Design Tips: Choosing the Right Paint Color and Tile for Your Dream Home

With the colder weather approaching, there is no better time to move indoors for your home improvements. Picking paint colors and new flooring (or wall) tiles can spruce up the house with minimal time and effort. While painting can take less time than adding new tiles to your backsplash or flooring, having a unique backdrop to a kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area can change the way you and your family feel about the room.

When you begin looking for the best colors and tiles for your home, remember to keep it simple, stick to your color palette, and stay within your budget. Following these three tips can help make the project seem less daunting and will help you design the home of your dreams.

Picking the Right Tile

Stick with One Color Family

It is easy to get swept away with endless tile choices, especially with the recent creation of ceramic “wood planks.”

While options are great, it can make choosing a tile seem overwhelming.

A way to stave off the tile-stress is to pick a color hue and stay within that range. If you like green tiles, stay within the different shades of green. Those can range from mint, pine, and dark green. Giving yourself one color limit doesn’t actually limit the shades you have to choose from.

Where Is Your Tile Going?

Are you tiling your floor, ceiling, backsplash, wall, etc.? Finding the right place to add your tile can be an easy or difficult design decision. Picking the location and shape of the tile before you begin shopping will help you limit your options while still keeping up some excellent design aesthetic.

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

A budget is a great way to plan and helps you keep a lid on your finances when creating the home of your dreams. Tile, like most things, can run from inexpensive to holy-mamma-that’s-a-big-number! Of course, you pay for what you get with tile, and the inexpensive tiles won’t handle the wear and tear like the ones that cost mid-range or higher.

Take Your Time

If you’re feeling frisky, make a concept board with sample tiles from the places you’ve researched. Seeing a concept board with paint and tile choices can help you visualize what looks best for you.

As a precaution, note that it is easy to get stuck in research mode. Give yourself a deadline to pick your tile, but make sure that there is no pressure added to that deadline. Give yourself a nice amount of time to research everything you want, and then move on to the doing. Three weeks to six months is a good amount of time to plan and (hopefully), help you feel as though you’ve got everything picked out for your style.

Have Fun

Uprooting your living areas to give yourself a new and fresh look can be stressful, even with planning. Sometimes things will not go according to plan. If you find you are in a stress spiral, stop yourself (and your partner) to see if you can have fun with picking out your tile. Look at uglier tiles for fun, or make a game (with or without alcohol) to relieve some stress.

Picking the Right Color

Lighting Changes Everything

Colors look different in certain lighting. If the room you are painting has windows, the color will appear brighter and more vibrant. If there are only a few lamps lighting the room, the color will appear darker than what it seemed in the store under the fluorescent lights. The cabinets in your kitchen can even add shading to the paint.

Bringing home sample colors will help you know what your paint will look like on the walls before you commit.

The Color Wheel Can Be Your Painting Buddy

If you’re looking to do some fun design schemes, pull out the color wheel. It will give you a great opportunity to find colors that are opposite, similar, or within the same hue.

A color wheel can also be found easily online. Once you get certain colors, you can stick to the shades you are hoping to find and print it out and keep it as a reminder.

Start Small

When you paint, start in one of your smaller rooms to see how you like painting, what colors work best for your aesthetic, and to get a feel for how long an area will take. The bathroom or study can be a great place to begin, and it can also be a nice way to test the colors you like best.

Test Colors

Through the last three tips, we suggested making sample spots and starting small. These points all lead up to testing your colors. The paint looks different with lighting (that much has been surmised), but it also looks different with more layers on as well. While a light grey will still be a light grey, adding a second and third coat will change how the paint appears on your wall.

The best decision to make is to give yourself some time to test some colors out on your wall. If you have textured walls, it can also change the paint. Get a few sample hues, and create test spaces on a wall in each room. Once you pick your paint color, you can paint over the other colors with primer.

Your Mood Can Pick Colors Too

Your mood affects everything, even the colors you like on certain days. Make sure to take a few days (or weeks) to look at your paint choices. Don’t rush; picking a paint choice when you are stressed could leave you with a color that always stresses you out.

Another thing to look for is the mood you are trying to create. If you are looking for warm and cozy, pick warm and comfortable colors. If you’d like an area with a lively vibe, give the room a fun color palette.


Having an idea and a plan in place can help your painting and tiling projects go smoothly. While there is no way to plan for disasters, an excellent budget, some fun with tiles, and a pleasant shade of paint can help you ease into your dream home with a minimal amount of stress—maybe even a little relaxation, too.


David Rosenberg: A seasoned political journalist, David's blog posts provide insightful commentary on national politics and policy. His extensive knowledge and unbiased reporting make him a valuable contributor to any news outlet.