Choosing paint color for your interior project can be a challenge. Sometimes you don't really know where to start.
Here are some key things to consider that will help make your choice a little easier:
ē Architectural Hints
ē Inspiration Cues
ē Space Perceptions
ē Sophistication Level
You can make the most of your paint project and have confidence to embrace color with style.
If you have a home with an obvious historical connection to a period of style Ė Victorian or Federal, for example - it can be a great starting point for choosing paint color. Focusing on a period color combination can bring a more unified degree of authenticity to your historical home.
Check paint samples at your local home improvement store for palettes based on historical hues. These colors are often more muted in nature, but quite attractive too.
On the other hand, there is no rule that says you canít use more updated colors inside a period home. A mix of classic and contemporary elements can be quite sophisticated when properly executed.
Period color palettes are definitely worth considering. When the architecture and style elements speak to each other, it creates a visual harmony that canít be denied.
Have you thought about how you want your space to feel? Choosing paint color wisely can go a long way in helping you create the atmosphere you most desire.
For instance, color on the walls combined with crisp white trim produce an up-to-date, stylish look.
Alternately, a room with white walls, softly colored trim and accents of slightly deeper shades of the trim color can create a serene atmosphere.
For a friendly, warm atmosphere try a scheme with shades of yellow, red or orange. Iím not necessary referring to a strong, saturated version of these colors, but perhaps more muted or softened forms of these hues. Accenting with white trim always makes a room look crisp and smart.
For a cooler, more laid back feeling try something in the blue family for your main wall color. Also consider violets and greens that have blue undertones.
Before going all the way with your color choice, I recommend purchasing a small amount or a sample amount to test how it will look in your room with the natural, window light it receives by day and artificial, bulb light it receives by night.
Sunlight from windows facing south is warmer light that will have a slightly yellow cast on your paint color. North facing windows will welcome a bluer light into the room. Likewise, tungsten light bulbs produce a warmer, yellower light while florescent bulbs produce a cooler, bluer light.
Test your paint choice on a moderately sized area of wall and observe how it looks in the light of your home at various times of day. If itís not quite what you expected you can adjust the shade or tint accordingly before making your final purchase.
Not sure what colors to combine in your palette? Pause and take a look around you. There are likely color cues right under your nose. Here are a couple of possibilities to assist you in choosing paint colors:
Look to the great outdoors for color guidance. For example, periwinkle (violet-blue) walls and off-white (with the softest of violet undertone) trim would be a great backdrop for earthy, green fabric furniture. Small accents of a rye grass, tan tone would also blend with the scheme nicely. Can you see how choosing paint color in this combination could have been inspired by a spring garden nestled next to an ivy covered, brownstone wall?
A warmer option might be muted, honey yellow walls, off-white trim and accent fabrics of subdued brick and muddy taupe. These are colors you might see walking along the back edge of a farmerís field in late summer. Nature does a wonderful job of combining pleasing colors.
Art and Fabric
Donít overlook your favorite art work or fabric pattern for inspiration when choosing paint color. These can also be great guides. Take a favorite painting or sample of fabric you plan to use in the room and look at the colors within it.
First, find a color to use on your main walls. I recommend choosing something a bit more low key as apposed to one of the louder colors for the walls. Keep in mind that whatever you choose should be something you would enjoy being surrounded with over an extended period of time. Pick up perhaps two additional colors from the print with your furniture fabrics and smaller accent items.
Even when the size or proportion of your space is less than desirable, choosing paint color appropriately can help minimize this reality.
Keep the color palette low contrast to increase the perception of space. In other words, donít choose colors that strongly play off of each other such as colors on opposite sides of the color wheel.
You may also want to paint any decorative trim work the same color as your wall color. This can actually be a neat, subtle effect in any room scenario. Create visual interest in the room through variations in visual texture.
In a room with oddly angled ceilings that merge with the wall at odd points or in awkward ways (like in some upstairs rooms where the slope of the roof line forms part of the room ceiling), try painting both wall and ceiling the same color. The effect will be a greater feeling of spaciousness.
In rooms with low ceilings, you can also opt to paint the ceiling a lighter hue than the walls. This will help to give it a visual lift.
To make a large room feel more intimate and less cavernous, paint the walls a warm color. Use greater color contrast in this scheme if youíd like.
To make a high ceiling feel a little lower and closer, paint it a darker color than the walls.
Want to add a degree of sophistication to a more formal space? Choosing paint color from a deeper toned palette can be beneficial.
In a formal dining room, for example, the walls might be painted a sophisticated, chocolate brown and the room elements accented in icy blue and a tinge of navy. Trim work painted a Navajo white color would set it off nicely. Silver toned lighting and sparkling glass accessories would make this space a stunning vision to behold.
Deep red tones or dark greens can also lend a wonderful look to a more formal environment.
When choosing paint colors, itís wise to choose hues that will harmonize with each other as seen from one room to the next. For example, the view from the kitchen may open to the dining room. And the view from the dining room may open to the entry hall.
Even though each of these individual spaces may be a different paint color, itís best that they all be of the same general color tone to maintain visual harmony throughout your home.
For example, a muted green, muted red and muted yellow color would be of the same tone though they are different hues. On the other hand, the juxtaposition of sunny yellow, pale gray and olive green would not be of similar tone. Remember to consider the view from one room to another.
The good thing about choosing paint color is it doesnít have to be a permanent choice. If you arenít wild about the result after youíve lived with it a while you can re-paint it. Yes, it does require some some effort, but it can also be quite enjoyable and fulfilling to see the transformation. Paint really is one of the most cost effective ways to alter the look of any room.