Balancing Act: Tips for Combining Wall Colors in Open Concept Homes

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Open concept floor plans are a popular design feature in many modern homes, celebrated for their spacious feel and seamless flow between living spaces. However, the lack of defined rooms can pose a challenge when it comes to choosing wall colors that harmonize without sacrificing variety and interest. The secret to a well-balanced open concept space lies in thoughtful color selection and strategic placement. Here are essential tips to help you masterfully combine wall colors in your open plan home for a cohesive and visually appealing environment.

1. Choose a Cohesive Color Palette

The first step in creating a harmonious open concept space is selecting a color palette that will serve as your guide. Choose colors that complement each other while also providing the opportunity for variety. A common approach is to pick a neutral base color for the main areas, which allows for more vibrant or contrasting hues to be used in smaller doses or adjacent spaces.

2. Define Spaces with Color

Use color to subtly define different areas within your open floor plan. For instance, you can select a relaxing blue for the living area while opting for a warm, inviting yellow for the dining space. These color distinctions can help signal the transition between different functions without the need for physical barriers.

3. Maintain Flow with An Accent Color

To ensure a cohesive look throughout your open concept space, carry one or two accent colors throughout the entire area. This could mean incorporating similar shades in your décor, textiles, or art pieces in each distinct area, which ties the varied wall colors together visually.

4. Consider Architectural Features

Pay attention to the architectural elements in your space such as columns, beams, or changes in flooring, which can provide natural breaking points for color changes. Aligning color transitions with these features can create a logical flow for the eye and a more polished look.

5. Use Light to Your Advantage

Natural light can impact how colors are perceived, so consider how light enters and moves through your open concept area throughout the day. Opt for lighter or mid-tone colors in areas with less light and save deeper, more vibrant colors for well-lit spaces to prevent darker areas from feeling too enclosed.

6. Transition with Neutrals

If you wish to introduce a bold color, do it in a way that doesn't overwhelm by transitioning to it through adjoining spaces in neutral shades. Neutrals are the peacekeepers in color relationships, ensuring that bold statements don't clash with the rest of your home's palette.

7. Sample Your Colors

Before committing, test your chosen colors on large swatches of the wall. Observe how light interacts with the colors at different times of the day and how they look next to each other across the open space. This will help you avoid surprises and ensure you're happy with the final result.

8. Finish with Consistency

To maintain a sense of unity across your open concept space, use the same paint finish for all colors. A matte or eggshell finish is generally the best choice for interior walls, providing a consistent texture that'll tie the space together, even with varied colors.


Combining wall colors in an open concept home can be a creative and enjoyable process. By crafting a cohesive color scheme, using color to define different areas, and incorporating accents and architectural features thoughtfully, you can create a seamless yet dynamic environment. Remember, balance is key— a harmonious combination of colors will make your expansive space feel like a single, welcoming home.