Smart Color Choices
Does the thought of selecting paint colors for your home make you want to pull out your eyelashes? The many color choices and sheens really makes it overwhelming. There are many color myths floating around that can add to your confusion. I want to put those colors myths to rest so you can make confident color choices for your home! Painting is the most affordable change you can make to update your space. If you are afraid of selecting color fear not, I’m here to assist.
Let’s debunk some common myths along with a few helpful color selection tips.
Myth: Dark colors make a room feel smaller.
Truth: Not necessarily true.
High contrast between large pieces in a room make it feel smaller because the contrast highlights the size of the room. It breaks up the room rather than expanding it. If you paint your room dark blue and have a sofa of a similar shade they will “blend” and open up the room. If you are painting a room a dark color just keep the contrast of large pieces (sofas and curtains) down and you will expand the room.
This of course also means that light colors don’t necessarily make a room feel bigger. Again, contrast impacts that perception.
Myth: When decorating, pick your paint color first.
Truth: Paint is available in any color. If you can’t find the color you want on a chip, a paint store can custom mix a color to match anything.
Since sofas and bedding are not available in any color, begin your color selections with the large pieces in your room. Then, pick a paint color to coordinate. It doesn’t have to match exactly, but should complement the larger pieces in the room.
This is not to say that you can’t decorate around a paint color — for example, if you know your décor will be black and white, the sky is the limit for wall color — but selecting paint first can limit your choices in other areas.
Myth: If you like the color in the store you’ll like it at home.
Truth: Every color looks different in every space. Your room’s light, floor color, furniture and surrounding room colors will impact how a color looks on your walls.
Please, please, please do not go to a paint store, pick a color from a chip and go home with a gallon of paint. There are so many reasons why you should not do this. The first is that a tiny paint chip cannot begin to show you how actual paint will look on your walls in your house.
Here are my suggestions for selecting paint colors for your home:
- Visit the paint store and select as many paint chips as you like, all the ones you think may look good and bring them home! Bring inspiration with you to the store, helping to steer your decision making. Take 10 strips of blue – take 20 if you need them! –the beauty is that they are free.
- Once home, use painters tape to attach the chips to the wall. Remember, you need to look at the colors on the wall and not in your hand. Color looks different at different angles. Try to narrow the colors down to the top 2 or 3.
- Next, buy sample sizes of each and paint a 2’ x 2’ swatch on your wall. Make sure you do two coats, if needed, because you want to see how the colors will really look. Look at the colors in the day and the night, giving them a few days to make you happy or turn you off.
- Above all, go with your gut. This is not a time to talk yourself into something, it will not look better with time!
Finally, if you are making a dramatic color change make sure to use the right primer. Your paint supplier can provide the right primer for your colors.
It’s not unusual to experience a bit of shock when a room is painted a new color, but these pre-steps are the best way to “test drive” a color and reduce the post-painting shock.
I can’t tell you what colors to pick (unless I’m in your house!), but I know this will get you off to a great start and I always encourage folks to try new things in the world of color…be brave! Need help with color in your home? Our consultation can help!
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