- Inspiration & Tips
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So you're ready to paint and this time you really want to choose paint colors with confidence. I can help you with that!
As a decorative painter and color consultant for many years, I've honed a process for creating beautiful interior and exterior color palettes that I'm happy to share with you here.
Start with my favorite, 8 1/2 x 11 COLOR Swatches - have you seen them yet?!
These large scale samples are big accurate representations of our colors so you can really see the nuances and undertones of the colors you're considering. Makes it a lot easier to imagine the color on your walls and in your room.
Let's cover a bit of ground before you order those Swatches.
First: How Do You Want to Feel?
We all have emotional responses to color so to a great extent, you can control how you feel in a room. Isn't that cool?
Think about the activities and mood you want to create. Do you want the room to feel relaxed? cozy? organized?
And how will you spend your time there? Entertain? Meditate? Sleep?
Putting these ideas together helps you look at the colors that help you feel those things. For some blue is relaxing, for others it's depressing. It's very personal, so this is your chance to inject your own personality and consider colors that feel really good to you.
Two: Hone in to select color options
Once you’ve decided on the mood you'd like to create, choose a color or two that make your feel that way.
Next, pick a few variations on that color to help you find the right hue and tone for the lighting and decor you have in your room.
I suggest looking at a lighter tint, a darker shade, and maybe a more muted version of your color idea. Here's an example blues you might choose if soft pastel-y hues agree with you. (I really didn't mean to rhyme that!)
Psst: Now's a great time to consider trim and ceiling colors as well. Here's a tip: the more of one color you use, the more mood and impact that color will have on the space. The more contrasting trim you paint, the more your room will be outlined and defined.
Three: Take a really good look
There's no way around it, you have to look at these colors in the room where you're going to paint. So order your 8 1/2 x 11 COLOR Swatches in the colors you're considering. We mail them to you so as soon as they arrive, it's time to take a look.
Walk around the room with your COLOR Swatches holding them next to everything that's going to stay in the room (like flooring, countertops, cabinets) and everything you love (like curtains, pillows, art, furniture).
The colors that feel the best with your things will start to stand out. So you may be able to eliminate a few color options already!
Now, tape the COLOR Swatches to the wall near those things we just talked about. Step back and look at them in context of the color covering that whole wall.
Psst: If look at the color by doorways you'll see how they'll look from other areas in the house.
Lastly, light changes all day long in your home. So, narrow down your choices (you may already have a winner!) and look at your 'finalist' colors several times throughout the day to see how they look in morning, evening, natural, and artificial light.
The color that resonates with the mood you're creating will emerge and you'll start to feel it!
And ultimately, the right colors for your home are those that not only fit your personal style and furnishings, they also make you feel good.
Fourth: Don't ask, don't tell
I know you're worried about making a mistake, but take a deep breathe and try to explore your color ideas with curiosity and a sense of discovery. If you ask everyone you know for their opinion, you'll get, well, too many opinions. Resist the urge!
Trust your instincts, enjoy the amazing colors you get to consider and imagine yourself in your new room feeling the way you want to feel and doing the things you want to do with a sense of easy purpose.
Oh, and if you need a little more support, here are two videos that explain everything I just said... with pictures. Helps sometimes :-)