In Living Color: 7 Tips for Brightening Your Home's Palette

Choosing the right color can be an overwhelming experience—just think of all the color options that you find when you visit your local home center or paint store. If you want to move from neutral palettes to bright, bold colors, the task becomes even more challenging. There are, however, ways to feel more comfortable with choosing and living with bright paint colors. Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, shares some helpful tips on how to easily brighten your home's color palette.

  1. Turn on the TV

    Painted Front Door

    Quick-makeover TV shows can actually inspire you to feel more comfortable with color. On these shows, people are often involuntarily pushed beyond their color comfort level, and most are pleasantly surprised by the results.

    Related: 10 "Welcoming" Front Door Paint Colors

    Emily LaMarque Design Studio

  2. Look Around You

    Paint Color Ideas

    To find colors you’ll love to live with, survey your wardrobe, walk in your garden, or hunt around your house. A favorite scarf, flower, or throw pillow may help you identify the perfect paint color.

    Related: Winning Combinations—10 "Can't Miss" Color Schemes

  3. Utilize New Technology

    Paint Color Apps

    Web tools and smartphone apps have completely transformed the color selection process—for the better! One example is Sherwin-Williams's ColorSnap, a mobile app that shows what different shades would look like on the walls of any room you've "snapped" a photo of.

  4. Get a Sample

    Paint Color Samples

    Images in magazines or on the computer can point you in the right direction, but the only way to really see how a color will look in your home is to get a sample from a retailer.

    Related: 21 Expert Picks for "Fail-Safe" Colors

  5. Save Your Walls

    Small Walls

    Rather than painting a square that will later need to be covered with primer, try out Small Wall. You can move these adhesive-backed paint sample boards around the room to observe the effects of sunlight versus artificial light. Likewise, you'll be able to judge how the color will look beside furniture or artwork sharing the space.

  6. Start Small

    Blue Bathroom

    If you're feeling timid, experiment with color in a cozy powder room or an out-of-the-way guest bedroom. Then if you're pleased with the look—and if friends can't stop complimenting your choice—consider a bolder palette for other spaces as well.

    Related: 17 Tiny Bathrooms We Love

    Carla Aston

  7. Break It Up

    Red Walls

    Still overwhelmed by the thought of four walls of color? Consider an accent wall, or if you have waist-high wainscoting, paint a bright shade up above and white down below.

    Related: Look! 11 Painted Ceilings That Wow

  8. For More...

  9. Don't Miss!


    Believe it or not, even with the vast number of paint color options available, a select handful of hues surpass all the others in popularity. We spoke with industry experts to uncover their best sellers. Click to view now!