April 22nd, 2011
Picking paint colors has got to be one of the most challenging design decisions most people face. Even though a gallon of paint ranges from $20 to $75 for the premium collections, it seems harder for people to take a chance with paint than with a piece of furniture that costs many times more.
So how can you get more confident in your paint selections? Listening to advice from professionals who deal with this on a daily basis is always a great place to start. So how do you access advice from these professionals? Start with a great resource like “House Beautiful 500+ Favorite Paint Colors” or “House Beautiful Colors for Your Home: 300 Designer Favorites.”
Culled from the pages of House Beautiful magazine, these reference books complie the best paint color recommendations from interior designers. Rather than just show you the best browns or blues, each designer explains the color and what undertones there are in it or how it makes a room feel. There are also selections based on type of room (bedroom vs. entrance) and sun exposure (north facing vs. south facing). These are the kinds of details that help you understand how color influences the feeling of a space and therefore why certain colors work best.
As you can see from the table of contents above, they have pulled together a lot of color information to get the wheels turning in your head. Not sure what your color personality is? Then take the quiz! Prefer neutrals? They have it covered.
I love how they even feature an example of one of the colors as used in a real space by a designer. Since the color chips they show are not always true to the paint chips you will find on the paint deck when you look at them in person, it is helpful to see the colors in use.
I think of these colors as a great starting place and then I work with the paint decks from the different manufacturers to find similar colors (if the color rendering in the magazine is too different from the paint chip). I believe in ordering larger sheets of paint chips (Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore provide samples to designers of all their colors, up to 8″x10″ in size) and taping them up on the wall for days at a time so I can see how the colors I’m debating between will look at different times of day in different lighting conditions. Trust me, this makes a big difference! That hint of pink undertone in that creamy ivory at night might turn ballerina pink in the daylight.
Small sample pots of paint are a wonderful evolution in the paint industry that I believe help take some of the panic out of paint color selections. Paint swatches (2′ by 3′ is a good size) of each color on the wall and see what they look like throughout the day and night.
And when you finally commit to a paint color, don’t skimp out on the painters tape, roller, or paint base. Use quality materials and it will result in a quality finished product. After you’ve invested all this time and energy in picking a paint color and then painting (or hiring someone else to paint) it would be a shame to have a less than fabulous finished product!
I just bought a new house so you know I’m going crazy picking paint colors and plotting new color schemes and floor plans. Embrace the fun of it, the ability to transform the feeling of a room in a weekend, and to have a fresh new space for very little cash. I hope this has taken some of the fear out of painting for you. Need additional tips? Just ask!
This entry was posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 12:55 pm and is filed under Color Pulse, Design & Home Living Tips, Reading List. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.