How to Choose a Color Scheme For Your Home, Your Closet or Both!

Lately I’ve gotten a few comments about how and why everything in our “life” matches. Some of the comments are nice and some are not so nice, sort of implying that because everything in my home matches a certain color scheme that my photos are more fake (which is not true, of course!). At first I was surprised people cared at all. But after I got a few similar comments, I realized this is actually a GREAT topic for a blog post.

I LOVE having a color scheme for my home, my clothing and Nova’s clothing. I don’t think of it as something I have to strictly enforce, I just think of it as being true to what I like. I’m not afraid for it to change over time and I’m not afraid to buy something I truly love that doesn’t match. Overall, I think it gives my home and our clothing a more cohesive look that is easy to mix and match, which I love!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share some photos of my clothing (mine and Nova’s, I don’t choose my husbands clothing at all) and also our home and talk about the colors I am drawn to and how it feels to live in a house that matches. Haha.

Alright, let’s start with the house!

I definitely know what I like when it comes to my house. Over the past five years, I feel like I’ve been able to hone my style more and more and create a collected, textured home full of things I truly love.

In this collage, there’s a lot of pink, but in real life I would say our home feels a little more on the neutral side. Although I do love a pink accent and some of you sent me death threats when I talked about possibly changing our front door color away from pink. Haha.

I love white. Nearly every wall in our home is light with light floors. I love gold and lots of texture, including blankets, white ceramics, vintage brass things and lots of wicker.

I love an occasional pop of rainbow (Wait! How did I make this whole collage without showing the rainbow glassware? Haha.). The bookshelves are one of the biggest, more time consuming projects I have ever taken on. I love them SO much.

And above all else, our home is kid-friendly. There is no such thing as a chair or coffee table our kids aren’t allowed to use crayons on or eat a popsicle. I do think our home is beautiful, but there is nothing too precious in it for our kiddos to be normal kiddos around. I don’t believe in buying things that are going to be stressful to live with. Sometimes that changes the way you make purchases; for me, it’s mainly just a mindset. I told myself I wasn’t going to stress about spills and messes and poop and red icing … and I’m not. It’s just a choice I made and I feel very free because of it.

Having a matching closet is more of a new thing to me. It started to happen naturally when I read The Curated Closet and started to do capsule wardrobes, which I did for two years. In the past, my shopping habits were more like close my eyes and point—haha. I would order a TON of stuff online and then return half, or more. But over the years, I realized I wasn’t wearing enough of my closet and the things I felt really really confident wearing were few and far between. So I spent a few years focusing on curating a closet I am really happy with.

I do incorporate some of my favorite colors from my home into my wardrobe, since they’re my favorite colors. But it’s also different because I feel really good in red and I really don’t love pale pink on myself.

I know some people think that how much Nova’s clothing matches mine and my style is excessive, but I don’t see why. To me it’s a natural extension of my style. She’s not yet old enough to be interested in shopping and I’m really enjoying choosing her clothing, as well as Marigold’s, while they are little.

It took me years to collect a home and closet that I feel really reflects my style. I do think it’s much more a matter of being selective than it is of having a large budget. I buy a lot of vintage, even more secondhand, and plenty of things from Target just like everyone else. So please don’t think I threw out all my things one day and went out and bought all matching things. It was a long-term project that was fun for me.

I can see now that this could be done on any budget—even in my early 20s when I survived on the smallest paychecks and mainly bought things only from thrift shops and Walmart. It’s more a matter of being a patient shopper and very picky than anything else.

So what do you think? Do you like the idea of all your things matching or do you feel it would be too limiting? I’m excited to hear your passionate opinions! xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
Note: This post is pre-scheduled. I am currently on my maternity leave with baby Marigold (!!!!!!!), so if I don’t respond to your comment, don’t worry, someone else on our team will. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take a little time to bond with our new baby. But I left a bunch of posts in the drafts for you to enjoy while I’m away. See you on the other side! xx
  • This is such a fascinating post, thanks Elsie. I always love to learn more about your style because I love it SO MUCH! It’s inspiring- keep it coming! xx

  • Hahahaha! I’m exactly opposite when it comes to matching. If we remotely match one of us has to switch out something. My wardrobe and house does have a color scheme of sorts but not because I set out to do it but because I’m just naturally drawn to certain colors. I think it’s natural.

