How to Choose the Color Scheme for Your Entire House

A step-by-step guide to choosing colors that work together.

Choosing colors that flow smoothly from room to room can be tricky—but you don’t have to paint your whole house from one page of a fan deck. At Edgewood Hall, we used a few palette-building tricks that allowed us to mix bright, bold, dark, and neutral in a way that’s complementary, not crazy.

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Trevor Dixon

1. Begin with your favorite color.

Before we started renovating, I fell in love with this green (Country Squire by Sherwin-Williams) and knew it would look amazing in my butler’s pantry with tortoise wallpaper by Celerie Kemble for Schumacher. The whole palette grew from this point!

2. Stick to the same intensity in the next room.

I thought a light color in the adjoining dining room would feel too jarring next to deep green, so we used a chocolaty brown (Brown Eyed Girl by C2 Paint).

3. Transition from dark to light by adding texture.

In the foyer, we painted a fabric-like wallpaper (Woven Crosshatch by York Wallcoverings) pale blue (Ice Fog by C2 Paint) for a plaster effect. Even though it’s much lighter than the brown, it’s similarly luxe.

4. Then take a step back.

When you stand in this terracotta living room (Foxglove by C2 Paint) and look through the blue foyer into the brown dining room, it feels like a natural progression of color, not like you’re jumping from place to place.

5. Add a surprising note in a familiar color family.

We wanted the hallway’s barrel ceiling to be attention-grabbing from the foyer, so we painted it chartreuse (Al Green by C2 Paint).

6. Go wild in a tucked-away room.

The black-and-gold wallpaper (Kilim by Relativity Textiles) in the powder room is a major departure from the rest of the scheme, but it works in here. We used a high-gloss black trim to match (Black by Fine Paints of Europe).

7. Create a neutral zone.

Because it’s surrounded by so much color, I wanted to keep the kitchen neutral, so we paired white marble and cream cabinets with a black island (Opaque Black cabinet finish by Wood-Mode).

8. Use a consistent trim color.

We used the same off-white from the kitchen (Alabaster by Sherwin Williams) on trim throughout the whole house.

9. Be bold in a window-filled room.

With a calm palette in the kitchen, we went for it in the family room. There’s a lot of really saturated color (Arsenic and Vardo by Farrow & Ball), but with all the windows, it feels light and happy.

10. Tie it all together.

The mudroom wallcovering (Pierson Place by Twigs) and paint (Lounge Green by Sherwin-Williams) incorporates the deep jade and brown from the butler’s pantry.

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