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There’s a lot more to choosing and combining colors than meets the eye. There are so many different shades and hues, it’s no wonder that sometimes people misstep and choose the wrong one. That said, there are a few common color mistakes that designers see over and over again.

Not considering light

Believe it or not, lighting has a huge impact on the way a color looks and feels in a room. If you don’t consider how a room’s lighting works with a color that you picked, there’s a good chance that you could end up living with a very different shade than you originally intended.

Fixing this mistake is all about prep work. Before you choose a paint color – or any type of color, for that matter – get some samples. Then, place the samples in various corners of the room and watch how the light affects them throughout the day.

You may notice that the color turned out to be lighter, darker, or have different undertones than you originally intended. At that point, though, it’s much easier to switch out your sample color for another option than to redo the whole room from scratch.

Forgetting about balance

When dealing with multiple colors in a room, finding the proper balance between them is key. There’s a place for bold colors to stand out and there’s a place for neutral colors to provide an opportunity for the eye to rest. However, if you have too much of either one, you run the risk of the room becoming either too overstimulating or too boring. It’s up to you to find the middle ground.

Luckily, there is an easy trick to help you. It’s called the 10/30/60 rule. This rule dictates what percentage of the room should be taken up by each shade in your color scheme. The first 60% is your base color and usually a neutral shade. The next 30% is your secondary color, or a middle ground, and the final 10% is your accent color, which is the boldest shade.

Designing each room separately

At first, it may seem to make sense to decorate each room in your home as its own separate entity. After all, each room has its own individual uses, right? However, it’s actually a much better idea to think of your home – or at least each level – as one cohesive unit and work your design with unity in mind.

If you’ve ever wondered why model homes and professionally-designed spaces always seem so put together, it’s because of cohesion. Every room in those spaces shares a similar color palette. As a result, they all flow together seamlessly.

You can do the same thing in your own home. Start by doing your best to make sure that each room works in harmony with the ones adjacent to it. Then, when you’re ready to take things to the next level, consider going for one cohesive look throughout the entire space.

Foregoing contrast

That said, you also don’t want to go too far in the other direction and have the rooms in your home become too “matchy-matchy.” When the colors you use are too similar to one another, the room runs the risk of becoming boring to the eye. In this case, everything starts to blend together and none of the design elements really stand out.

Luckily, if this is your color mistake, it’s an easy fix. Simply add some contrast to give the room a little more visual interest. You can do this in multiple ways. Try adding an eye-catching accent color through the room’s accessories or throw a bold print or pattern into the mix.

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