How to Match Colors When Decorating

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In decorating terms, matching colors does not mean trying to find the exact same color with which to decorate your couch, walls and other items. Instead, it means finding colors that complement each other and work well together to create a certain ambiance in a room. For most rooms, this means you should have two or three main (meaning for the walls, floors and large pieces of furniture) complementary colors. More than that, and the room might feel cluttered or disorganized. Using only one main color in a room makes the room feel unfinished.

Things You'll Need

  • Color wheel
  • Poster board
  • Color samples

How to Match Colors When Decorating

  • Choose one color that you really like for the walls.

  • Consult a color wheel to see which colors go well with the color you have chosen. The colors opposite the one you have chosen on the color wheel will complement the original color. Choose a few different shades of this color. Most arts and crafts stores sell color wheels.

  • Gather together samples of the shades of the complementary colors you are thinking about, and place them together on a poster board. You can get samples from any store that sells paint.

  • Set up the poster board near a window and observe the colors in different lighting conditions. As the light changes, the colors will look different.

  • Select one or two of the shades to use on the floor in a rug, or in a fabric that covers your sofa.

Tips & Warnings

  • Accessories in a room can be any color, although it is best to stick with complementary or neutral colors if they directly touch one of your main colors, such as throw pillows on a sofa. If you want to match a color exactly for painting purposes, take the sample to the paint counter at any home improvement store. They can use a computer to match the color and create paint of that color.

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