5 Rules For Choosing Interior Paint Colors
It can be both exciting and overwhelming to choose new paint colors for our home’s interior! Many of us feel we have way too many options and some of us don’t even know where to start…Some of us think the paint color will change the whole feel of the home, while the rest of us think paint is just paint…Some of us see painting as an opportunity to add character to our home, while some of us paint our homes to make them as neutral as possible…you know in case we decide to sell it next week…;) Surely, there is a balance to be found! Whatever your style or goals are for your paint project; remembering these 5 rules should help you out!
1. Work With The Colors You Have
Unless you are planning a full remodel; it is important to choose paint colors that work well with other colors that are in your home. Your cabinets, floors, counter-tops, furniture etc will all have an effect on how the color actually shows up in your home. Basic Color Theory tells us that color is perceived in contrast to the colors around it. Notice the difference visible in this simple example I made using 3 different colored pieces of paper. The gray is the same but you can see how it looks slightly different depending on its surroundings.
While the difference isn’t HUGE in this image, it is very common for people who have warm toned cabinets and floors to choose a nice cool gray that looks good at the store or even in a friend’s home; only to find that it looks blue or even purple in contrast to what is in their home. (Guilty!)
Because of how easy it is for simple things to alter the overall look; many people who LIKE colors would rather just choose white paint than deal with a color that looks different than they were expecting. Sad. One way to avoid this issue is to actually bring home several swatches of paint colors from the store and hold them up next to the other colors in your home.
If you Do plan on changing something other than just the paint (flooring, carpet, fireplace etc); find samples of whatever that will be as well. Don’t worry about matching paint colors to the couch you’re going to throw out in 3 weeks. 😉
2. Remember Lighting Changes The Color
The next thing to consider as you compare paint colors for your space is the lighting. Most paint swatches look very different at the paint store than they will look in the space you will be painting them. This can be for many reasons; such as the tones of your light-bulbs (incandescent, halogen, daylight, fluorescent etc), the amount of direct sunlight that comes in, and even whether that sunlight is morning light or evening light! The temperature or hue of the light (on a scale of warm to cool) makes a big difference in how you see the color overall.
While the amount of light changes throughout the day; so too will your paint colors. Most of us know and accept this, but it is still important to keep in mind as you choose the colors for your home. Here is an example of how the same color can look different in the same room because of different temperatures of light.
3. Trendy is Spendy
A lot of the times when we can’t decide which color we want in our space, we hop on google and find some article about “the best color choices this year” or we scroll instagram and see nicely curated pictures with certain themes and trends and we think “That looks Great!”. We all know how long trends last though; so if our aim is to be trendy and “modern”, it is going to be a continuous work. Some people like to always be renovating and changing up their space, and it is true that paint and furniture and all the things do not last forever and usually will need re-done at some point anyway, so it is not exactly a “wrong” approach. However, taking some time to think about what you Actually like is a more sustainable way of choosing how you design your space.
Choosing Trendy Paint Colors
If you choose the “trendy” color; do you also then have to toss out all your throw pillows and furniture because they don’t match the theme? Do you actually like the wicker baskets that go so nicely with the theme of every image that has the trending colors? Have you looked up how expensive those are?! 😉 Were you actually planning on re-doing your fireplace as well? The main question is really— Do you like the Color or do you like the Theme? How much of what exists in your home are you prepared to change, financially? And how much are you expecting the paint to do by itself? How often are you willing to change it because it has become outdated? Because it will.
Choosing Paint Colors We Like
Sometimes we do like trends and the paint colors attached to them; as they can be very like-able. Maybe we Do want to change everything; but for most of us the reality is that by the time we can get all the work done to make all the things flow together- it probably won’t be trendy anymore. This is a non-issue if we are slowly working towards a color scheme that we genuinely like, rather than trying to keep up with the trends. Trends can be a lot of fun and provide great inspiration and new ideas…Just remember not to focus on them so much that you forget what you really like!
4. Aim For Color Harmony
One definition of Harmony is “The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole”. We know that something is visually harmonious when it is pleasing to look at. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being bland and boring, and 10 being chaotic and distracting, we should aim for somewhere near 5! We have all seen paint themes that fall on both ends of this spectrum… I tend to remember that chaotic ones more than the boring ones…but not in a good way…hehehe… While it is true that we all perceive things differently; a balance that is relatively harmonious is found near the middle. Somewhere between under-stimulating and over-stimulating. Harmony is found when the colors are both logical and dynamic.
When you choose your paint colors; it is easy to find colors that are harmonious with each other, but don’t forget to make sure they make sense with the other things in your home too! The best way to be pleased with your results is to consider all the parts of the whole! Choosing your favorite color might sound great…but it won’t be when it clashes with everything else. Picking white to avoid any of the complexities can be nice…but it can also be incredibly boring. Choosing paint color based on a trend can be exciting…and also way more work than you were looking for. Find the balance!
5. Hire A Color Consultant
A color consultant’s job is to remember all of these things for you. It is their job to tie together what you like with what you have. They will suggest colors that will be a better fit, and eliminate ones that are not going to work. They understand color theory and which tones will work best in your space. Often times, they will have larger color swatches or paint samples that they can hold up or paint on different walls. Painting larger sections of walls can give you a chance to see if you like the color throughout the day and how it will look different from one wall to another. This can help you narrow down which color you actually want based on what looks best to you at the time of day when it matters most to you.
All paint colors are subject to changing tones based on lighting and surroundings, but a color consultant can help you find the best color for you! They may also have ideas you haven’t thought of that could really bring new life to your space! If you work with Sir Paints A Lot, we provide a free color consult when you book a paint job with us! If you aren’t local; check around! Many paint companies have started adding this to their services as well! Happy Customers are the goal!