Picking a Colour Palette for Your Home Interior Design

choosing colour palette for residential interior design
choosing colour palette for residential interior design

The most challenging part of designing your home is picking your colour palette. The colour palette is the most critical design decision for every homeowner, as it plays a crucial role in determining how your home looks and feels. Choosing one colour is already tricky enough, and now you have to co-ordinate colours for your entire home. So how should you begin?

In this article, we will be sharing the basics of colour, how it affects your home, and some tips for you to start your journey.

Basic Colour Terms

Picking the ideal colour palette can be a tricky process, especially when you are not familiar with the terms used. Before engaging with a professional residential interior design firm, here are a few terms that you may want to get acquainted with.

Primary Colour

The primary colours are red, yellow and blue. These colours can’t be formed or mixed by a combination of colours.

Secondary Colour

The secondary colours are green, orange and purple. Secondary colours can be derived from mixing primary colours.

Tertiary Colour

Tertiary colours are formed by mixing a primary and secondary colour. The six tertiary colours are red-orange, yellow-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green and yellow-green.


When interior designers mention shades, it refers to the darkness of the colour. Shades are created by adding black to any colour, creating a darker version of it. For example, when you mix black with blue, you will get a navy or midnight blue shade.


Tints are the opposite of a shade. Tints are created by adding white to any colour, creating a lighter version of it. For instance, when you mix white and red together, it forms pink. Pastel colours are tints as it is a pale tone of colours mixed with white.


Tones are formed when you add grey (both black and white) to any colour. It is often used to tone down the intensity of the original colour. Depending on how much grey has been added, it will affect the dullness of the paint.

Understanding The Colour Wheel

colour wheel for home interior design

A colour wheel is a valuable tool when picking your colour palette. Designers often play around with the colour schemes until they get the perfect combination. Understanding the six-colour scheme will give you the upper hand in designing your dream home.

Monochromatic Colour Scheme

The monochromatic colour scheme is trendy amongst homeowners as it’s hard to go wrong with it. The monochrome palette will use various shades, tones and tints of colour, for instance, magenta and royal purple. It is the easiest choice among the colour schemes as you’ll only be looking at a slice of the colour wheel.

Analogous Colour Scheme

Analogous colours include 3 slices of the colour wheel that are next to each other. These colours work well together without creating too much contrast or dimension to your colour scheme. Referring to the colour wheel, some example of analogous colours are red, orange and yellow.

Complementary Colour Scheme

Opposites do attract, and so do the complementary colours. You can find these colours by choosing one colour directly across from it. This colour scheme is distinct from the rest, which creates a stimulating effect that draws people attention.

Triadic Colour Scheme

Triadic colours have a strong contrast, similar to complementary colours. However, it is the combination of three colours that are evenly spaced out on the colour wheel. This is the safest bet if you are looking for a different colour contrast. Examples of a triadic combination are red, yellow and blue.

Split Complementary Colour Scheme

This scheme uses two complementary colours that land right next to each other on the colour wheel. Using this colour scheme gives your interior designer more colour options and flexibility to experiment with. Examples of the split complementary colour scheme are purple, blue, orange and yellow.

Tetradic Colour Scheme

The tetradic colour scheme is also known as a double complementary colour scheme. This scheme is made up of two complementary colours on the colour wheel. These colours can be confusing as there is no clear dominant colour. Therefore, we would recommend that you pick one as the dominant colour and the rest as accents to your home.

How Colour Affects Your Home

neutral colour living room and home

Now that we have a better understanding of the colour wheel let’s move onto the next step-considering how colours affect the mood of the interior.

The range of colours chosen has a substantial impact on the overall presentation and style of your home. Furthermore, colour theory has proven that the choice of colours directly influences the mood of a house’s occupants.

Warm colours tend to inspire confidence and cosiness, on the other hand, cooler colours create a relaxed mood and calm atmosphere.

Likewise, colours can enhance the feel of a space- making it feel bigger or smaller, depending on the shade. For instance, light colours tend to feel airier and make a space appear more spacious compared to darker tones. Therefore, you should ensure that your colour palette suits the vibe and mood you wish to go for.

Tips To Getting Started

Now that we have gone through the basics of colour and how it can affect your home. The real colour picking journey starts begins. Here are some tips for those who are confused about how to begin their colour palette journey.

Start With The Flooring

Many homeowners tend to get overexcited at the prospect of colouring their house. In the process, they tend to work on areas on eye level, which are the walls. Walls do have a greater variety of colour options, and are relatively easy to replace, unlike your flooring. Therefore, we recommend that you start your colour palette picking exercise with the floor before you move on to another. To ensure all aspects of your space complement one another.

Test Your Potential Palette

close up of man looking at potential pantone palette colours for home

Utilise paint swatches to narrow down your colour choices based on your style. Bring home some test paints to do swatches as swatches on a card could differ from the end result. Paint your own swatches and access each colour to see if it visually links your space together.

Picking the right colour palette is a marriage of art and science. Like many other skills, it gets better with practice. If you are still unsure or not confident in picking colours for your home, you should then contact an interior design consultant. With professional advice and a fresh perspective, you should be much more confident in finding the right colour palette for your home.

Why choose Visual ID as your Interior Design Partner

Visual ID is an interior design consultancy firm in Singapore, specializing in interior design services catering to personal residential designs. With our competitive pricing, large portfolio, and evolving industry knowledge, Visual ID is the ideal solution for all your design needs.

Contact us to find out more about how you can design your ideal interior designed home.