Choosing the perfect paint color for your home can be an overwhelming process. With thousands of options to select from, how do you even begin to narrow it down? The good news is that inspiration is all around you – sometimes in the most unlikely of places. By carefully observing the colors that surround you each day, you can curate a custom palette that reflects your taste and personality.

Here are 11 clever ways to mine the colors in your everyday world as you embark on your paint selection journey:

Look to Nature

Mother Nature offers a treasure trove of gorgeous hues waiting to be uncovered. Take a walk through a park or forest and really absorb the colors around you. Are the autumn leaves more of a burnt orange or golden yellow? Do the neighborhood trees have emerald green or lime green foliage? Examine the bark on tree trunks – mixes of grey, brown and red. Identify the wildflowers that grow in the grass. Observe the variations of blue in the afternoon sky. Allow these nuances of nature to inspire your interior palette.

Pay special attention to how the natural light shifts the appearance of color. Sunrises and sunsets saturate the landscape in warm pinks, purples and oranges. Open up your paint deck to colors like Sherwin Williams Roycroft Saddle Brown, Behr Canyon Paint, or Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist to carry that cozy, organic feeling indoors.

Draw Inspiration from Your Wardrobe

Take stock of the color trends you gravitate toward in your own closet. Are you constantly reaching for rich burgundies and forest greens during the winter months? Do bright citrus yellows and aquas dominate your summer style? Peruse your collection of accessories too – the warm neutrals in your leather handbags, the bold prints on your scarves. Your favorite fashion colors say a lot about your inherent color preferences. Introduce those hues through Valspar’s Canyon Earth, Behr’s Taj Mahal, or Sherwin Williams’ Meandering.

Look to Your Favorite Destinations

Think about the places you have traveled that hold special memories. The rich Mediterranean blues and yellows of the Spanish coast. The earthy Tuscan inspired terra cottas. The vast fields of lavender in Provence. Allow the colors you fell in love with in your journeys to transport you back whenever you are home. Some paint ideas that encapsulate wanderlust: Benjamin Moore Santorini Blue, Sherwin Williams Passionate Purple, Behr Coral Reef.

Look to Your Favorite Pieces of Art

Your home’s walls provide the perfect blank canvas to introduce colors inspired by works of art that you love. If you adore impressionist paintings, infuse soft pastels into your home through Valspar Luna Moth or Behr Ballet Slipper. Frame bold abstract art pieces featuring brilliant pops of color, and select one vibrant hue like Benjamin Moore Mandarin to repeat on an accent wall. Allow art to awaken a sense of creativity as you decorate with color.

Examine the Jewel Tones You Love

Study the rich, saturated gemstone colors you are attracted to and incorporate them into your home. Do you lean toward deep plums and amethyst purples? Intense sapphire blues? Consider hues like Sherwin Williams Rapture, Valspar Regal Court, or Behr Slavic Emerald. Identify if warm earthy tones like amber and topaz speak to you. Paint colors like Benjamin Moore Carriage Door can introduce that cozy, welcoming vibe.

Take Note of Colors that Make You Happy

Pay attention to the hues that evoke a cheerful, positive feeling whenever you see them. The bright pops of sunflower yellow that remind you of summer. A soothing, retro mint green. The raspberry pinks and corals that offer a fun pop of femininity. There are no rules – any color that sparks joy deserves a place in your home’s palette. Some uplifting paint colors to consider are Sherwin Williams Jalousie, Behr Berry Fizz, Valspar Juicy Details, or Benjamin Moore Coral Reef.

Take Inventory of Your Kitchen Staples

The ingredients you reach for again and again when cooking offer natural inspiration for your color palette. Scan the contents of your spice rack – the warm cinnamons, rich turmerics, earthy cumin. Note the deep greens of your herb garden. Observe the rainbow array of fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator bins. Consider hues like Sherwin Williams Oregano or Behr Basil Pesto. Allow your favorite foods to flavor your home with color.

Look at Photos from Childhood

Old family photos offer a nostalgic portal back to important memories painted in the signature colors of that time. The harvest gold and avocado green shades of a 1970s kitchen. A retro 1950s bathroom featuring pastel pink and robin’s egg blue. Your grandmother’s psychedelic orange and green paisley sofa. Incorporate vintage colors that remind you of cherished moments and eras in your family history, like Benjamin Moore Lemon Ice, Sherwin Williams Outerspace, and Valspar Burning Bruce.

Take Cues from your Favorite Movie Genres

Think about the color palettes used in the films you’re repeatedly drawn to. For a romantic comedy, infuse blushes, pinks and creams. Sci fi and fantasy films use bold pops of color. Period pieces allow you to explore rich, saturated historical hues. Some cinematic paint colors to consider are Benjamin Moore Starfish for a beachy escape, Sherwin Williams Online Blue for a virtual world accent wall, or Valspar Gilded Light for Gatsby-esque glamour. Allow your inner film buff to shine.

