Choosing the right color

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Choosing the colors for your home can be a difficult and stressful task for some.  We (Green Clean – Eco Painting) like to help home owners make informed decisions about the color options when planning a painting project.

We incorporate our color selection help system into our estimate & proposal phases. During the initial estimate we bring our color swatches or color wheels, and take pictures of the spaces. Using a digital camera we can upload the room/space pictures into computer based program, and fill in the recommended colors into the designated spaces. Below are two of the programs we use.

BEHR: Paint Your Place

Sherwin Williams: Color Visualizer


Because it is important to choose colors that you feel represent you and your family, we begin with understanding the styles or types of home that are associated with particular colors. This does not say that certain colors only go with certain homes, but it does provide a base line for our clients to make informed decisions. Listed below are some basic house styles with associated pictures.

  • America’s Heritage: Ranging from exuberant hues that adorned ornately appointed Victorians to the softer, restrained shades of Craftsman bungalows, our featured color combinations are based on authentic schemes from their respective areas.


  • Desert & Southwest Style: The Desert & Southwest Style Palette highlights the warm, earthy tones of sun-baked adobe homes, terra-cotta roof tiles and desert sands with just enough contrasting hues of green and gray to cool you off.


  • Northern Shore & Seaports: In the Nothern Shores & Seaports Palette, you’ll find softened shades of traditional colors found throughout nature. Slate blue, dusty red and subdued gray-green tones offer a calming serenity reflective of a vast, pristine landscape.


  • Southern Shores & Beaches: Throughout the Southern Shores & Beaches Palette, look for sun-washed tones that are as hospitable and accommodating on a breezy ocean side veranda as they are in a formal parlor served up with sweet tea.


  • Suburban Modern: Offset the rich ambers, avocado greens and inky blues of the Suburban Modern Palette with neutral tones and aluminum or stainless steel accents for a sleek, contemporary style.


  • Suburban Traditional: The Suburban Traditional Palette had established color combinations that befit traditional residential architecture and blend well with suburban landscape


Like any project it helps to get many different perspectives or inputs from professionals, friends, or family. The colors are going to be with your home for many years, so it is important to consider different options.  When looking at the exterior of your home, what are the areas that stick out? Is it a prominent porch, a peak, or the body itself? Then you can start to consider what colors could either enhance that location or make it more subtle. You may want to consider what direction your house faces in relation to the sun throughout the day. This not only helps in consideration for exterior color selection, but interior as well. Once you understand the style of your home and how it is situated, let’s look at some of the color considerations.

  • Hues within the same family or next door neighbor provide subtle transitions
  • Opposites attract/Opposite spectrums of the color wheel (i.e. blue & orange or green & red)
  • Warm and cool colors help highlight certain areas


When looking at the interior spaces within a home it is important to understand the different types of decorating styles and the colors associated with them. Below are some examples…

  • Traditional:  A fresher modern approach, however, shifts these classic-looking rooms to a lighter palette. As opposed to rich warm tones like red and yellow, walls are washed in taupe, cream, or pale lavender. Window dressings become tailored drapes, sheers, or shades.



  • Country:  Cheery barn-red, yellow, dark green, gray, buttermilk, rust, and straw — or marriages of neutral walls with trim done up in heady colors such as blue and wine-red. For a contemporary country look, especially in a small space, paint your room’s walls, trim, and ceiling cream or soft white.


  • Cool Contemporary:  Unlike the old days when modern meant stark, laundry-white walls, today’s monochromatic rooms are done up in soothing shades like sand, gray, or cream. A burgeoning interest in the environment has designers also culling tones from the outdoors such as pale green and blue to offset light wood and metal furnishings.


  • Retro: Neutral walls accommodate a tongue-in-cheek assortment of offerings. When quarters are tight, white or cream surfaces expand space. In a retro kitchen, glossy white cabinets, lots of shiny chrome counter edging, and stainless-steel appliances are a classic dish


  • Arts & Crafts
  • Casual Chic
  • Southwestern
  • Spacious

The important concept to understand when choosing interior paint colors, is understanding what the room is being used for.  Also, what rooms or room is connected to the one being painted? It is extremely important to ensure that the color of one room does not conflict with the color of another. Start with the basic understanding of the whites, lights, midtones, and deep colors that are associated with interior paint selections.

                Bed & Bath Spaces

Let’s start with a home’s bedroom and bathroom which usually are connected or close by each other.  The bedroom is your private retreat that allows you to collect your thoughts and get ready for the day’s events. We like our bedrooms to feel peaceful enough to sleep, while having the ability to awaken refreshed and energized. Your bathroom gives you more privacy and should be designed around comfort.

  • Traditional:  Subtle colors from soft, creamy yellows, to restful blues, and rich browns.
  • Modern:  Sophisticated colors and streamlined, that are bold, combined with deep (i.e. merlot with neutrals). Combinations that provide the appearance of balance.
  • Country: Informal and warm colors, giving the inviting look like hues of floral pink, southern purple, creamy yellows, to misty green

Living & Working Spaces

We want our living areas not only to be comfortable to ourselves, but to anyone visiting the home.  Our living spaces can be either connected to our kitchen or dining area, and should give off a warm/inviting feel.  Our working spaces are geared towards productivity and should be well organized and have plenty of storage space.

  • Traditional: The distinguished & elegant look using deep colors for the walls with lighter colors for the trim.
  • Modern: Embrace uncluttered space with clean lines with pure colors working well. Hues ranging from vivid red to crisp green
  • Country:  Simple & unpretentious look using soothing lavenders, and restful greens

Kitchen & Dining

The kitchen is the activity center of a home. It is where the family sits down and interacts together to prepare meals and eat them. They are fun, sociable, and usually one of the more popular areas of the home.  The dining room should be able to transition from a family meal to a romantic dinner

  • Traditional:  Timeless and elegant with slightly muted colors. (dignified blues, wine reds, and earthly orches)
  • Modern: Look sleek, simple, and streamlined using cool hues like spa blue, organic greens, metropolitan styles
  • Country:  Comfortable and relaxed with rustic elegance using hues ranging from sunny yellows, spicy earth tones, sky blues, and soothing lavenders.

                We hope that this article/guide helps you decide what colors to use for the exterior or interior areas of your home. Check in with us next month when we cover some basic interior application considerations.

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