6 Spots for Interior Color Inspiration

Color choice can make all the difference in a room’s design. When successful, bold choices are incredibly gratifying. While color selections gone wrong, will quickly undo any good design work elsewhere in the room. With so much in the balance, choosing an interior design color can be agonizing. Here are a handful of suggestions to help get you to the right color quickly.

Color Forecasts

With 2016 right around the corner, the annual color forecasts are upon us. A quick search will deliver color doses by the dozens. There’s no shortage of design blogs playing color prognosticator. But my favorite sources are the paint companies. Behr, Sherwin Williams, and other giants each offer palettes based off of what’s trending in their stores. While you may see common themes, the selections will vary between manufacturers. So if your first stop doesn’t do it for you, hope on over to a competitor.

2016 interior color forecast

A selection of colors from Sherwin Williams 2016 interior color forecast


Pinterest’s visual nature make it’s a natural for design inspiration. When searching for color trends, you’ll encounter palettes, predictions and real-life design samples from pro designers, hobbyists and interior decorating providers. Best of all, your favorite shades can be easily pinned for later. Your Existing Colors One simple design trick is to pull colors that are shade lighter or darker than the colors you are already using. Try this technique if you want to add a bit of contrast while still offering continuity from room to room. If you’ve held onto the original color swatches, they may contain complementary hues for you to try.

Color Tools

As any graphic designer will tell you, there’s science behind successful color combos. Fortunately, countless color tools are available (and many are free) to help you find the winning combination. I’m partial to Adobe’s Kuler (free of charge with an Adobe account) utility. You’ll need a starting color. I recommend picking a hue used in your furnishings. Select the color as best you can from the color wheel and let Kuler offer you opposite, complementary and analogous tones. Export your favorite colors in RGB or other color formats.

Adobe Kuler Color Utility

A look at Adobe’s Kuler color palette building utility

Your Own Adventures

If you’ve got a phone, you’ve got a camera. Get in the habit of using it when you see something inspiring. Like the palette of the new café in town? Snap a photo. Fall in love with the freshly staged colonial you saw at an open house? Capture it. Something in your neighbor’s bathroom catch your eye? Well, maybe ask permissions first.

From Nature

Mother nature may have been the first designer. And her work is just as effective today. Organic colors never fall out of favor. Light neutrals provide a blank slate to work off of, while sea inspired blues and grays make great starting points for bathrooms. While nature’s boldest of colors such as bright reds and oranges may be too intense for heavy doses, they can bring stunning impact when used as accent colors. What sources do you use for finding color inspiration? Let us know in the comments.

Leave a Reply