How to choose paint colors for a home with an open floor plan

An open floor plan is a popular design in modern homes. It creates a seamless flow between living, dining, and kitchen areas, making it perfect for entertaining and family gatherings. However, selecting colors that work together in an open floor plan can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll discover techniques for selecting colors that create visual cohesion in a home with an open floor plan.

Understanding Color Harmony

Color harmony is the art of combining colors in a way that is pleasing to the eye. When selecting colors for an open floor plan, it’s important to choose colors that complement each other rather than clash. The easiest way to achieve color harmony is to use a color wheel. The color wheel shows primary, secondary, and tertiary colors and their relationships to each other.

There are different color schemes that you can use to achieve harmony in an open floor plan.

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. Using complementary colors creates a high contrast and vibrant effect. For instance, combining blue and orange or purple and yellow.

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are located next to each other on the color wheel, such as red, orange, and yellow. These colors create a harmonious effect and work well in an open floor plan.

Monochromatic Colors

A monochromatic color scheme uses one color in varying shades. This is a great way to create visual interest without overwhelming the space. For example, shades of blue or green.

Triadic Colors

Triadic colors are any three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. A popular triadic color scheme is red, blue, and yellow. Using triadic colors in an open floor plan creates a balanced and visually appealing space.

Choosing a Base Color

The base color will set the tone for the entire space. When selecting a base color for an open floor plan, consider the following:

  • Natural light: Consider the amount and intensity of natural light in the space. Lighter colors will make the room feel more spacious, while darker colors will make it feel cozier.
  • Existing furniture: Choose a base color that complements the existing furniture in the space.
  • Personal preference: At the end of the day, you should choose a base color that you love and feel comfortable living with.

Picking Accent Colors

Accent colors add personality and visual interest to an open floor plan. When picking accent colors, consider the following:

  • The 60-30-10 rule: This rule suggests dividing the color scheme into percentages. The dominant color should be 60%, the secondary color 30%, and the accent color 10%.
  • Balance: Select a mix of warm and cool accent colors to balance the space.
  • Contrast: Use accent colors that contrast the base color to create visual interest.


What are some tips for selecting paint colors in a large open space?

  • Choose lighter colors to make the space feel more open and spacious.
  • Consider the natural light in the space.
  • Test paint samples in the space before making a final decision.
  • Use accent colors to add visual interest.

Can I mix bold and neutral colors in an open floor plan?

Yes, mixing bold and neutral colors can create a dynamic and visually pleasing space. Just be sure to balance them properly.

Should I stick to one color scheme for the entire open floor plan?

Not necessarily. You can use different color schemes in different areas of the open floor plan, as long as they complement each other.


Choosing colors for an open floor plan can be intimidating, especially when you’re not sure where to start. However, by understanding color harmony, choosing a base color, and picking accent colors, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing space. Remember to take into account natural light, existing furniture, and personal preference. Be creative, take risks, and most importantly, have fun!

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