How to Make Smart Paint Color Choices
One of the most frequent questions asked of designers is “What color should I paint my space?” There are many workable color choices for every room, but here are some guidelines that can help you decide on a color you’ll truly love.
Where to begin?
Some of the first questions in trying to determine what color to choose should be: “How, when, and by whom will the room be used?” For example, let’s compare a dining room vs. a master bedroom. The dining room, if used mostly at night, should look wonderful particularly under artificial light (chandelier, buffet lamps, or candlelight) because that’s how it will most often be seen. As a “special occasion” room, it’s perfect for a bolder, more dramatic wall treatment. The bedroom, however, is typically a restful retreat, calling for a hue that is soothing and appealing to this private room’s occupants.
The bigger, the better, when it comes to swatches.
After you have a general color direction, fan decks are a wonderful starting point, but larger swatches are always preferable. It’s amazing how different a color appears when covering a 2′ x 2′ (or larger) area, as opposed to the way it looks on a little 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangle! Sizable blocks of color may be painted on poster board, or applied directly to the wall. Or if you prefer, large paper swatches can be ordered for a few dollars each at your local paint store. (Many decorating professionals provide these swatches as a part of their color consultations.) It is absolutely worth seeing a color in larger scale before committing to it.
A true view
Not only should you look at color in a larger form; it’s also important to view swatches on the surfaces to which they’ll be applied. In other words, you may examine paint chips spread out across your kitchen counter (horizontally), but the natural and overhead lighting will change their appearance, giving you a false understanding of how the colors will read on your walls. Instead, make sure to place swatches vertically on the walls (or horizontally on the ceiling, if that’s where the color will be going) in order to get a more accurate picture of how the color will appear.
Slow and steady wins….
One of the most important keys to choosing color wisely is to take your time. Sounds simple, but rushing to choose a color is one of the most common reasons people end up with something they don’t really like. It’s imperative to examine color swatches in all lighting conditions – morning, midday, late afternoon, and at night, as well as in varying weather – to understand how the color will appear under different lighting conditions.
The sun’s ever-changing position plays with color, changing its appearance throughout the day and night. This is why a particular hue that looks wonderful in bright sunlight one morning may look awful later that same afternoon! Choosing colors should always be done well before painting is scheduled to begin. Give yourself at least one to two weeks, or more if necessary, to monitor your choices.
Beth Frede Interiors – http://bethfredeinteriors.com