We do a lot of interior painting for our Asheville customers, but this week I'm taking a break for the holiday and painting my own space...
...which means that my wife and I have been looking at colors all week. With many years of painting experience, I've come up with a few tricks for choosing the right colors for a room, and I thought I'd share them today.
Consider the Mood
It's tempting to paint a room your "favorite color", but sometimes that may clash with the mood of the room. For example, I love red walls as much as the next person, but they might not be ideal if you want a restful mood.
Before we painted our walls, my wife collected photos of rooms she liked:
She decided that what they had in common was a "warm glow," so we got lots of paint chips in warm colors. And speaking of paint chips...
Get LOTS of Chips... but Don't Stop There
Paint chips are free, so get all the ones you think you want, and then get 30 more.
Once you've narrowed it down, get some sample paint jars and roll out a big area of each color you like. We started with 3 colors that all looked the same in their little jars but were REALLY different when we rolled them out on the wall. Some looked golden yellow, while others looked icy white.
(In fact, I thought about calling this post "Fifty Shades of Beige!")
Consider Your Art and Furniture
It's tempting to choose a paint color in isolation, but remember that you'll have furniture and maybe some art in your home, too! Use your collection as a starting point. Put swatches of color near your couch, your favorite paintings and so on.
Context is everything with color; and it's not just the furniture that you have to consider.
Look at the Color at Different Times of Day
My wife's first choice looked like pistachio green in the evening...
...but in the morning sunshine, it turned into electric lime green! Which brings me to my next point:
Really brilliant colors like cobalt blue look best in small spots, like on a table lamp. When you're painting a large wall, it's better to choose a color that's a little bit grayer or "muddier."
I saw a great example of this in another job I did recently. Instead of matching the brilliant blue in this painting, my customer chose a grayer color. In fact, it looked plain gray in the can, and the "blue" didn't come out until I spread it out on the wall.
When we painted our walls, we ended up using a much duller color than we expected, but it still has the warm glow that we were looking for.
Once you've chosen your color, it's time to choose an interior painter with practice.