pick a color palette

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

Ever wonder where the professionals get their ideas for a color palette in a design project?  
Are you having trouble finding a color combination that wows your family, friends, and you? 
Wondering where to look to find help close by? 

Well, here are a few professional tips on where to find color inspiration in some of the most unexpected places:

Browse Catalogs

mcqueen neiman marcus
Color trends flood through graphic design, jewelry design, and even packaging for perfumes and makeup. Take a look at the new Spring catalogs that you receive in the mail. For instance, this Spring’s Neiman Marcus catalog is filled with variations of deep purples that fade to lavender and that range from blush to fuchsia. Surprisingly, yellows - from sunshine to pure gold - serve as accents.

Although you may be shopping for your home color décor and not a new wardrobe, don’t throw away those clothing catalogs just yet. Browse their pages and clip and save what inspires you. Look at everything, from summer tops to fun handbags… from beautiful jewelry to cute sandals– and if you think they look good hanging in your bedroom closet – just think how they might look if you add these colors to your bedroom décor?

Back to picking a color palette: Try wearing some of your favorite colorful things (Jewelry, Clothing, Shoes) or even just carry a bright handbag the next time you visit the neighborhood paint store and see what kind of inspiration you create.

Go Shopping

brunello cucinelli

Money may be tight these days, but window shopping is free. Check out store displays for colorful hues of the season.

Window Shop at the Paint Store


Paint companies do the work for you with racks of paint swatches and, better yet, brochures with perfect color combinations. Sherwin Williams (my preferred paint brand) has a great selection of samples that show you what they look like in a room and explains the color theory behind the choices. Now how easy is that?

Here are a few tips for working with color:

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First - Start with One Color. Think about choosing an almost monochromatic color scheme in the room. This design principle focuses on a single color with variations in lightness, darkness and saturation.

Next - Find an Accent. For interest, add a complementary accent color (something that is an opposite color on the color wheel from your monochromatic color). An accent color can be a soothing spot to rest the eyes… or an enlivened place to spark your interest. Either way, it breaks up the monochromatic scheme of the room.

And Don’t Forget about Varying Shades of Color. Keep things united in a room, look to a paint strip at your paint store (or once again the color wheel) for guidance. Your wall color and a mirror’s frame color could be only two steps away from each other on a paint strip. Equally, try to stay on target with fabrics for your furniture, use paint strips as guideposts.

One Last Thought - Different Colors for Different Moods. In one of my most recent bedroom makeovers, I was inspired by those purples and yellows in the Neiman Marcus Catalog. These "Spring" colors came straight from the fashion runway to my client’s home decor. You might ask…"Why purple and yellow?" Well, fashion trend setters in the Interior Design industry devote their energies to studying the effects of color on mood and the economy. A splash of yellow is here to cheer us up in these uncertain times, and a dab of purple to calm us down - a sort of visual therapist, you will.

So, next time you are picking out an outfit to wear for the day (or a palette for a room's decor)… stop and think, why did I pick these colors to go together and how is this affecting my mood and emotions.  If you can figure that out – you are one step closer to picking out  the correct color palette for your entire home.