Painting a room can be an exciting task but the process of picking out the “perfect color” can leave you with an overwhelming sense of anxiety. Trust me, I have been there! With so many options to choose from, how do you know which color/shade will compliment your home the way you are imagining. I am hoping that this article will help ease some of the stress during your decision process.
First, let’s take a look at lighting. Natural lighting can determine whether to pick a light or dark color for your room. Having a lot of natural light gives you more options for your wall color.
If you do decide to go with a darker color it will not close in the room in as much as a room without a lot of natural light. Therefore, we highly suggest picking a lighter shade for a room with minimal windows.
The next most important thing to look at is flooring and any other fixed item you are working with in the space. The color of your carpet, hardwood, or tile will determine the color palette that you can work with or even more importantly, which color palette to stay away from.
In general, lighter wall paint will make a room appear large and vice versa, a darker color makes a room seem smaller.
Another thing we like to point out to our customers is if you have a room with multicolored countertops or tile you may want to choose one of those colors to feature. In doing this your wall color will grab the accent color in the tile and pull it out. This technique can really change the way you see a room and can bring a whole new life into a once drab space.
Testing the Color Palette
Now that you have decided on the color palette, it’s trial time! After you go to the paint store and collect all of the swatches that you think may work there is actually a technique to how you should look at the samples in your space.
*Note* Most colors appear lighter on color swatch than when applied to wall. Many people just put the swatch down on a couch or right up against the wall. Well, what you should do is hold up your options one at a time and instead of looking directly at the swatch, from a distance look through the swatch to the fabric (i.e., couch & drapes) and flooring in your room. This way the swatch is not the main focus rather something that just compliments or contrasts, which ever look you’re going for, your space.
Once you have narrowed your options down, we suggest getting 9×12 color sheets from the paint store. If the paint store does not offer that option, you can always make them yourself by getting a sample jar and brushing the color onto your own poster board. Then put tape on the back of the board, stick it to the wall and move it around all throughout the day to see the color on different walls with different lighting!
For example, Benjamin Moore color Atrium White appears very white in the daylight but at night under artificial lighting it can take on a pinkish color feeling warmer at night and cooler during the day.
This process can really be fun if you let it, just take your time and go with what YOU feel is right.
At the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with it!