The moment has come, you’ve made the decision to paint the room(s) in your home. You are focused on getting the job done and head over to visit a paint store. As you stand there in true combat mode: color chips vs. you time comes to a stop; you feel the color hue quicksand sucking you in. Confusion sets in as the options take over your focus and determination. The endless shades of gray and array of “off whites” - that seem all the same yet have proper names like: Powder Sand, Cotton Balls, Simply White, and Ice Mist, turn you off into a sea of self-doubt. “Dash out and leave it for another day” seems like the best color name at the moment. But do you really want to just leave? That unfinished room or your peeling home exterior paint will be there greeting you like a faithful friend on your return! So…Let’s grab the “navy bull” by the horns. Below are seven tips, to getting your paint hues fired up!
1. The Space
My first question to any client: How do you wish to feel in your space? Focused, efficient, creative? Secure and at ease? Passionate and optimistic? Is this a social space or sleeping quarters? Once you know how you want to feel in the space and what its function is, the color will come to you with ease.
Let’s say you want a white as the neutral for your walls. White comes with many undertones. If you put Benjamin Moore’s Sand Dollar White next to its Pure White, the first one will have a red undertone to it. As opposed to the latter one that has a blue undertone to it. Keep that in mind as you feel and look at the colors.
3. To Trend or not to Trend
That gray you saw on the HGTV magazine that is trending looks perfect! Before running to purchase all the forty and something dollar paint cans take a moment to feel if that color works in your desired space. Does it coordinate with your furniture and the other existing spaces? If you are only painting one room, will it flow well with the adjacent rooms?
Take a look at your windows and see what direction they are looking out at, north, south, east or west facing. Depending on your home’s cardinal location, light will impact differently the color on your walls. South-facing windows allow the most winter sunlight but not as much direct sunlight during the summer months. North-facing windows have a relatively even, natural light. East and West facing windows provide good daylight, although in South of Florida the West sun most likely needs proper shading as it is the most intense hours of sunlight in the afternoon.
5. Base Paint & Accents Colors
Stick to a neutral palette for all walls and ceilings and then add a few accent walls here and there. I personally love an accent wall. It brings in a pop of color and visual interest. Take into consideration if you have furniture with bold colors or textured fabric, avoid pairing a strong piece like a blue sofa with a bold accent wall, as they can neutralize each other and neither will stand out. Neutral does not have to be necessarily a white, beige or gray it’s just a lighter version of any color.
6. Samples and the Process of Elimination
Take home some sample chips from the paint store. Try to make a pre-selection or you can order a color fan online and have it delivered to your door step. Select three base colors, order over-sized color samples or purchase some quarts of paint to sample on a foam board. This will give you a better grasp of what your color selection will feel like. Move the color boards around to each wall and get a sense of how the light will bounce off the color. Bright natural light will wash out colors, so you might have to go a shade darker.
7. Our Favorite Whites.
Benjamin Moors Whites: China White, Cotton Balls (yellow undertone), White Dove & Decorators White.
Sherwin William’s: Pure White, Cotton White, Alabaster (warm undertone), Creamy and Westhighland.
I hope these were some helpful tips that have guided and inspired you through the paint selection process!