complement your different colors and tones.
To make sure that your whole home feels connected, choose an accent color that you can carry throughout the various rooms in your home. Make sure that it compliments all of your different colors and doesn't unintentionally create a color clash that can take your look from bold to busy.
But that doesn't mean your accent color has to be the same shade, tone, and intensity! If you choose a strong color, such as red, you can select various depths of color that are more subtle. The goal is to create a link from room to room without making everything seem predictable.
You could choose a bold, red blanket in one room and a deep, rich scarlet wall hanging in the next. You don't want to overwhelm the space with accent colors, but use it to help create pops of contrasting color.
You can also repeat colors in different areas to reflect the look of different spaces. Perhaps your kitchen cabinets are painted deep, rich emerald green. Use that same shade, or one close to it, on a bookcase in an adjacent room.
Rugs and Flooring
One of the best ways to help connect adjoining rooms is through consistent flooring from room to room. But if new flooring isn't in the budget, you can still unite different color schemes through rugs.
Choose rugs that contain the different colors of your hallway and living room so that both rooms feel pulled together. These colors don't have to match exactly, just contain a similar shade so that your eye recognizes them as being connected.
A rug can also help connect the two spaces physically. A runner is a great way to lead your eye through your hallway and into your living room, dining room, or kitchen. The clean lines of a rug serve as a visual runway to show cohesion.
Well-chosen rugs can also act as a way to create more separation and distinction between spaces within a larger room. If you want to create a breakfast nook within your kitchen, a large, circular rug placed under a café table will create an illusion of a separate space.
The same goes for a reading area or kids' play space. A large rug with thoughtfully placed chairs will give the impression of a distinct space. This separation can help you to get more use out of a large room.
Choosing Your Painting Palette
Are you still asking, "Should the hallway be the same color as the living room?" Remember that your home is a reflection of your personality and style preferences, and sometimes it's fun to take a risk and try different colors between rooms! As trends come and go, it's likely that you'll want to repaint again at some point.
Ultimately, you can create a sense of continuity and cohesion through your décor. This includes rugs, throw pillows and blankets, wall hangings, lamps, and even books. These small details can matter just as much as the paint color you choose!
No matter what you decide, we're here to help you with your interior design decisions. Contact me today to see how I can help you create a cohesive and beautiful home design that showcases your style!