Our Whole Home Color Palette

I feel like it’s been a HOT minute since I’ve posted on here. Life gets crazy for us around the start of October and it doesn’t stop until New Years Day! But I’m not complaining, this is my favorite time of year. I’ve been keeping pretty active on my Instagram, so make sure you are following over at @jncrothers to keep up-to-date with our current projects, trips and fun little lifestyle posts not featured here on the blog.

Speaking of Instagram,

I have had a TON of messages come through recently with requests for paint colors throughout our home. One sweet lady said that she had even searched through my entire blog trying to find them with no success. Oi! Huge miss on my part – I didn’t even think to tag the paint colors when I’m sharing updates in spaces of our home! So, today I’m going to give you a tour of our whole home color palette and give some tips and tricks on how to implement a whole home color palette in your home.

Something I hear from almost every guest that enters our home is…

“I love the colors. I love how it all flows.” When we built this home I knew that having a whole house color palette was essential to making sure every separate room flowed together. You will always be successful when you plan your home as a whole, instead of approaching each room as if it is its own space. On top of our paint colors that I chose, I wanted to make sure that we brought in a lot of natural colors, wood tones, metal and a crisp white. See below for the breakdown of colors by name, brand and room in our home.

But let’s go back about 3 years of practice and knowledge, because even with pretty paint colors, you may be disappointed with the results in your own home. Let’s talk about why that might be and some of the questions that will be key to understanding how to make your whole house color palette a success.

How DO you create a whole home color palette?

What is this sorcery and how did you learn about it?

I’ll be honest, I definitely took cues from model homes, crate and barrel and restoration hardware. But mostly, model homes. It just so happens that touring model homes is one of our favorite weekend activities for free inspiration!

In model homes, there’s typically a color scheme that’s carried throughout the house, but instead of feeling dull, it flows so well! How do they do it?

Well, they use a limited number of colors but use them in different ways in each space, creating a home that flows from one room to the next. And even if the style varies a bit from one room to another, the colors connect each room.

You see?! It’s all about the colors. Keeping a common undertone in all of your paint choices is key otherwise your paints will fight each other, always.

WAIT. What the heck is an undertone?

a subdued or muted tone of color.”

Okay, yeah sure Jennifer, I still don’t know what you mean…

Without going into the world of color theory… have you ever picked a gray for your home, began painting and stood back and said “Woah. What happened here? Did I choose a blue by accident? Is that brown? Wait, green? Even a little purple?!” There are three traditional undertones: warm, cool, and neutral.

Undertones are the secret code of every color. Once you crack the code, you can choose paint color with confidence. It would be perfectly reasonable to expect that your new blue paint would look just fine with white, but the green undertone in there makes it a terrible match for the pink undertone in the white paint color you chose.

Understanding Undertones and Masstones

When looking at any color, your eyes can quickly identify its masstone. This is the main aspect of a color so that when you see it you say, “Oh, that’s blue.” The undertone is the subtle influence of one color underneath the masstone that distinguishes it from similar colors. The undertone is not always readily apparent until it is paired with other colors, or under certain lighting.

The quickest way to determine undertone is to compare it to a color that you know to be a true color in the same masstone. If you are trying to find the undertone for a red, then compare it next to a true red. This will give you an idea of whether your red has more yellow or violet undertone.

Gray is the easiest way to illustrate the idea of undertones – because everyone knows, choosing a “good” gray for your home SUCKS. It’s seriously one of the hardest things UNLESS you know about undertones.

So, how do I create a whole home color palette?

COLOR 1:  PICK A WHITE.

This white will be your go-to color for trim, doors, the insides of closets, and maybe cabinetry, and painted furniture.

COLOR 2: PICK A NEUTRAL.

This will be your go-to color for walls that connect rooms like halls and open living spaces.

COLOR 3: PICK ONE SATURATED COLOR.

This will be the starting point for the rest of the colors so like we talked about before, go with a color you love. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that this will be a color that is necessarily on your walls. We’re talking about a whole house color palette, so this is just going to be a main color.

COLOR 4: PICK ANOTHER COLOR.
  • If you’re going for a monochromatic color scheme this color will be a lighter shade of color 3.
  • If you’re going for a harmonious color scheme this will be a color that is next to color 3 on the color wheel. It doesn’t have to be the same intensity.
  • If you’re going for a complementary color scheme, go to the color wheel and find color 3. Then move directly across the wheel and choose that color or one up or down from it.
COLOR 5: PICK AN ACCENT COLOR.

This will be the accent color in some spaces but may be the main color in other spaces. Since you’ll be using this color palette in your whole home, the colors you choose will be used in different ways in each room to keep it interesting.

NOW WHAT?

Now that you have a color palette, it is all about using the colors (or variations of the colors) you chose differently in each room.

That’s right.  You don’t have to stick to those exact colors. Remember this is just your guide. Going up or down a shade or 2 to make it work in the space you’re doing is great.

HERE’S MY WHOLE HOME COLOR PALETTE

Dining Room – Whale Gray by Behr

Interior Base Color – Anew Gray by Sherman Williams

Foyer – Rainy Days by Magnolia

Foyer Hallways and Mud Room  Silver Birch by Glidden

Wainscoting + Board and Batten – Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore

Exterior Color/Backyard Planters/Outdoor Trash Can Storage – Sharkskin by Behr

 

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