Did you have a kaleidoscope when you were little?  One of those long tubes, which, when you twisted it, changed colors?

Kaleidoscope clip art

The colors in a kaleidoscope mostly stay the same.  One color may drop out, and another drop in, but mostly the same colors are seen – twist, after twist, after twist.

It’s the balance of the colors which changes.  The main color becomes an accent color, or a secondary color, while one of the less important colors in the previous image, becomes the main color this time.

Color flow in an interior space is like that.

You may have a wall color in one space, which becomes a ceiling color in the next space, the furniture color in the next space, or the window treatments in the following space.

The paint can’t do it alone.  So when you plan one space, think about the adjacent spaces, and how you can keep a cohesive “wardrobe” of colors in the home.  You don’t have to have a different color in every space – but you might vary values of color (see my Color 101 post on value) , and think about colors in  your upholstery, your artwork, , or perhaps your china, which could be used in additional ways in your home (or small business).

If you are just starting out, and you want the paint color in your first home to carry the space, look for an inspiration piece – a fun poster, a great pillow- which can help you develop a color story.

And have fun.  You want your colors to be ones which recharge your battery, soothe your soul, or cheer you on a dark day.  You are the only one who knows what those colors are.  Whether you prefer soft neutrals, or bold brights, or classic historical colors, or quiet pales,  you can know – that if you listen to yourself, you will know when you have selected the right colors.