“You do know more about color than you think. The same principles you use to coordinate dress, shoes, hat, gloves, and accessories are easy and fun to apply to color in your home.”

how were people using color in 1961?

While styles have changed dramatically, this Better Homes and Gardens book on decor is still amazingly relevant today. That’s because color advice based on scientific principles is timeless.

The chapter on color is pretty lengthy, so I’ll just show a few specific sections for our purposes.

On facing pages, they include a color wheel – quite helpful. 


Continue reading “Evaluating Color Advice from 1961”

Testing white and off white colors – important tip:

While the introduction of sample quarts/pints has made trying color easier and more affordable, it doesn’t always work when testing very light colors. That’s because all paint formulas are based on a gallon – when this formula must be divided down into the smaller size, if it doesn’t divide evenly, the color will be “rounded off”.


  • Put Samples In Different Locations
  • Put Up Plenty of Color
  • Put Color Where It Will Actually Go
  • Make Lighting Conditions Consistent With The Way They Will Be On A Long-Term Basis
  • Be Sure Your Sample Is Fully Coated.


1. Put samples in different locations

If you are testing more than one color for a given room (or a given surface, on an exterior), put those samples in different locations. It can be the same wall, but skip over 3 feet or so.

Never, ever apply competing colors right next to each other. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this mistake on Pinterest or blogs, including by people who consider themselves home design influencers.