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  • Amanda Arcone

How to choose a paint color scheme for an open floor plan

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

I am right in the middle of an open floor plan color consultation. While I am having a lot of fun with the creative process of helping the client create a cohesive and harmonious look throughout the space, it presents its own challenges.

First, by open floor plan, I mean two or more connecting rooms, such as a hallway or entryway into a dining room and living room. Or the living room and the dining room are connected to the kitchen. I have a few tips and thoughts on this topic to share. My top advice is to use only a few different colors. When you use too many colors, the opposite effect occurs, and you end up with a choppy set of spaces that are not cohesive with the rest of the home. It all starts with a cohesive palette.

Create a color palette: Start by creating a color palette that includes several complementary or coordinating colors that will be used throughout the open floor plan. Choose colors that work well together and create a harmonious flow from one area to another. Consider factors such as natural light, flooring, furniture, and other elements in the space when selecting your color palette.

Use accent walls strategically: Accent walls can add visual interest and focal points in an open floor plan, but use them strategically. Avoid using too many accent walls, which can create a busy and disjointed look. Choose one or two walls in the open floor plan to serve as accent walls and select colors that complement the overall color palette of the space.

Be mindful of sightlines: In an open floor plan, sightlines are essential as you can see multiple areas from one vantage point. Consider how the paint colors in one area will interact with the colors in adjacent areas. Choose colors that complement each other and create a visually pleasing flow as you move through the space.

Consider natural light: Natural light can significantly impact how paint colors appear in space. Consider the direction and intensity of natural light in your open floor plan home. Rooms with abundant natural light can handle bolder or darker colors. In contrast, rooms with little natural light may benefit from lighter, brighter colors to help enhance the brightness of the space.

Test paint samples: Always test paint samples on your walls before committing to a color. Paint a small section of the wall with the colors you're considering and observe how they look in different lighting conditions throughout the day. This will give you a better idea of how the colors will appear in your space. You can get large peel-and-stick samples from Sampleize for just a few bucks.

If you need help looking for the perfect color ideas for your home, let me be your creative guide and help you pick out the perfect palette. You can email me directly at

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