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Design + Decorate

4 Easy Steps to Create a Cohesive Color Scheme in your House

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written by:

Carrie Barker


Do you find the idea of implementing a color scheme in your home a *little* overwhelming and daunting … maybe even impossible?! It actually isn’t that hard! 

We all have our own color preferences and that is OK! Truly there is no ‘correct’ color palette, but there ARE some basic guidelines you can follow no matter your color scheme.

This post won’t go into color theory or deep explanations of color schemes, BUT you WILL find four actionable steps that can help you create a cohesive color scheme in your house!

create a cohesive color scheme in your house


There are two great places you can look to determine what colors you are naturally drawn to … your current home décor AND your closet!

What colors do you prefer to wear (i.e. what color are your clothes)? What colors do you already decorate with? Do you notice themes or patterns in the color choices?

Both of these places give you insight into what colors you are drawn to and, therefore, should implement in your home. On the flip side, if you no longer like the colors in your home or closet, then it’s time for a change!


Your base color will be your backdrop in the main living areas of your home. This is the paint color that will tie your rooms together. The base can be ANY color … typically people choose a neutral but you don’t have to!

Using consistent color on the walls of connecting spaces (including hallways and second floor landings if visible from below) creates a flow between rooms … especially if you have open floor plan.

I painted the walls of my main living areas Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. I did add textured grasscloth wall coverings in my dining room and kitchen … the grasscloth coverings are neutral and consistent with my paint color so it all flows!

Decor Tip: I recommend that you keep your trim paint color consistent throughout your home as well. Learn more HERE.


Some decorators recommend keeping all colors in the same color family, but I (personally) don’t think this is that important. I love to add pops of bright pink to my very ‘cool’ color scheme. The more crucial thing is to use the SAME 4-5 accent colors throughout your main living areas.

My accent colors include blue, gray, gold, and white (boring to some people, but calming to ME!). I LOVE this cool color palette BUT pink is my favorite color, so I add pops of bright pink into my otherwise very neutral color scheme.

Another option is to use variations of ONE accent color as you move from room to room. For example, use various hues of blue as your accent colors (e.g. blue gray, navy blue, sky blue, etc.).

Decor Tip: WARM COLORS include reds, oranges, and yellows; COOL COLORS include grays, greens, and blues

how to create cohesive color scheme in home

Warm Color Scheme via Domino


Paint your hallways and main living spaces (e.g. family room and kitchen) your base color. Feel free to add a textured grasscloth or other neutral wallpaper in your main living area … just make sure it blends into the overall look of your base paint color.

Your color palette goes beyond paint … you can tie in your accent colors with furniture, rugs, pillows, art, throws, and accessories. Sprinkle your accent colors into each room to create that cohesive flow.

If implementing bold colors, it’s best to keep these contained to smaller items or accessories that you can easily change out if you get tired of the bold color. In my home, my bold is bright pink … I contain this to small accents such as flowers and book covers.

You can see how I created a cohesive (cool) color scheme in my HOME TOUR.

create cohesive color scheme

Cool Color Scheme via Serena and Lily

See … it’s not so hard! Simply use the same base color on the walls of all main living areas, and sprinkle the same 4-5 accent colors into each main living area! You got this, girl!

Don’t worry … you can branch out of your color scheme in your bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room! 

I truly hope these steps help you to feel more confident in your ability to create a cohesive color scheme in your house! Please sign up for my newsletter so you are always the FIRST to know when I publish new design and decor tips! You also will get access to my FREE Design Decision Guided Workbook guide! Sign up HERE!

  1. Erin says:

    I find it interesting that the last picture is considered “cool” colors. I understand that blue itself is a cool color, but the bulk of the color in the room is tans and browns. I tend to like warm colors, and that room looks overall very warm to me. (that said, I am no designer, but just found that interesting because I would not have called that a cool room)

    • I can see what you’re saying! The tans are definitely a warmer tone … but for me, the grays, blues, and white are the colors that dominate that room. These cool colors are what my eyes are drawn to, so the room looks overall cool to me.

      With that said, design is in the eye of the beholder! There is never a right or wrong answer! Each person will interpret design differently!

      • Janet Hartwill says:

        I agree.
        Those tans are neutral and can tip either way depending on accent colors used,
        So since the dominant accent colors were a cool colors, it tipped the feel of the colors of the room in favor of feeling “cool” because it cooled those warm tones down.
        Just as you could, “heat” those same neutrals up by using dominant accent colors in warm tones such as red, and orange.



  4. […] ways in which you can create a feeling of cohesion within your home is by working with colour. Colour scheme is first and foremost when it comes to creating a seamless flow in your home, and selecting a […]

  5. […] I recommend that you keep your door hardware consistent throughout your house as well. This is one of the ways to create a cohesive design flow. […]

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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