paint color swatches

Between character-based colors, Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year and new color combinations that come in and out of vogue, there are a lot of color considerations to remember when painting your home. But many of us want a fresh look, and one that will last longer than a season when it comes to paint jobs. Read on for how to balance trends and timelessness when it comes to paint and color schemes.

paint can white

Image via Pixabay under license CC0

Use Trends as a Starting Point

Trends are a great way to get guidance in a fresh look. But it’s important to remember what trends really are: fresh ways to look at style. A newly painted room is a bit of a commitment, since you probably don’t have the time or inclination to repaint your house every season. So be sure to keep your own preferences in mind, rather than only chasing trends. You’ll ultimately be the one living with the color for a while.

Image via Stocksnap under license CC0

Image via Stocksnap under license CC0

To those ends, feel free to look at what’s hot and trending for new ideas and general inspiration at places like Benjamin Moore or Houzz. That will help you play with color combinations, in particular.

Combining colors is one of the joys of playing around with a home’s wall colors. Trending color combinations are also where you’ll draw tons of inspiration. For instance, high-contrast color combinations, two-toned walls and brown/white color palettes are huge right now. You’re bound to find fun ideas you haven’t thought of yet.

interior, lovely apartment, staircase view

Knowing What Each Color Conveys

One of the best ways to achieve timelessness in a color scheme is to know the general mood behind each color. Every color comes with its own associations; and depending on what mood you want to give a room, those will determine which color to choose:

green leavesGreen: This classic color is one of the ultimate soothing hues and is a great choice if you want a room to have a natural, relaxing vibe.





blue sky cloudsBlue: Pale to medium shades of blue will create a relaxing, fluid feel. Darker shades pack an intense, regal feel.





rain dropsGray: This is a neutral color that works if you don’t want to draw attention to a wall. It pairs well with accent walls.




peony up closeWhite: If you’re going for a clean or modern aesthetic, you’ll want to choose white walls.




charcoal blackBlack: Black walls are a great option for when you want an intense feel or a statement look in your home.




raspberriesRed: The ultimate power color. Paint your walls red if you want a room that is energizing and dramatic.




japanese cherry blossomPink: Softer shades give a sweet, innocent feel to a room. Saturated hues are great for bold, artistic styles.




purple crystalsPurple: Deep shades give off a regal and intense look, while lighter shades are relaxing and cheerful.




orange windmillOrange: This is a surprisingly versatile color. You can go with lighter shades to add a subtle warm feeling, a dark orange for a dramatic and powerful aura or bright shades for a wild, artsy look.




wood stumpBrown: This is a classic color that you can use to create a rich sense of coziness in its medium to dark shades, or use the lighter shades for clean and neutral.




lemons glassYellow: Here’s another versatile color. The lightest shades will give a bright, sunny feel without being too overwhelming. The deeper golden hues will pack a bright, energizing punch.




A note about ceilings: Unless you want a room to have a hyper-consistent, boxed feeling, choose a different color for the ceiling. Good options that will open up the room are basic white, lightest brown and medium gray. If your walls are already one of these colors, consider an opposite color, like light brown walls with a white ceiling.

brown painted wall with white ceiling

Choosing Colors Using Photos

If you still can’t decide on any colors, there’s another way to make sure rooms are reflecting the feel you want to give them. The Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap’s Snap It Button is a wonderful tool for getting any mood reflected in a room.

You simply find a photo that has a feeling or mood you wish to convey. It could be a beach photo, a forest scene, a photo from a vacation or just a photo of your bedspread that you want coordinated around the room. The tool then matches paint colors with the hues it registers in the photo and even suggests specific shades. And because you based your paint shades off of a beloved photo and mood, the look will be truly timeless.

phone over purple sky

Image via Stocksnap under license CC0

Another option is to use Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer. It lets you upload photos of your home, and then you can insert the colors you are thinking of painting your walls right into the photo. It saves you the hassle of having to sit around trying to visualize what a room will look like and allows you to get painting that much sooner.

Test Your Color(s)

Once you’ve picked a color (or several) that accurately reflects the feel you want a room to have, now it’s time to play. A simple method for testing a color is to hang a large poster board of that shade on the wall to see how you feel about it, which you can find at any craft store. Live with it for a few days, and if you’re feeling good about it, paint to your heart’s content.