Take Note of Packaging Designs You Love

Pay attention to the product packaging that consistently catches your eye while shopping. The soothing, earthy green on your matcha tea is calling out to be a kitchen accent wall. That charming vintage soup label with retro burnt orange and brown stripes would add a playful retro vibe as an accent. Maybe the bold indigo color on your favorite cereal sparks your creativity. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Behr all have colors like Horseradish, Emperador, and Blue Danube that can bring your package design inspirations home.

Embrace the Colors of Your Alma Mater

Show your school pride by embracing the signature colors associated with your high school, college, university, or military service branch. Paint ideas like Sherwin Williams Naval for US Naval Academy graduates, Behr Mountain Berry for University of Texas alumni, Valspar Crimson Harvest for Harvard devotees, or Benjamin Moore Princeton Orange for supporters of the New Jersey university. Show your school spirit through color.

Look to Other Cultures and Holidays

Draw color inspiration from celebrations across cultures. The purple, green and gold symbolic of Mardi Gras. Vibrant red and pink tones associated with the Chinese New Year. Blue and silver nods to Hanukkah. Eggshell whites and pastel yellows and pinks matching Easter. Rich jewel tones like Sherwin Williams Grapevine or Benjamin Moore Jewel-Tone Blue that reflect varying cultural traditions. Use color to infuse your home with festive multicultural joy.

No matter your personal style, there is inspiration all around you. Keep your eyes open to the beauty in everyday places and items. Soon you’ll have a palette with deep personal meaning that tells your unique story. With some careful mining of your world, you’ll be on your way to a personalized color collection that you’ll love coming home to.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mining Your World for Paint Color Inspiration

What are some additional ways I can draw color inspiration from everyday life?

  • Take note of flowers and plants that capture your attention at the nursery or florist. Vibrant gerbera daisies, lush hydrangeas, exotic orchids. Choose a paint color that echoes your favorite petals.
  • Study the palette of your cherished collections – the bindings on antique books, the labels on your wine bottles, the exterior paint colors on classic cars you admire.
  • Look at establishing shots of your favorite television shows and movies. Note colors that give a sense of place you’d like to recreate.
  • Peruse architecture and interior design magazines and flag colors that appeal to you. Dining rooms with beautiful blues, entryways showcasing earthy terra cottas.
  • Pay attention when you receive compliments on a particular color you are wearing. Note which hues make your complexion glow.

How do I narrow down my real-world inspiration into a cohesive color scheme?

  • Once you have a broad selection of colors, group them into palettes with a common style – soft and subtle neutrals, bold and saturated brights, elegant jewel tones, retro inspired pastels, rich earthy shades.
  • Eliminate colors that are too similar to prevent a disjointed look. For example, if you are drawn to both sherbet orange and terra cotta, choose one favorite to focus on.
  • Identify a color you want as a statement in larger amounts, like on an accent wall. Choose 2-4 colors in the same family that work beautifully with your bold focus color.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks and embrace colors that inspire you, even if they are outside your comfort zone!

What are some tips for successfully selecting paint based on inspiration colors?

  • View color chips outside and at different times of day. Lighting greatly impacts how a color appears.
  • Purchase sample sizes before committing to a full gallon. Paint swatches on your walls to see it in action.
  • Add white or black to lighten or deepen an inspiration color to get your perfect custom shade.
  • Understand undertones. Warm colors have hints of yellow/red/orange. Cool colors skew blue/green.Neutrals go gray.
  • Consider sheen – eggshell and satin finishes hide imperfections on walls. Semi-gloss adds dimension on trim.
  • Be aware that colors appear darker and richer on larger surfaces. If unsure, go a bit lighter than the inspiration.

How can I make bolder color choices feel more livable on a daily basis?

  • Use deeper shades in smaller spaces like powder rooms, entryways, and accent walls to test out bold colors.
  • Tie in your daring colors through artwork, pillows, and accessories first before painting walls.
  • Ground bright or dark colors with plenty of neutral space and natural light.
  • Add layers of texture and warmth with wood trim, sconces, shelving, area rugs and plants.
  • Change colors room-by-room to segment your home into livable color zones.
  • Remember: paint can easily be re-painted if you don’t end up loving your risk-taking selection.


The colors you choose to fill your home with say so much about who you are. By carefully mining your everyday world for inspiration, you can hand pick a custom palette that tells your unique story and brings you joy. Keep your eyes peeled for beautiful colors all around you. Note hues that stir your emotions. Select shades that hold personal meaning and remind you of favorite experiences. With an observant eye and a dash of creativity, you’ll curate colors that you can’t wait to come home to. The inspiration is out there – start mining for those perfect paint colors today!