  • Definitely dress dress your girls how you want to now, their personalities will come out soon enough! I laugh all the time when my niece shows up with mismatching shoes because my sister just let’s her be a free spirit.

    I have adored your rainbow glass and rainbow books for a long time now, but my sweet husband vetoed both 🙂

  • Curating a aesthetic is a long process! I ditched fast fashion about five years ago and I’m still in the process of building out my new sustainable wardrobe, but I’m getting there!

    The house is another story though. Two transpacific moves in five years has made that nearly impossible!

  • I can’t believe people are throwing shade at you for your amazing style and eye. I love how you turn it into an insightful post about your impeccable and unique style. Love what you’re doing mama, please keep it up.
    And yay fam of four! It’s crazy, but the best ????

  • I love this! I also love your consistent message to have patience and take your time when selecting things for the home and wardrobe. I am learning so much!

  • It took me 25+ years to realize almost everything in my home and wardrobe is navy, white, and gray, with pops of bright pink or teal, and it would be silly to stray from that. It has made so many decorating and clothes-buying decisions SO easy because of it. I love it.

  • I would be interested in the actual “How-to” of this. How does one pick a palette… I really want to do this! Do you choose one metal (brass), one natural material (wicker), one neutral (tan/ochre) and then how many colors? Obviously we all have our favorite colors…but how on earth can you get a warm, happy look with vintage charm when you love blue and grey?

  • Doesn’t it make sense to fill your home with colors you look good in? That’s why I have a plum colored sofa – my sofa makes me look good – and no green anywhere in my home.

    • Ok why have I never thought of this??? You are a genius. Need to rethink all my furniture choices now haha.

  • I LOVE your style, I love your home pictures, I love your adorable matching outfits and I LOVE your rainbow bookshelf. Your style is something I like to admire and try to copy 😉 I’m not as bold and brave with such extreme colors but I enjoy working towards it! It’s all so happy and bright and I love the vintage!

  • I love having my own coordinating home! That means I can move a lamp or a piece of furniture to any room and it will work! I’m a military spouse, so we move often and having lots of flexibility in that department has really saved me from having to purge and buy a ton of things every time we relocate.

  • Don’t assume people as necessarily being mean or jealous or unenlightened when rooms are “matchy”. Some of us can’t imagine living with just a few colors. I don’t even have a favorite color. I have many collections (iridescent glass, rabbits, gems, vintage plates, artwork by family members, music memorabilia, kid’s legos) which DOES mean no real cohesiveness from room to room. I’ve lived in our house for 22 years and I would consider my style and my self eclectic. And what do you do when someone you love gives you something in the “wrong” color or style? I appreciate everyone’s style and view their home. My mom and dad had a Victorian farmhouse replica built 20 years ago with authentic refurbished light fixtures, floor, bannisters, textiles and paint colors. To me, it looks like them and I appreciate it, but Victoriana is not a style I’d ever choose. Someone else close to me thinks my style is strange and lives in a minimalist house in shades of “surf, sand and sun”. I don’t want it, but think it looks great because it’s hers.

  • Love this and I totally relate! A coworker made fun of me last year when they realized I had color coded a work schedule the same colors as my house ????‍♀️

  • Hello! I really appreciate your aesthetic and I can totally understand why you have a color scheme. When I stopped to look at my clothes and home I realized the things I love most all have a common thread. So I paired down everything that didn’t fit and I truly love it. It’s so much easier to get dressed every day and I can rearrange items from one room to another and it all goes fairly well. I find that I’m spending less money and love what I have.

  • I began streamlining my closet about three years ago after a Marie Kondo-like clean sweep throughout my whole house. I absolutely love having a much simpler closet!!

    I live in the Northeast and my “uniform” is such- Winter- bright coat and lots of black/navy/denim. Spring/summer/fall I keep a palette of lots of blue/denim or chambray and fun color accents most likely in shoes. I keep accessories overall to a minimum and have one great bag I love per season.

