Choose Colours You Are Comfortable With
Many people seem to be comfortable choosing colours in every aspect of their life except when it comes to painting their home. They choose colours with ease for their vehicles, accessories and clothing. For some reason when it comes time to pick house colours they have a great deal of anxiety. The bottom line is to pick colours that you feel comfortable living with. Choose colours that you already know you like. This can be colours in nature or in your clothing or decorative items that you already have in your home. If you do not want to be daring with a bold paint colour on your walls but want to add a pop of colour to your decor, do it with accessories. It’s much less commitment to purchase a few throw pillows or artwork.
Feeling Lost? How To Start With Your Colour Selections
If you are really stuck with where to start you should at least be able to eliminate what you don’t like. Don’t like bold colours, there’s one category gone. Can you scratch certain colour shades completely off your list? Perhaps you don’t like yellows and greens. You’re starting to narrow it down. Purples or reds are not your thing, you’re down to milder versions of blues, greys and browns. Now go from there and see what works with what you have in your home.
Current Paint Colour Trends
If you are interested in the current or upcoming colour trends look to clothing and fashion. Check out the latest clothing on the runways and in magazines, you’ll usually see the same colours show up in decorating.
Creating a Mood With Paint Colour
It is interesting to note that colour can have a big influence on human emotion and behavior. Think about the mood you would like to create in a space. What kind of effect are you looking for? Is it to create a sense of relaxation in a bedroom or playfulness in a child’s room? Are you looking for a calming spa like feeling in your bathroom or trying to induce creativity in an an office space or energy in a fitness room? Does the space need to have a lighter and airy atmosphere or do you want to create a warm and cozy feeling? For more detailed information see our post on How Room Colours Affect Our Mood.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Choosing Neutrals Or Safe Colour Choices
Don’t feel you’re boring or unadventurous if you like to use neutral colours throughout your home. Neutrals are the perfect backdrop to creating any type of look you want. Make your spaces interesting with textures in textiles, accent pieces and furniture, wall art and area rugs.
For a fail proof and safe choice go with a monochromatic colour scheme that uses several shades of the same colour. Many of the colour strips at the paint stores are set up in this way. Check out their brochures as well. Most companies have specific examples of paint colours for use in interior rooms and offer photos to look at on their websites for decorating inspiration.
Most paint companies have a collection of what are known as classic colours. These are tried and true options that have been used for years. They are colours that work well in a variety of spaces.
Picking Paint Colours For A Renovation, Complete Redecorating Or When New Furniture Is Being Purchased
When there are many choices to be made for renovations or redecorating the paint colour should be one of the last things you choose. Always pick the colours and design of your major items first such as the flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc. Then pick items like your large furniture such as the sofa and drapes and window coverings. Bring all these items together in a colour scheme along with the paint colours. The paint is going to be the one item that has an infinite amount of colour choices. You will always be able to find something that will compliment the other items you have chosen.
Picking New Colours For an Existing Room
Look to the items that already exist in the space. Focus on the flooring, cabinets, counter tops and other fixed items that are not changing. Pay attention to furniture, draperies and window coverings, area rugs and artwork. These can all provide inspiration for your colour choices. It can be easy to fall in love with a colour and not consider how it is going to look overall with other items in the room. Once the paint is on the wall you don’t want to stand back and realize that it doesn’t work with other items in the room.
Keep in mind how an individual room correlates to the other areas of your house. Can you see the room from other spaces? Colours that create flow and harmony throughout the home tend to be more appealing. They can also create an illusion of more space.
How Lighting Affects Paint Colour
One of the main factors that affects paint color is light. Take into consideration the lighting in the room during various times of the day. Pay special attention to the artificial lighting in any room. It can drastically change the look of a paint colour, often given off yellow, blue, red or green tones. The same colour used throughout a house can appear different in every room and even on different walls within the same room. This is why we recommend looking at a colour in many areas of the space you intend to use it in.
Sometimes it comes down to a compromise of having a colour that you like the look of during the day and it just is what it is during the evening with your artificial lights. You can always try changing out your light bulbs to a different colour temperature to change the way a room looks.
The photos below are a perfect example of how different lighting can affect colour. Each of the eight spaces below are in the same house where all the walls have been painted in the same light grey colour.
