How to Build A Color Palette

How to Build a Color Palette

One of the scariest things, even among designers, is creating a custom color palette. Many of us don’t understand why a specific color palette works, just that it does. Exploring the uncertain waters of creating your own unique color palette from the near infinite options may not be as hard as you think. Thanks to our color matching tool, creating a color palette or matching your paint color can actually be simple and fun!

Custom Color Palette - How & Why?

Typically, we go to the hardware store and look at the preselected color palettes and nod or shake our heads until we find something we can settle for, but what if you aren’t building a room from scratch - how do you make sure that the colors you already have and the colors you want work together? Welcome to the world of custom color palettes; don’t worry, we’re here to help (and make it easy).

Paint Color Matching Made Right

Who said that things made easy were best? After all, shouldn’t the design elements of your home be made right or best, not just easy? By looking for design elements that highlight and enhance your space first, then searching for the easiest ways to achieve that, you’re sure to come out with a better end result than someone who just starts at the path of least resistance. When you’re taking on the challenge of paint color matching to ensure that any color you choose works with your flooring, furniture, design elements (existing and to be selected), and even neighboring rooms, you’ll need a bit more than a “close enough” when looking at the wheel of color palettes at the hardware store; you need a custom color palette.

Getting Started

Traditionally, color palettes weren’t just made from trial and error or even from a thorough understanding of color theory, but from nature. This makes sense, of course, as the colors that we find visibly pleasing have to be that way for a reason. If you imagine a beautiful sunset, where reds, pinks, blues, and oranges all meld together with puffy white clouds to create a beautiful contrast with the lush green leaves and grass they meet above, then you’ll begin to see how people have been making amazing color palettes for centuries. When you see a flower or stream that takes your breath away with its natural beauty, take a moment to study the brightness, tone, and hue of the colors you’re seeing - you’ll soon find the complementary colors found in nature strike at the heart of color theory. Of course, we don’t expect you to take a sabbatical in nature to find the ideal colors for your dining room, which is why we created the Color Muse.

Basic Color Palette Advice

If you’re new to designing a color palette, there are some basics to look into first. We’ve all seen the color wheel, which is basically just a rainbow bent into a circle, but few understand that the interactions between these colors makes up the basics of color theory. Whether you’re looking at the basic color wheel or a much more advanced secondary or tertiary color wheel, the colors neighboring and adjacent to the color you’re looking at are always complementary or provide accent, meaning that many designers begin with one color and then work in a line, square, or diamond from this to come up with a color palette that works. Throw in some neutrals that work with your base color, such as a blue-grey to compliment your orange, and you’re up and running. The best advice we can give is to begin with palettes you already like, and then make adjustments from there. Often, color palettes include about five colors, with more neutral or central colors making up most of the design and the sharper accent colors representing the least used. Just remember that a little color can go a long way, so don’t feel pressured to make your starter color the most widely used - contrast is key to making a great design.

We’ve Done the Hard Work

Our powerful color matching tool makes the perfect accessory to keep handy when creating a custom color palette or even matching backwards from a paint color. With our free corresponding Android or iOS app, you can easily create your own color palettes to match exact colors to your home on the go. We’ve taken the guesswork out of paint color matching and removed the need for you to bring fabric and flooring with you to go buy paint for your home; you can keep it all on our app and use your Color Muse to easily check how the colors will work with another in real time.

Find your perfect color with Color Muse today!