How To Design a Room Using a Color Palette

One of the first steps in designing a room is choosing a color scheme. The internet is full of color palettes with real paint colors ready for anyone to use, but once you choose a palette, what is next? It can be difficult to transform a swatch of colors into a real room. Lucky for you, today I am sharing my easy 4-step plan to help design a room using a color palette. 

The 4-Step Plan:

1. Choose a color palette

2. Rank all the colors (#1 being most dominant in the room)

3. The majority of furnishings or textiles should be in the first 2 colors.

4. The last few colors should only be used once, maybe twice.


To show you how it works, I chose 2 color palettes and designed rooms inspired by the color palettes using my 4-step plan. Here is the first color palette with color rankings:

#1. Darker Blue (second from left)
#2. Lighter Brown (second from right)
#3. Darker Brown (middle)
#4. Lighter Blue (far left)
#5. Brightest Blue (far right)

By ranking the colors, I knew the most important and majority of furniture and textiles had to be in the first 2 colors. The third color (which was the dark brown) was used sparingly but made a huge impact in the big picture frame, legs of the furniture, and some of the pillows. The last 2 colors were used once or twice in smaller items like framed prints and photos.

Couch: West Elm
Rug: West Elm
Media Console: West Elm
Chair: Wayfair
Coffee Table: West Elm
Console Table: Crate & Barrel
Curtains: Pottery Barn
End Table: Target
End Table Lamp: Target
Console Table Lamps: Crate & Barrel
Floor Lamp: Target
Ram Print: West Elm
Cactus Print: West Elm
Watercolor Print: West Elm

This is the 2nd color palette I used to design a room using my 4-step plan:

#1. Dark Purple
#2. Light Purple
#3. Ivory/White
#4. Orange
#5. Teal
#6. Lime Green

The difficult part about this color palette are all the bright colors and I feared the finished room would look like a big rainbow. To avoid this fear, I decided to pick the 2 purple hues and emphasize them. Using the 2 different shades of purple as the most dominant colors helped it feel less like a big, crazy rainbow. I chose to use a lot of wood and gold to play along with the white and ivory to create a nice background for the bright colors to pop. The last three colors (orange, teal, and lime green) were used only in a few accent pieces but made a huge impact on the overall room.

Rug: Rugs USA
Bed: West Elm
Nightstand: West Elm
Curtains: Ikea
Dresser: West Elm
Accent Rug: Rugs USA
Dresser Lamp: Crate & Barrel
Chair: Wayfair
Clock: Target
Floor Lamp: Wisteria
Table Lamp: Target
Floating Shelves: West Elm
Bed Shams/Comforter: Urban Outfitters

Make sure to check out my Pinterest board full of color palettes HERE.