How To Use Paint To Compliment Your Home's Style

Paint Your Home to Your Style

Your home should really showcase one cohesive style. This style is something that should permeate through the architecture, furniture, flooring, cabinets, fixtures — and most definitely your home’s paint. The paint, however, is often the most challenging part for a lot of people. Where do you start?

Consistency & Visual Appeal. Image -   Tiffany Hanken Interior Design   MPLS

Consistency & Visual Appeal. Image - Tiffany Hanken Interior Design MPLS

The inside/outside


Paint can have a tremendous impact on the inside your home. A good starting place may be to start by considering your floor color. If you have blue carpet or blond hardwood, those colors make a big difference in the final outcome of your space. If working with an interior designer or seasoned painting professional, they'll often use these colors as a foundation to find complementary colors for the interior of your home. You might also have artwork, fixtures and other items of particular interest that are staying put, that can either directly influence the room or be entirely hidden by the room. You'll also want to consider natural light. If you are prone to create richer, darker tones in your living space then you'll want to do that in rooms that have plenty of natural light to enhance this look rather than create a dungeon that hides your style.


Paint can also make a transformative impact from the curb. The way your home looks and feels to you (but also to those passing by) will be largely driven by your choice of color, trim, and flow. If you struggle with what color choice to make on the exterior of your home, you can pick a starting point to help aid you in your process - such as items that won't be painted. An example might be stucco, stone or brick. Use the colors of these non-painted items to set the foundation for your complementary color palettes. 

Another really helpful consideration is your home's surroundings. Does it sit on top of the street or is set back in some shaded woods? This will drive whether you're going for a luxurious dark look or a brighter appeal to bring it forward.

For many, using lighter shades on the home's main surfaces and darker trim is a good rule of thumb. But there are many homes on the darker side, such as grey or blue, that look great with white trim. The eastern seaboard color scheme... But it really starts with your core items that will drive where your complementary colors are being derived from. 

Some General Guidelines

Seasoned homeowners and professional painters (as well as designers) will all advise never to paint to the detriment of your home's style. When colors clash or clearly don't belong together, it can really upset the style that you have established on your property and your life. 

What is style? Style is a constant and uniform design and feeling that comes about a home. When done well, it will lead the eye and draw you from the inside all the way through the rooms with a feeling of continuity and pleasure. Also, in a very quick snapshot, a friend or 3rd party observer will very quickly understand what your home is about. 

The style of your home is a reflection of you. It's possible that your current home is chaotic and doesn't flow. Perhaps this matches your work or other areas of your life that you wish to change. Vibrant colors, rooms that have hard stops and messy decoration patterns not only can cause mental distress, they can also cause your friends and family to not visit so often. Consistency in your style is fundamental element home décor so that your home is a retreat that soothes and relaxes you.

Start at the curb

We talked about those starting areas on the exterior of your home above - stone, stucco, etc. These are your natural contrasts when it comes to choosing a color template. 

The colors of features you cannot change will provide you with the foundations for painting. You need your chosen colors to complement these external mainstays; otherwise, your property will look undesirable and out of place. Curb appeal... dead. Sometimes people think that the design they have laid out in their head will really stand out, but if not properly thought through they will find that it lacks a focal point of interest from the street.

Since our neighborhoods are our micro-communities you may also want to consider how your home will look in relation to other nearby properties. Though your tastes are not your neighbors, and you might not care at all about what they think, you still want to weave your home into the fabric of your local eco-system. It will draw your neighbors to you and help your property value - two important aspects of homeownership. 

Ultimately, you really don't want your home to look like a tourist attraction. 

Your primary & trim

Again, referencing our comment above, how many homes have you noticed with dark shades as a primary exterior color? There just aren't that many out there. Lighter colors rule on the home's exterior for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that many people like to reserve darker colors for their trims because the two can create powerful and beautiful contrasts that give the property instant curb appeal and "street cred".  

It ok to challenge society's norms though. We mentioned before that some homes look beautiful in the opposite color schemes and ultimately if you're starting with your constant focal points that you can not change, then your home will end up looking natural and well done. 

A beautiful home in darker primary colors that speak to the homeowner's style. The two hunting dogs may give it away...

A beautiful home in darker primary colors that speak to the homeowner's style. The two hunting dogs may give it away...

Interior painting and natural guides

The inside of your home is really no different at all from the outside. It's a direct reflection of you and your personal styles. With that being said, there are items in your home that drive this feeling or ambiance. The floor in each room should be a major consideration when choosing your paint colors for your home. If you have dark colors on your carpet then you'll want to avoid similar colors that clash with it or other existing surroundings. 

Other permanent fixtures such as built-in shelving, fireplaces or benches may also dictate the colors that you choose. These items should be showcase pieces that are complemented by your smart design. Your home guests will always be drawn to the most interesting feature in the room, so why not accent the surrounding wall?

Consistency vs. chaos

Also, briefly addressed above is consistency. Do you know someone who has a chaotic home filled with vibrant colors, contrasting patterns, and interesting interior design choices? We all do... It might be that this design is by their choice. But you may also notice that it also carries over into their work, their personal calendars, and their relationships. The home may be a reflection of their character but their daily life is also very much a reflection of their home. 

Chaos! Image via:  Justina Blakeney

Chaos! Image via: Justina Blakeney

Think about it this way... Have you ever left your kitchen an absolute mess after dinner at night? You go to bed feeling uneasy and incomplete. You wake up feeling even worse because your day starts with chaos. You have to clean it now, but worse yet it creates a mental barrier in your mind while trying to start your day refreshed. Bring your home to a place of Zen and drive consistency from the curb to the bedrooms.

There are also rooms in your house that naturally bleed into one another - perhaps the living/dining room or kitchen/dining room. You probably don't have to have conflicting colors in these rooms as it can create some mental confusion. For example, if one is coming down a soft, neutral hallway that leads into a dark harsher space, it doesn't come off appealing or attractive. An inevitably, it rarely does anything for the overall style of your home. 

Hit it with accents

We absolutely agree that the same color on every wall can look dullsville unless you are blessed with large murals and paintings that have been chosen for the space. Planning out accent walls can completely change the appearance and dimensions of a room. And rooms with interesting focal points such as our above-mentioned fireplaces or built-ins are perfect for accenting. 

By simply painting a wall in a different color than the rest, you can complement the style of your home on any budget - large or small. Accented walls will work in both large and small homes. You just need to choose the right colors for your needs. You'll also find that your friends will be pointing out and noticing things that were possibly lost in the past due to chaos - such as your fireplace, now all due to your excellent color choices. 

Looking to Hire a Pro?

Elite Finisher has helped countless customers make their home look and feel happy, healthy and inviting through paint. If you're looking for professional advice or want get it done right, request a free quote.