Choose Colours That You Are Comfortable With
There are people who choose colours with ease for their vehicles, accessories and clothing, but for some reason they have a great deal of anxiety when it comes to picking paint colours for their home.
Choose colours that you feel comfortable living with. This can be colours in nature, your clothing or decorative items already have in your home. If you are not daring enough to use a bold colour on your walls add a pop of colour with decorative accessories. It’s less of a commitment to purchase a few throw pillows or colourful wall hangings than repainting a wall if you don’t like it.
Feeling Lost And Don’t Know Where To Start With Colour Choices?
If you are really stuck start by eliminating what you don’t like. Can you scratch certain colour groups completely off your list? Perhaps you don’t like yellows and greens, or purples and red tones are not your thing. You’re down to blue, gray and brown. Now you can start to see what versions of these colours will work in your home.
Current Paint Colour Trends
If you are interested in the current or upcoming colour trends there’s plenty of information offered by the major paint companies through their websites and in store brochures. You can find many sources of inspiration through decorating and home improvement websites. Use caution when looking at colour trends. The fixation on gray walls went on for several years, but other colour fads can be short lived. You don’t want to be questioning your colour choice within a year or two.
Utilize The Colour Tools On Paint Manufacturer’s Websites
Benjamin Moore’s colour portfolio mobile app is full of innovative features. If you see a colour on a surface or object you can take a photo and it will show you the closest equivalent in their colour system.
After downloading the app you can upload photos of your rooms and see what colours in the Benjamin Moore virtual fan deck look like on your walls, trim work and ceilings. If you don’t want to download the app you can play with the look of different colours on their example photos. Your local Benjamin Moore store will have further colour inspiration in brochures and pamphlets.
Sherwin Williams has an online colour snap visualizer or you can download the mobile app. It allows you to see their colours on your uploaded photos or you can use the photos provided on the website. Add their snap button to your web browser you can click on an online image and it will bring up a corresponding Sherwin Williams colour palette. The website also features an array of articles with information on colour theory and choosing colours.
Online Resources For Colour Inspiration
Houzz is a great site for decorating and colour inspiration. You can create your own personal Houzz idea book. Search through the photo section on Houzz and when you see images of projects, colours and interior design that you like the images can be saved to your idea book for future reference.
If you haven’t ventured into the world of Pinterest consider yourself officially warned, you can lose yourself in it for hours. There’s endless decorating and colour inspiration and you can search for other things like recipes, craft ideas and pretty much anything else you can think of. You can type very specific things into the search function like “popular blue colours for bedrooms” or “calm interior wall colours.” When you find things you like you pin them to your own personal board. The pins can be organized into whatever categories you like.
Online searching can bring up all kinds of decorating websites and blogs by interior designers that provide paint colour information. Designers have done reviews on YouTube for many of the popular Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams colours. For instance go to YouTube and type in “Benjamin Moore Simply White review” it will come up with several video choices to watch.
Creating A Mood With Paint Colour
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 office space or energy in a fitness room? Does the space need to have a light and airy atmosphere or do you want to create a warm and intimate 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 and patterns in your furniture, accent pieces, textiles, wall art and area rugs.
Modern greige and beige colours can give your interior warm and comfortable feeling.
Creamy whites can act as a great neutral back drop to decorate against.
If you don’t want to paint the same colour throughout all of your house then a fail proof choice is to go with a monochromatic colour scheme that uses several shades of the same colour. Or use pre-selected complimentary colours. Most paint companies have examples of two or three colours that have been chosen to be work well together throughout a home.
Picking Paint Colours For A Renovation, 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. Pick the colours and design of your major fixed elements such as the flooring, countertops and cabinets. Then pick your longer term furnishings such as the couch, chairs, blinds and curtains. Bring all these items together in a colour scheme along with the paint colours. The paint is going to be the one thing that has an infinite amount of choices. You’ll always be able to find a paint colour that will compliment the other items you have chosen.
Picking A New Colour For An Existing Room
You may have fallen in love with a new colour, but don’t re-paint your walls with it before considering if it works in your space. Look at the colouring of the flooring, cabinets, counter tops and other fixed items that are not changing. Pay attention to furniture, draperies, window coverings, area rugs and artwork. These can all provide inspiration for your colour choices.
Keep in mind how an individual room correlates to the rest of your house. Can you see the room from other spaces? If so, you don’t want the colours to fight against each other.
How Lighting Affects Paint Colour
One of the main factors that affects paint color or any colour for that matter is light, whether it’s natural or artificial. Take into consideration the lighting in the room during various times of the day. Pay special attention to the artificial lighting in the room, it can drastically change the look of a paint colour. Light bulbs can give off hues of yellow, blue, red or green.
