Painting a room in your house is one of the most effective and affordable design change you can make. The right paint color can completely transform the room. It can bring new life to old spaces and make you fall in love with your home all over again.
The down side…picking the right color can be completely daunting! A simple trip to the paint section of your local home improvement store will uncover rows upon rows of color swatches. Then you pull out the swatch that you think you want, only to find additional companion colors on that same swatch! Now you’re second guessing yourself!
We’ve been there!… Don’t even get us started on paint types or sheen finishes!
While its very easy to get overwhelmed, keep in mind that it’s only paint! The worst that could happen is that you have to repaint, and that isn’t the end of the world!
Fear not design lovers! We put together a handy guide of our process for selecting paints. Keep in mind there are many different approaches and styles. In this post we are primarily focused on creating analogous color schemes that are harmonious, comfortable and pleasing to the eye.
Choosing The Best Paint Colors For Your Home
Step 1: Start with a Color You Love
We all have a favorite color. If you don’t know where to start, begin with the colors you love the most. This will instantly narrow down your selection to a distinct palette. Maybe your favorite color changes from day to day or year to year. Take a look around your project room. Do you find that all your decor objects are a similar color? Use this color inspiration as your starting point.
At the end of the day your new space is a reflection of you. If the room is filled with things that make you happy and inspire you then the room will be a success.
Step 2: Determine Your Light Conditions
Does your room receive an abundance of natural light?
Is it an interior space that is predominately lit with overhead lighting?
Our eyes perceive color differently based on the ambient light conditions. The color that you see under the intense retail lighting will appear different once applied in your own space.
Many retailers are now providing lighting kiosks with a variety of bulbs representing the various light conditions found in your home. It’s good practice to take your prospective color swatch over to this area to see the color variances.
Knowing your lighting conditions will also help determine the saturation of your prospective color. If you determined in step one that your favorite color is blue and begin focusing your search for the perfect shade of blue, you will now find every shade of blue imaginable! This discovery period brings us to step 3.
Step 3: Determine Your Style
Light and airy? Dark and Moody? Or somewhere in between?
Pick a few adjectives that describe you want to feel. If you prefer calm, relaxing, airy spaces then stick to colors on the lighter side of the color spectrum. If you want to feel more dramatic, bold, edgy, or creative then deeper, more saturated colors are a better choice.
Style Tip: If you have a a bold color that you adore but are concerned that it may be too overpowering for the entire room, consider using it as a accent wall. You can also tone it down by installing wainscot paneling and crown molding in a contrasting neutral color.
Step 4: Create Layers
In successful spaces everything blends harmoniously to create a cohesive look. Think of your wall paint as the stunning backdrop to your overall room scene. In many cases, the wall color is the supporting player not the star.
Do you have one statement piece such as a wall hanging or area rug that you love and want to incorporate into the space? Take a close look at these pieces and select paint swatches that correspond to the dominate color in statement piece. Often times this color swatch will be a fairly deep, saturated color. Now select a color from that same color family that is a couple of steps down from your dominate color. We like to call this color a neutral companion.
Completing this exercise will help us to select a neutral wall color that has the same color undertones as the featured statement piece. Its a great way to start thinking about color, how you will use color and its interplay with the rest of your space. No trick is 100% perfect. But it is a great one to have in your designer tool belt!
Step 5: Utilize Online Paint Visualizers
Harness the power of technology to work for you! Many paint manufacturers offer paint visualizers on their website that allow you to virtually preview the color in your space. Once you have a narrowed down selection of paint colors, head over to the respective manufacturers site to virtually try it out! Many of the sites allow you to upload a picture of your project room and apply the color of your choice from their color collection. This process has been hit or miss for us, but it’s worth a try!
Popular Paint Manufacturers with Online Color Visualizers
Disclaimer: The above websites are listed as design tools only. We do not work for nor endorse these companies and results may vary. Always start any home improvement project at your own risk.
Have a tip of your own that you would like to share? Leave a comment below! We love to hear from our design community. Stay tuned for our E-book listing some of our most frequently used paint colors!
Until Next Time!