Choosing the Best Paint Colors for Your Home

Kelly Crawford


Whether you are prepping your property to add it to the list of Orinda homes for sale or have recently purchased a new house that’s asking for your special touch, you’re likely well aware that a fresh coat of paint can do absolute wonders for your home. Indeed, paint is a home’s ultimate cosmetic. It has the capacity to evoke a soothing or invigorating effect, depending on the color you choose and the impact you are after, just as it has the ability to make your home appear larger, airier, and more radiant.

Selecting the best paint colors for your home is less clear than the dramatic effects it can create–and the sheer number of colors and gradations available can turn a delightful experience into a dizzying endeavor.

You’ve struck, well, the color gold. Leading San Francisco East Bay realtor Kelly Crawford’s extensive experience in the industry has rendered him an expert when it comes to helping his clients select the most sumptuous shades for their homes. Read on for his suggestions on finding inspiration.

Mirror your landscape

If you live in Orinda, Moraga, or Lafayette–or anywhere, really, in California–you know that the Golden State is held in such high esteem because of its astounding natural beauty. Capitalize on its appeal by bringing the outdoors into your interior. What hues do you see right outside your windows? Is your yard or street flourishing with gem-green trees, or are daffodils in season? Use these colors to create a palette for your interior–either a single large room, like your living area or master bedroom, or your entire home. By integrating the shades of nature into your most intimate spaces, you’ll create a look that is both timeless and on-trend: The concept of “bringing the outdoors in” is as fashionable with homes as it is with world-class hotels and resorts.

Look at your favorite prints

Oftentimes, one of the best inspirations arrives not from a color wheel or a website but from a print that resonates with you. Whether it’s a throw pillow, a cashmere blanket, or your favorite Hermes scarf, prints often have unusual but striking and lovely color combinations that will translate gorgeously to your walls. Should you decide to play with this, use the softer, subtler shades on the print for your walls’ “main event” and the more daring hues for trims or an accent wall. Manifest the print by also echoing its colors in your furniture, decor, and art.

Consider the vibe you want to incite

Some homeowners and interior designers choose a single color–such as ecru or white–to paint their whole home. This gives a home a uniform feel and allows rooms to flow beautifully from one room to the next. This works especially well in homes with an open floor plan, making them appear even more luminous and amplifying the space’s cohesiveness. Other homeowners and interior designers are keen on provoking certain energy and feel in certain areas.

Yellow has long been a popular choice for kitchens and restaurants; it calls to mind lemons and cleanliness, instantly boosts moods, and triggers one’s appetite. You may want to create a more sensual feel in your master bedroom, such as soft mauve or a light sage, or give your nursery a happy feeling with a shade in the citrus family or a bright, cheerful blue. Spend time in each room and at different times of the day to get a better handle on the mood you want to create.

Err on the side of caution

This isn’t included to suggest you stifle your bold, artistic side; rather, it is recommended to refrain from acting a whim or going with a color you honestly find too wild but have chosen to include in your home’s palette because it’s in style. Bring home samples and sit with the idea before making a decision.

Consider your wardrobe

Your clothes are a clear and direct reflection of some of your favorite colors. These are hues that have likely resonated with you for years. The colors on your walls have even more importance than the outfits you gravitate towards–after all, you can stash away a dress or shirt that no longer speaks to you (or whose color hits you the wrong way some mornings) while your walls are something you will see and interact with on a daily basis. Nonetheless, look at the color themes and schemes in your closet. That greige of your favorite Leith dress may look splendid in your guest room.

Scour social media

Social media presents both classic and chic colors–and the fact that it’s constantly updated gives you immediate access to wonderful color combinations and the latest, hottest trends. If you’re on Instagram, start following Kaiyo. The rooms they feature in their posts often boast out-of-this-world alluring color combos–and may give you additional decorating ideas. And if you’re not on Pinterest yet, get on it quickly. It’ll allow you to save the rooms and paint colors you adore–and can discuss with other members of your family.

Flip through magazines

Magazines have been depended on for inspiration since they were invented. Don’t restrict yourself to Architectural Digest or Elle Decor, either: Fashion magazines teem with fantastic new hues and striking mixes of shades that may look just as marvelous on your walls as they do on today’s latest “it” model.

Attempt classic contrasts

A white exterior with black shutters and a black door–complete with pots overflowing with lush greenery–look flat-out stunning. Bright yellows are magnificently offset with dark blues, and amethyst with a pale buttery hue looks breathtaking and romantic. Consider adding contrasting hues here and there to give your home more dynamism.

Intrigued by the possibilities that await you? As you should be–painting your home is a swift and highly effective upgrade.

Whether you’re painting your home for an upcoming listing or are mentally designing the home you wish to buy in the San Francisco East Bay, Kelly Crawford is the realtor to bring along on your real estate journey. Specializing in Lafayette real estate and Orinda condos, he brings his artistic eye and boundless enthusiasm to every relationship and transaction.


Bringing together a team with the passion, dedication, and resources to help our clients reach their buying and selling goals. With you every step of the way.

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