How I Picked A Whole House Color Palette In Under 20 Min.

I am thrilled that this "choosing" process doesn't have to take a week. You don't actually have to try 17 colors on the wall before you finalize a color choice.

I was given the opportunity recently to choose colors for an entire home. It was a BIG one. It was also SUPER easy.

Do you want to be able to do the same? Well, I've written out my method, and distilled it down, just for YOU.

How I Picked A Whole House Color Palette In Under 20 Min.

Grab a Paint Deck:

This will honestly save you so much time as you will avoid sorting through hundreds of color strips at the paint store.

This way you have all of the possibilities right in your hands and you can mull over any color choices right then and there.


Start With the Living Room/Area First:

This is where the time clocks starts. This never takes me longer than 10 minutes, because I tell myself that if I thought about this TOO long, I will get stuck in a cycle of perfectionism and I won't be able to nail down a color.

The color you choose for your main living area will set the tone for the rest of the home and nope, it doesn't HAVE to be a neutral color.

You can paint your whole home with actual colors if you want. That's not a crazy thought. You just need to know how to apply the color correctly and don't worry, it's actually very simple...

You Will First:

Pull a Hue From a Major Furnishing:

Pick an inspiration piece from your main living area. ALWAYS have at least one item to base your first color on. Don't have one yet?

Get one of these first:

  • Sofa

  • Piece of art

  • Area Rug

  • Draperies/Curtains


Next You Will:

After you have chosen one of these items, pull a hue from it. Pick a neutral or a color. If you like color, don't be afraid to go for it!

Whichever one you chose, you will use this color/neutral for your main living area wall and you will base the rest of your home's paint colors upon this one color.

Now you have a starting point. Find a complimentary color to paint the next room, which will probably be the kitchen.

Use this process throughout the rest of the home.

Each room should take around 5 min. Don't stew over these colors, just follow these rules:

Use the "Throw Pillow" Test:

If you can take the paint color of one room in your home, take a throw pillow with the same shade, toss it into the next room and it blends really lovely like, then you've got it made sister.

You simply need to make sure each room is cohesive, and that if you were to take one room's color and insert bits of it into the next, that it would blend nicely. Easy right?


Keep it Cool/Warm, Dirty/Clean:

Are your furnishings cool or warm? What does that mean?

Cool colors have blue and green undertones.

Warm colors have orange and red undertones.

Think of the difference between warm fall colors and cool summer tones.

Every color has a clean and dirty version. Dirty colors are best defined as "muddied" or "grayed out" and a clean color is simply a fresher, brighter version.


Bonus Tip:

Keep comparing the colors throughout the process to make sure you aren’t mixing dirty and clean colors. Compare, compare, compare!

Keep Your Trim the Same Throughout:


Don't worry about two or three different white trim colors throughout.

Sticking with one ensures that the white flows through the whole home and will also be way less of a time suck.

  • Pull out your paint deck and run through the whites.

  • There will be A LOT of them. Don't worry, I got you. I'll explain how to make it break it down:

  • If you have chosen warm colors, use a white with a yellow, warm undertone like Benjamin Moore's Cloud White 967. It's a mix between white and cream.

  • If you have chosen cool/clean colors use a white with a blue undertone like Benjamin Moore's White Diamond OC-61. This beauty is also perfect for contrasting white painted walls.

  • OR use a pure white with zero undertones such as Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace OC-65.

( If you are using Benjamin Moore's paint, which I highly recommend, use Chantilly Lace to compare all other whites to. Find the undertones in all of your whites by putting them alongside Chantilly Lace. Since it's a pure white, it will pull out all other undertones in the others.)

Take Your Colors for a Test Drive:

Test your color throughout your home, by doing THIS FIRST. (Scroll to the bottom of page.)

I wish you the best on your color journey! Do you have any other burning color or design questions? If so, comment below!

If you need help choosing the perfect color palette for your home be sure to check out our Paint E-Design Services. They are phenomenal.

Happy Painting!

Yours truly,


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