How to Pick a Bold Paint Color

Changing wall colors is one of the simplest ways to make a dramatic change to your home, but picking the right bold paint color - one that you'll truly be happy with for the long-haul - is a bit more challenging.  

After all, color has a huge impact on our well-being and how comfortable we are in a space.  How challenging?  Search Amazon.com for books on the "psychology of color" and you get a whopping 2,064 returns!

Before you decide on a general color family, keep in mind:

  • Certain dark colors appear black in anything other than direct lighting.
  • When picking yellow, always go two shades lighter than the color you think you want; yellow appears much more vivid on walls than on paint chips.
  • The wrong red will affect your mood negatively; use many different paint chips (including warm and cool reds) to help pick the right one for you.  As a rule, darker, earthy reds (warm reds) work better to create a welcoming environment.  Bright reds work fine on cabinetry (think contemporary European-style kitchens) but can overwhelm a space when used as a wall color.

If you already have an idea of what color you're after, head to your local Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams stores to look at paint chips but don't rely on the tiny paint chips, alone, to make your choice.  Both companies enable you to order large swatches online (8" x 8" and 8.5" x 11", respectively) that give you a much better representation of what the paint looks like in large areas.  If you have no idea what color you should go with, browse projects on Houzz.com for inspiration.

Once you receive your large paint swatches, affix them to the wall that receives the most natural light, as the amount of natural light you get will greatly impact how the color looks in your room.  Be sure to view the samples at various times of day and in different lighting conditions.  A color that looks great only on a sunny day might be too dreary to keep you happy through Seattle's long, grey winters.

After you've lived with your paint swatches for a while and have narrowed down your selection to two or three finalists, it's time to buy sample cans of each color.  Paint a minimum 3' x 3' square on the same wall where you tested out the paint swatches, leaving a foot between different sample colors.  As with the swatches, view the painted areas at different times of day and in different lighting conditions.  If you're still having trouble deciding, place the paper samples you ordered against your trim and furnishings to see if one looks better than the other(s) in that context.

Don't be afraid to make a mistake; it's only paint!  Products like Kilz can cover over even the darkest of paints.  But if you end-up unhappy with your color choice or want help selecting a color that you won't regret, an interior designer is a great resource for determining which paint colors will look best in each of your living spaces and still reflect your personal style.

Estate Homes' professional design team is here to make your home beautiful.  Get in touch to find out how we can help make you fall in love with your home all over again.  



Jennifer Matthews & Lynne Dillon 31-Dec-2014 0 Comments
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