How to Create a Classroom Color Scheme

My last post about bringing color and function together in our multi-purpose magnetic board has led me to share about bringing in our bright color palette into other areas of the classroom… therefore creating a classroom color scheme.

Now, I don’t confess to decorate over the top by any means.

Just a disclaimer to make me feel better. I feel better.

My style is definitely more simplified. But, if you like more, I’ve got tips for you too.

Why Pick a Color Scheme Over A Theme

It can be fun to go with a “theme” for classroom decor.

But, I’m all about working smart.

I never wanted to decorate my classroom with anything that couldn’t last more than a year, or that I’d tire of quickly which means themes are out.

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

If you go with a color scheme:

  • It’s easier to bring in new pieces into your classroom year-round
  • You can swap out a single color in the future to make it feel fresh
  • You’re not locked into anything

Choosing Colors

To pick colors for your classroom – you’re going to want to first take a look at all of the fixed stuff you have.

What colors exist within your classroom that you can’t change?

The carpet? The tile? The doors? Your hunk of a teacher desk?

Those colors (probably brown, beige and black) become the neutrals in your classroom color scheme.

Now – you get to pick the rest!

What 2-3 colors would you like to use? In my classroom, I chose 4. I went a little bold on the color choice but you can do this with confidence since you’re going to be adding color in smart ways.

My color scheme is lime, turquoise, purple and pink.

Need help picking colors? Try this out

Now, just since I said that themes are out – doesn’t mean you can’t choose colors that evoke the feeling of a theme. That absolutely works in a classroom.

Where To Add Colors

There are three types of places you’ll want to add your new colors to in your classroom, keeping the neutral colors you have to work with, in mind.

There are 3 main classroom areas:

  • The bulletin boards
  • The accents
  • and the details

If you’re creating a color scheme for your classroom, these are the three areas that will apply to your classroom too.

Now… if you have your heart set on a theme – my recommendation is only to add that theme into the details. Choose coordinating colors for both your bulletin boards and accents but skip the themed stuff there.

Use Color Sparingly on Bulletin Boards

Let’s start with the walls and bulletin boards. These big pieces will make the most visual impact.

So, start here and work your way down to the accent pieces and details.

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

When creating bulletin board backgrounds, I went with a neutral.

Brown paper was perfect and it made everything I posted pop. Picking a neutral will help balance the visual busyness of what you put onto your bulletin board.

Pick a neutral to cover your bulletin boards.

Use a combination of your colors you picked to create the border, lettering and or display items.

Use Color in Accent Pieces

If you can find crates, baskets or rugs that feature your color scheme, then grab them!

Throw pillows and bean bag chairs add pops of color.

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

This is also where it can be easy to overspend if you change a theme (or even your entire color scheme) often.

You could also consider colored pocket charts or classroom curtains to fall into this category.

I think that pairing my bright colors with enough neutrals like blacks or tans/browns makes my classroom calmer and look more pulled together. 

Browns, blacks, tans and dark blue (chair color) have become the neutrals in my room and aren’t as noticeable to the eye.

And then there are a few more places around the room that you’ll see these pops of accent colors come into play – like under our guided math instruction table.

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

I love the colors that you’ll see right now available for college students. Accent rugs designed for dorm rooms are perfect floor spaces or covers for crate seats.

You can put a some of your colors into baskets or bins that are on the shelf… not every basket has to match a color scheme but a pop of color in a basket of bin here or there help that anchor the space.

Most baskets and bins should be neutral like black or white.

When when you want to update your color scheme, you don’t have to purchase all new bins.

You can simply change out the accent ones, or add accent tags or ribbon. {I’m not a ribbon girl, but you might be}

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

You can add hanging accent pieces too – like lanterns or puffs.

Use Color in the Details

Putting your color scheme into the smallest areas will help bring it all together.

These will also be the easiest to change out!

Use bulletin borders that are your color(s).

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

Pick sayings, quotes and classroom charts that go with your color scheme. Or make your own!

For me, I combined my color scheme with the chevron pattern and used that for many classroom detailed decorations.

Like – this saying that I say to my kinders every day before they leave my room. I framed this and placed it by our front door.

“You Are Loved” Free Printable

KindergartenWorks :: brightly colored and cohesive {creating a classroom color scheme}

And hand washing signs posted on our bathroom doors and by our sinks.

While we’d love to have unlimited budgets and everything look Pinterest-pretty in our classrooms – it’s not necessarily reality.

But you can pull off a nicely decorated room using a color scheme that works for you, makes a great learning environment and will last longer than a year.

If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.

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    1. Hi Keri,
      The cinderblock is so tricky to work with! In this case I used a SM hook, but it didn’t last all year. I think it was due more to the humidity in our classroom than the cinderblock, but who knows?! I ended up just leaving it propped up behind the faucet and that worked out okay for us.
      – Leslie

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