The Best Way To Choose A Color Palate (It's not what you think)

I get asked all the time things like,

“…do these colors go together?”

Or I’ll hear,

“… I don’t really like orange but my pillows have some orange in them so I’m looking for a rug with the same shade.”


Remember in elementary school when a friend would ask you your favorite color and you answered without hesitation and with complete confidence?

What happened to us? Why is choosing colors — let alone an entire color palate — so difficult? (That’s a rhetorical question but if you have some theories, I’d love to hear them).

Well, guess what?

The best way to choose a color palate

is NOT

by following color forecasting trends

…or checking out Pantone’s “Color Of The Year” choices

…or by asking the guy at Home Depot for his opinion.

It’s not even by pouring over interior design magazines and copying what the pros do.


The best way to choose a color palate is by figuring out what combination of colors make you feel the happiest.


If you have no idea how to figure out what colors make you happy, my suggestion is to step away from the multitude of paint swatches facing you down at the paint store and start with an inspiration piece instead.

The easiest way to do this is by looking at photos that make you go

“O M G, this place is gorgeous!

I could stare at this all day!”

The only rule is that it CAN’T be a photo of someone’s home!

Now, I love a good interior design shot as much as the next gal, but sometimes we get stuck trying to copy someone else’s style rather than creating our own.

Instead, try a photo of

a landscape or cityscape.


For now, I’m going to show you how I’ve taken photos of natural objects and landscapes and turned them into color palates. And then, I’ll walk you through how I’d use each of the colors for different aspects of a room.

To do this, I’ve been working with the lovely people at Jolie Home . Not only are they sponsoring the Style Matters podcast, I’ve also partnered with them to create the color inspiration sheets, below.* I gave them three photos, looked through their extensive inventory of colors, and then chose the ones I wanted to pull out.


The Living Room


Colors, top to bottom, left to right:

Moroccan Clay (chairs/throw pillows), Marigold (couch), French Quarter Green (lamp), Farmhouse Beige & Terra Rosa (rug), Sage (walls)


The Bedroom


Colors, left to right:

Malachite/Noir (walls), Deep Lagoon (duvet), Olive Green (bed), Misty Cove & Slate (pillows), Noir (bedside tables)


The Bathroom


Colors, top to bottom, left to right:

French Quarter Green/French Grey (tiles), Antique White (walls), Gesso White (accessories), Linen (shower curtain), Zen (towels)


I’m hoping this sparks some creative thinking for you!

Choosing colors for your home should feel like you’re 6 years old and pulling your favorite crayons out of the mega box of 64.

In other words, it should be fun, damnit. Not taxing.


Mother Nature’s Design School

If you’d like to be fully immersed in the creative process of using nature as inspiration, you’d love our upcoming style retreat in Tulsa, OK, called “Glamping Design Camp.”

We’re going to show you exactly how to use nature for color, pattern and textile mixing!

Hope you can join us! October 11-13 at Mesa Diablo, just outside Tulsa, OK.

Good for your home. Good for your soul.

* This post is not sponsored by Jolie, although they are sponsoring the Style Matters podcast. I just really like them and their products so I asked to use their colors for these inspiration sheets.