Posted by Pamela Glassburn in Home Design

When you’re getting ready to choose complementary wall paint colors for a room in your new home, the paint swatch section in your local hardware store can be really overwhelming.

Instead, follow some easy advice for how to pick paint colors that go together from Design Studio Manager Pamela Glassburn in M/I Homes – Orlando.

Living Room With Silver Accent Wall and Green Wall Paint

What to Consider With Paint Color Combinations

When choosing interior paint colors that go together for a room I always want to think of how I want to feel in this environment: do I want it to be restful and calm or vibrant and exciting?

Neutral Living Room With Light Green Accents

I typically go for restful and calm. I want a place of respite where I can sit and relax with my husband and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening.

I always want to select paint colors that have flexibility—neutral or universal. Can I easily just change out my throw pillows and accessories to change the entire feel of the space?

Neutral Bedroom With Bright Orange Accent Colors

This is a practice widely recommended in modern home décor.

“If you love color, you may want to use bold, beautiful pops of color on your walls. But, for most of us it’s best to keep the walls neutral and use those bold pops of color to accents and accessories,” advises Shannon Acheson of Home Made Lovely.

Currently, my favorite color combinations are trending more to the warm gray/taupe (FP Turkish Tower) wall color with a nice crisp white trim (FP Melting Glacier).

Tips for Choosing Different Paint Colors for a Room

Always keep in mind who will be using the space and how this space will function.

Bedroom With Coffee and White Striped Painted Walls

For example, I would not choose the same interior paint colors for a college student’s room, an adult home office, and a toddler play room.

  • For a college student, I would choose a combination a little more vibrant and youthful.
  • For the adult home office, I would choose paint colors that are more subtle and neutral.
  • For a toddler room I would recommend bright primary colors, or, if a child is very excitable, I may recommend softer and more calming colors.

Blue and Gray Flex Room

Dos and Don’ts for Combining Paint Colors

  • Do use complementary colors of the color wheel.
  • Do use natural light to your advantage.
  • Do consider the artificial lighting in your room.
  • Do choose a color that makes you feel happy.
  • Do have the paint store mix you a small sample so that you can paint a portion of a wall so that you can see how it appears throughout the day and night—little swatches can be deceiving.

Teal and Gray Bedroom

  • Don’t choose your paint color in the store; bring the swatches home and view them in your room. Lighting is everything.
  • Don’t use more than three colors in a room.
  • Don’t choose a paint color before you have selected your furnishings.
  • Don’t purchase a paint color because you like it in someone else’s home. That same paint color can look totally different in your room depending upon the lighting and furnishings in your room.

Paint Color Combo Inspiration

I love the contrast and pattern in this secondary bath.

Bathroom With Black and White Patterned Tile and Light Gray Walls

The open living area is very neutral but has many nice textural elements.

Light and Bright Neutral Living Room

The secondary bedroom is youthful and vibrant. I love the wallpaper in this room—it’s not for the faint of heart, but it is so fun!

Bedroom With Bright Colors and Tropical Wallpaper

The owner’s bath is very high-contrast and reflects modern elegance.

Owner's Bathroom With Dark Tile and Light-Painted Walls

Once you’ve chosen the perfect paint color duet, it’s time to makeover your room! Learn about the right way to paint your walls.


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Pamela Glassburn


Pamela Glassburn is the Design Studio Manager for our Orlando Division. She has over 28 years of experience in new home design and has been with M/I Homes for 8 years. Her passion for design and all things color drives her enthusiasm and dedication to help our homeowners personalize their new homes. Seasoned in all areas of interior design, Pamela is relentlessly keeping up with the hottest trends, most popular designs, and latest products.

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