    Life got so much easier by simplifying my closet. I am a total clotheshorse and wear scrubs at work so there was just no point!

    I still could half my closet and not miss much, but I but nowadays with intent to keep things for years and years. And in saving all this money, next year I will pay off my mortgage!!!

  • I have LOVED EVERY PART of your style since I started reading your blog so many years ago!! From before your vintage store to NOW …… ????

  • I love that you’re addressing so many negative/judgemental comments head on. I think there are a lot of people who want to emulate your choices who worry “what will people think if…” and it’s awesome that you’re here to reiterate that if you love it, it works for you, and isn’t hurting anyone, who cares what people think!!

    Having said that- I definitely live by a color scheme. It’s funny ’cause I think most of your fave colors are my no-thank-yous (yellow, orange, red) but I just love being inspired by your cohesive and purposeful style. My home is solidly neutral with blue, green and natural brown wood tones. My wardrobe is mostly cool colors with various pinks.

    It really does make decision making SO EASY when you just eliminate certain categories.

  • I love this and apply this in my own life. That was one of the chief complaints that my boyfriend would have about the house (haha, for real!) that everything was kind of hodgepodge and didn’t belong together. We started making replacement purchases and being really specific about things we got. It was really tough at first and took a lot of communication, but it got better. I applied it to my clothing as well. It’s a huge change for me, but I LOVE it!

  • Love the color coordination, and I’ve recently come around to the idea of parent/child matching outfits. On impulse, I bought my 5yo daughter and I matching leopard print pants. Her very stylish younger brother was sad to not be included, so I ordered him a pair of leopard print leggings too. I’m counting down the days until they arrive and we can all rock our leopard print hot pants together!

  • People are so odd leaving you mean comments about this! I love your style and I feel that it’s inevitable for your home and wardrobe to reflect one another in some way. The rooms in my house “match” each other as well in that I love green, plants, and patterns, so all those things can be found in every room, although in distinct ways. Likewise, my wardrobe reflects my interior style in that it’s very colorful and full of pattern. It’s what I’m drawn to naturally and just happens on an instinctual level.

    I love that you buy matching outfits for you and Nova! I would too if I had girls! I have boys, and funnily enough, in recent years, they’ve started wearing more color and pattern too. Our colorful, happy home environment influences us all! 🙂

  • I think everyone does this to some extent, right? If they are at all a creative or interested in color, I guess. So funny to me that people would call you out on this! I think I notice it for you because your colors are not my colors. You seem to gravitate toward the warm colors and I love blues and greens. My house and my wardrobe are definitely made up of predominately cool colors and neutrals…I think I own one red and one pink shirt! Hey–you like what you like! 🙂

  • Choosing out the cute clothes for your kids is one of the many joys of being a mom.

  • i LOVE this. especially the part about kid friendly so you’re not stressed about life happening in your home. i feel strongly about this because of what you described — feeling free! my house is color coordinated as well with mostly teal, coral, and white. variations on those three colors. and i love it! white walls too. love your vibrant playful style. thank you for sharing!

  • I absolutely LOVE your home and closets. I love how you dress the girls so much. My daughter is 3 and all she wants to wear is pink, tutus, sparkles so it’s very hard to match with her but I miss those days so much. Enjoy them mama ❤

  • Bookmarking this for future reference! There’s no one better to look for colour advice than you guys! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • My home and personal style is not all that coordinated, but I still find myself matching my kids all the time! Less so with my opinionated 4 year old because he dresses himself now… but when he was a baby, and now my younger kid. If I’m picking the clothes for the day, they match my mood! So even though I don’t always mean to do it, i notice all the time that I’ve put both myself and the baby in blue, or we’re both wearing tees and a skirt and ponytails.

  • I totally get it. I love black and white for both my home and my closet. Unpredicted pops of color and unexpected prints show up in both and keep things interesting. Hooray for following your heart!

  • Wow, what people are even worried about what happens in other people’s lives… Crazy!

    I totally get it, I feel the same about home and closet as you. I am getting the hang of it for the past year and my house is finally turning into OUR real home and I don’t shy away from it anymore. I heart glows when people come into our house and tell it SO us, cozy and warm!

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