Color Theory & How We Use it in Staging

Color theory is a tool designers, artists, and even you, can use in your home and in everyday life. It's the collective knowledge surrounding the effects of various undertones, temperatures, color combinations, and much more. To begin to understand color theory we have to start with the basics and build from the foundation.

To better grasp the use of color it is essential to know how not to use it. A common color mistake people make is mixing different undertones. It is so important to know the undertones of the dictators of the space (your foundation) before you build up. Any neutral color can have various undertones and learning to first identify is key. Is the color cool or warm? If it’s a neutral color, what is the color coming through?


Mixing different undertones rarely works out in anyone's favor. Place a warm beige couch in front of an icy blue wall and the couch will look dingy and dirty. Yuck! Even complementary colors can look inharmonious if they have a neutral with a non-complementary undertone next to them.

So how do you find the undertones?? A white sheet of computer paper and/or a grey card. If you are trying to choose a white in your home, hold up a white sheet of computer paper and see if you can identify the undertones. Does it appear a little pink or maybe a little more blue than the piece of paper? Utilize the same process if you are trying to find a grey paint color for your home, but use a grey card instead. As for beige, it is a bit more tricky and I highly suggest getting a professional involved at that point.


There is really a lot more involved with choosing a color (or colors) but that little tip can at least get you started! If you want to go further you can hire a professional to help guide you through the process. That’s where I come in and is why I am a Certified Color Expert! I can help you select paint colors, tile, light fixtures, and furniture with the expert knowledge of color so that all the pieces will harmoniously meld!

This skill is not only helpful for our individual clients’ needs but is also applied to every staged home. Color is everywhere and should not be overlooked, and once you enter the world of color your eyes will be opened wide! If you have ever seen the film Pleasantville, you will know exactly what I am talking about!

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