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When planning a home color scheme, your absolute final choice should be the color of your walls. Sounds counterintuitive, but its true! Finding a wall paint color may seem very tempting to tackle first, and appear like the logical place to start, but you will find it very difficult, or even impossible to find items to go with your paint choice. Because matching paint color to stone, carpet or fabrics is way easier than the other way around.

And planning the various aspects of your rooms first before you even enter the paint store will guarantee you the results you can enjoy and be proud of.

Tile, Countertops and Carpeting

Always start your home color design with the permanent, or fixed surfaces. Tile, countertops and carpeting will form the basis for your final color scheme and will ground the room. Determine if you want a soothing, neutral background or you want to go with something with a little more pizzazz.

When choosing natural stone, such as granite, marble or man-made ceramic tiles, note the underlying background color. This will set the tone for the next layer of your home color plan.

Fabrics and Soft Finishes

Choosing fabrics and soft finishes for your home may seem overwhelming at first, but go back to your permanent surfaces for clues. What undertone of color do the fixed surfaces have? If you are not sure, ask the vendor that you purchased the product from.

If you find a chintz or pattern that you love, check with the manufacturer to see what other colors you can choose from.

Accent Pieces

The cake is not done yet, but it’s time to add the icing! Determine if your accent pieces will blend into the decorating scheme or will add a pop of bold color. Think of very modern rooms that use lots of black and white with one strong accent color, such as orange. Remember that repeating a color throughout a room or even your entire home, will reinforce your color theme and add continuity.

Wall Paint Colors

When you have all your permanent surface choices in place, settled on the fabrics and soft finishes in the room and found the perfect accent pieces, then and only then, can you start shopping for the wall paint colors.

Find the common factor in the home color scheme you have put together and decide how you want the box (the walls) that displays your design, to look. You can paint all the walls one color, or you can pull a secondary color out of the scheme and use it to paint an accent wall in one room.

Follow this sequence for choosing colors and finishes for your home, and your remodeling and redecorating projects will go smoother, resulting in a more coordinated and pulled together look.

And if you need more ideas, advice and inspiration for your painting and decorating projects, see “Choosing Interior Paint Colors” and “Creating Room Color Schemes”.