Paint: Select the Best Interior Colors to Make You Smile

    jentsoi/morgueFileAre you planning to paint your home's interior? If so, you may be slightly confused about which paint hues to buy. You've heard "go neutral" is the best advice -- but beige is not really your thing. You'd like something with a little more pizzazz, a color scheme that reflects who you and your family really are ... oh, and maybe a shade to help your cramped kitchen seem a little larger. Most of all, you want the best interior colors to make you happy. Try one of the following interior painting inspirations.

    Create a backdrop for the way you live. If you lead a very full and active life, consider a color scheme based on soft, clean white. It will form a soothing backdrop for the paraphernalia of chalkboards crammed with messages and shopping lists, DIY projects, sports equipment, souvenirs of your travels, and the like. Or choose one of the new neutrals -- calm yet assertive tones like silver gray or pale olive.

    Personalize your space. What's your personality type? Are you a pensive dreamer or an energetic gogetter? Does your personal style tend more toward the timely and trendy or the elegantly classic? Express the inner you with the colors you choose to paint your home.

    Play with light. Your mood can be adversely affected when a room is too dark or, conversely, is overly full of harsh light. Use warmer or cooler shades of paint as a sort of virtual dimmer switch to adjust the effect. This technique can work equally well to visually enlarge a small space or make an enormous one less overwhelming.

    Make it cohesive. You will feel more harmonious and happy when your color scheme flows throughout your home, especially if you have an open floor plan. This doesn't mean that every room has to be painted exactly the same. Instead, choose 3 or 4 basic colors and use them in different combinations and varying shades.

    Accent what you love. Highlight an outstanding element of your decor -- an architectural feature such as a beautifully formed cornice, your grandmother's beloved china cabinet, or a treasured piece of art. Paint in the best interior colors to show it off.

    Bring the outside in. Is gardening your passion? Or does your home face an unforgettable view? Bring all the impact of your blooming flowerbeds or the magnificent local landscape indoors by choosing paint in coordinating shades like daffodil or sea foam.

    Channel movies or cartoons. Base your paint selections on images or personalities in popular movies or cartoons. One example might be Spiderman's iconic red and blue; another more modern one could be the blue and green of the heroes of Monsters Inc. This will create a light-hearted color scheme for a children's room, nursery, or games room.

    Pick your favorite color. We adults often feel just as strongly about our favorite color as children do, although you might hesitate to base an entire decorating scheme on your particular preference. But why not? It's your home, after all. If your partner or other household members object to an all-lavender or all-black living room, use the hue you love to paint a single accent wall.

    Pick everyone's favorite color. The Pantone Color Institute offers a wealth of fascinating yet practical information on color in fashion and home decor: choosing it, using it, and combining it. And every December, the Institute announces its carefully selected, taste-making “Color of the Year.”

    Hire a reliable contractor to paint your home in the best interior colors ... and bring a smile to your face.

    Laura Firszt writes for

    Updated September 9, 2018.

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