How to Choose the Color Scheme for a Home Office

Balance aesthetics, inspiration and a little psychology when you choose a color scheme for your home office. While color won’t calculate profit and loss or finish a report, selecting the right color may inspire you to work more energetically or creatively. Assess your existing furnishing and accents and explore the psychology of color as you select a color scheme for your home office.


    • 1

      Choose a vibrant color. You want your mind to be active when you're in your office, so choose a color that makes you feel awake. Select reds and oranges to create a sense of excitement that stimulates creativity. If red is too much stimulation, choose rich choose purples, greens or yellows, as long as they are strong enough to keep your mind stimulated.

    • 2

      Choose a neutral trim and ceiling color. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. When dealing with a bright or very rich wall color, break it up so it doesn't become overwhelming. Select bright white for trim give the room a sunny, modern feel with reds and oranges, and a Victorian vibe with deep burgundy and purple. Pair rich colors with cream or tan trim. Consider what will work best with the furnishings you plan to add to the room.

    • 3

      Make sure the color you select matches existing furniture and flooring. Remember it's better to contrast the colors completely rather than using tones that seem slightly off together. If you have cherry furniture, for example, select a deep green for the walls rather than another shade of red.

    • 4

      Bring home paint samples. Home improvement and specialty paint stores have color sample cards that you can bring home. Grab as many shades of the colors you're interested in as possible. Even if you don't think it's a tone you'll like, bring it home. Assess the colors at home than in the fluorescent lighting of the store.

    • 5

      Select a contrast or accent color for furniture, flooring or decor in the room. Look for lighter or more neutral shades. Balance the intensity of the room with birch furniture and tan fabrics, which can look stunning against a deep red or orange wall.

    • 6

      Add a few patterned pieces for warmth. Pull your color scheme together with painted vases, a landscape photo and print fabrics. If you have a navy and yellow color scheme, for example, some navy and yellow (with even a hint of red or green) plaid pillows on the chairs add interest to the room. Warm up the space with a patterned area rug that incorporates your room colors. Choose pieces that you like and will enjoy having in your office.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase tiny sample cans of paint to create swatches on the wall. Seeing the paint choices next to one another or against your existing wall color can throw off the eye, however, so you might want to consider an alternative. Paint 1-by-1-foot pieces of plywood with different colors so you can move color samples around the room to hold against furniture, trim and floors.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

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