The two top bedrooms look fairly similar because they have the same type of light bulb in the ceiling fixture. The photo of the room with the piano was taken when a lot of natural light was coming through the window. The next photo of the walk in closet has a light that is casting a strong yellow tone.
The entry light looks like it’s also casting a yellow tone. The breakfast nook walls look somewhat silvery, as does the living room walls. The hallway looks like a darker grey at the particular time of the photo due to the lack of natural light.
Accenting Specific Features or Trim Work With Paint Colour
Be careful if deciding to use different colours within the same space. Don’t just stick in an accent wall for the sake of doing so. We have done our fair share of painting over these in the last few years. Either the original owner becomes tired of the look or the new owner does not care for it. When using a feature or accent colour make sure you are putting it on something that is worth featuring.
A recessed wall or a wall at the end of a long hallway can be a good spot to paint in a darker colour. This can be an attractive way to showcase artwork. Sometimes you will want your trim work and baseboards in a room to stand out from the walls, typically in a white or off-white. Other times it might be best to have them blend in by painting them out the same as the walls. This can create an illusion of height when a space has low ceilings. If you have those really tiny baseboards that are only a few inches high consider painting them out the same as the walls. If they are very insignificant in height it might not make sense to have them stand out by painting them white.
Choosing A Paint Colour For Ceilings
If you are having your walls painted this is the time you want to check to see if your ceilings need painting as well. Often people do not realize how discoloured their ceilings have become. In almost every scenario ceilings get painted first before the walls are done. You don’t want to have your walls painted first and then realize you should have had the ceilings done.
Original textured ceilings can often become yellow or have a grey or even pink tone to them. It may not be that noticeable until you change your walls colour. Then suddenly they stand out like a sore thumb. Painting ceilings with a pleasing white or an off white colour can give a room a fresh look.
Certain rooms will benefit from having a bright white ceiling to create an illusion of space and light. Other areas can have a desirable look by painting the ceiling to look the same as the walls or a lighter tint of the wall colour. A room with a very high ceiling can be made to look lower by painting it with a darker colour.
Consider The Overall Feel When Choosing Paint Colours Throughout Your Home
If you have a home with an open floor plan it’s usually best to use the same colour or shades of the same colour throughout the spaces. If you want a pop of colour do it on an accent wall or a door. Or you can highlight the interior of a glass cabinet with a bolder colour. A bedroom or a powder room may be a place you may want to experiment with a bit of a difference from other spaces in the house. It depends on how much continuity you like.
It’s best to start with the room or rooms that will have the most elements that need to be coordinated with. The kitchen is an example of this. It will have a lot of elements to take into consideration such as the countertops, cabinets, perhaps a back splash and flooring. Once you have the most crucial colours picked out you can continue throughout the rest of the house with the same colour if that works. Or you can use variations or different shades of the same colour that will be complimentary.
Choosing Paint Chips And Applying Colour Samples
When you are looking at colour chips that you like grab ones that are lighter and darker versions of the same colour. You never know how it’s going to look in your space and what you might end up going with.
It can be difficult to choose the paint colour for an entire space from a small colour chip. When looking at a paint sample our brain automatically compares it to any colours next to it. Look at a paint chip colour individually and not in comparison to other colours on the same paint chip. Get the larger individual chips most companies now offer. If you are looking at a paint chip on your wall remember that the background colour is going to greatly affect how it looks. Try to block out the background colour and envision the new colour all over the wall and throughout the space. Holding the colour chip up to your trim work if it is white or off-white is also a good way to see a truer representation of the colour.
Don’t ever rely on the sample of a colour you see on a website. Computer screens can have huge variances.
Don’t hesitate to try samples of the colour on the wall. Almost all paint stores sell small sample pots of their paint. Even if they don’t the small expense of buying a quart or liter of a colour is worth the investment to make sure you like it. If you are not comfortable in doing this your painter will usually offer this service.
Paint Sheen Can Change The Way A Colour Appears
The type of paint sheen or finish can have an effect on a colour. Flat or matte paints can make a colour look lighter because they absorb light and have no reflection. Matte or eggshell finishes are generally give a true representation of a colour and semi gloos and high gloss sheen can make a colour look darker because it will reflect light. This ties in with the previous paragraph on applying paint samples. Paint companies generally have only one sheen available for their samples. When the actual full paint job is done the colour can look different if it is not the same sheen as what the paint sample was.