Color inspiration: where to start | Maine Country Home

Color inspiration

This inspirational post come from Marion Parsons, the mastermind behind Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. She has an amazing blog, if you don’t read it you should!

A few weeks ago she posted a question she had received via email, akin to a “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” It’s a question we get asked a lot here when people are picking colors to update their furniture. The question was, what comes first when you’re redoing a room, where do you start?

Whether you’re doing an entire room, one little piece of furniture, or something in between, here’s a piece of advice to get you started on your redo journey:

Pick something to be your “inspiration”

What that means is it’s the “thing” that all other design decisions are based off of. This can be a wall color, the fabric on your sofa, pillows, a quilt, or your existing furniture.

Here’s an example, we were helping a woman just the other day who was stuck on a color choice for redoing her bedroom set. She had 2 nightstands, 2 dressers, and a headboard. The rest of the room was white or neutral, so it is a great opportunity to add some color. We gave her some options to get the ball rolling:

  • Choose one piece to be the “statement”, and paint that your chosen color. Paint all other pieces a neutral. You can always use pops of your statement color in other pieces, i.e. artwork, linens, etc.
red living room

via DIY Network, Photography provided by Donna Puzifera


statement color

via Pinterest

  • Paint the “statement” piece a bright color, and then lighten that color with either Old White or Pure White to keep them all in the same color family
  • Paint all pieces in a neutral color, but bring in pops of color via stencils, striping, hardware, or painting the inside of drawers

how to introduce color

  • Choose colors that are opposites on the color wheel; blue+orange, yellow+purple, red+green; to paint the pieces in. Try lightening the colors so they don’t seem so overbearing.
blue and yellow
Yellow and blue play well together. You wouldn’t think it, but so do orange and green, as seen below.
A little seaside, a little modern, with a vintage flair (see the ottoman and the legs on the sofa?). It all depends on your style, and how you want your room to feel.
Already have existing colors you’re trying to work with? Same rules apply. Work off your inspiration piece, and all other decisions will follow.
Have a statement wall? Paint all other pieces a neutral and bring in pops of color in linens, artwork, or hardware.
Have a neutral room? Pick a piece or two to become statement pieces. Or choose to keep everything neutral and bring in color elsewhere.
So deep breath, picking colors are easier than you think! And remember, we’re always here to help. You can call or email us with any questions you may have.
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