Natural and artificial light can make the same colour used throughout a house appear different in every room and on each wall 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.
The same wall colour can appear lighter, darker, warmer or cooler depending on what type of artificial light is being cast on it. How much or little natural light is entering the space and the direction the light is coming from, north, south, etc. all have influences on how the colour appears.
Your colour choice may come down to a compromise of having a colour that looks good during a certain time of the day and you accept that it takes on a certain hue at other times or when your artificial lights are on. You can try changing out your light bulbs to a different colour temperature to see if that helps.
The next two photos are a perfect example of how the same colour can look completely different in a room or throughout a house. All of the walls in the two photos below are painted with Sherwin Williams Repose Gray.
In the first photo the current light has the window wall appearing to be darker and it has taken on a slight violet undertone. The fireplace wall is lighter and has a slight cast of green. Some of that green cast could be coming from the tint of the window glass.
In this second photo the dining hutch wall looks like it has a slight green undertone. The wall below the loft is showing a bit of violet and the loft wall where the railing is looks blue.
Accenting Specific Features or Trim Work With Paint Colour
Be careful if you’re deciding to use different colours within the same space. Don’t just stick in an accent wall for the sake of doing so. It needs to look intentional or be put on something worth accenting. A recessed wall or a wall at the end of a long hallway can be a good spot to paint an accent colour. This can be an attractive way to showcase artwork.
The photos below show a nice example of colour blocking with a deep gray, It helps to add some interest to the white rooms throughout this town house.
Choosing A Paint Colour For Ceilings
If you are having your walls painted make sure you check the condition of your ceilings. If they need painting this is the time to do it. In almost every scenario the order of painting is ceilings first, then the walls. You don’t want to paint the walls and then regret that you should have got the ceilings done.
Quite often homeowners don’t realize how discoloured their ceilings have become or how much colour they have in them to begin with. Original textured ceilings can have a yellow, gray or even pink tone to them. It may not be noticeable until you change your wall colour and then you realize they look off. Painting ceilings with white or a slight off-white colour can give a room a fresh look. You’ll be surprised how much brighter a space looks when the ceilings have been re-painted whiter.
Many rooms will benefit from having a white ceiling to create a bright and light space. Other areas can have a desirable look by painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls or a lighter tint of the wall colour. If you have a room with very high ceilings and want to make it feel lower or cozier it can be done by painting the ceiling with a deeper colour.
In this open concept living space the home owner had us paint the walls and the tray ceiling above the dining table in the same rich rich green/gray colour. The ceiling could have been left white, but the darker colour on the ceiling helps to further define the dining space. The depth and richness of the colour shows of the architecture well.
Consider The Overall Feel When Choosing Paint Colours Throughout Your Home
If you have a home with an open floor plan it may be 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 add a contrasting colour in one or two spaces like a powder room or a den.
Pick the colour or colours for the main spaces first and then create the palette through the rest of the house from there. Houses tend to be more appealing when there is a flow and harmony through the rooms. This creates continuity and an illusion of more space.
Choosing Paint Chips And Applying Colour Samples
Colour chips are a good starting point, but it can be difficult to choose a paint colour for an entire space from such a small sample. Grab a bunch of chips that you like and pick chips in a slightly lighter and darker version of each colour. Take these home and use them as your initial reference to eliminate and narrow down your choices.
When looking at paint chips on your wall remember that the background colour you are holding it up against is going to greatly affect how your eye sees the colour. It’s going to be trying to compare the two colours. 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 how the colour looks. If you are not painting your trim work and doors you want to make sure the new colour is going to work well with the existing trim colour and doors.
Once you have your choice narrowed down to a colour or two then the best approach is to get a sample of the colours. All paint companies offer smaller sample sizes. Painting a poster board is a great way to make a sample. You can move the boards around the rooms or spaces in your home at different times of the day to see how the colour looks. A decorator’s tip is to leave a border of white around the edge of the poster board. As mentioned above when you try to compare two colours each one is influencing how the other looks. The white border helps to give a neutral break between your existing wall colour and the colour on the board so that you can get a truer sense of what it looks like.
Paint Sheen Can Change The Way A Colour Appears
The type of paint finish or sheen can have an effect on a colour. Flat or matte paints generally give the truest representation of a colour because they have little or no reflection. Eggshell has some reflection and satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss have progressively more reflection. Paint colours in higher sheens tend to look darker. Paint companies generally have only one sheen available for their samples, usually it’s eggshell or satin. Keep in mind that when the actual paint job is done the colour can look somewhat different if it is not in the same sheen as the paint sample.