When it comes to decorating our homes, we naturally toss elements of our personalities into our decor and color schemes. None of us like living in homes painted “builder’s white” and most of us don’t like living in someone else’s past paint selections. So where to begin? Looking at the myriad assortment of paint colors in a fan deck from the hardware store is enough to throw you into a permanent state of confusion. The truth is no matter how much we love vivid color or how neutral we want to stay, the basics of your home have as much to say as you do about selecting a color palette. Here are 5 points to consider when starting out.
1: The largest surfaces (beside walls) in the home wield the greatest influence – granite counter tops, cabinetry, carpeting, hardwood flooring, tile in kitchens or baths -even your major pieces of furniture such as couches and beds and dressers. They can be bullies and fight you for what you would really like on your walls. But they can be compromised.
2: The direction each room faces dictates the energy, heat and type of light range you can get from it. Both brightness and quality are greatly influenced. It changes the perception of a paint color and needs careful consideration of the activities you will have in each area. The type of artificial light used will also change your colors and create an entirely different mood than you had in mind.
3: Outside influences change the color in your rooms. Besides the brightness of the light in each room, whether the windows face a body of water, forest, garden, pool or patio, the color reflected onto your walls can influence your choice
Eighty foot tall trees flanking your property in the back yard will almost certainly become an element pushing for attention in your family room facing out.
4: The type of activity in each room should also come into play. Family rooms where young children play need to have paint that can stand up to wear and tear and hopefully have a low VOC formula. The color should exude calm and warmth – clear happy colors but without high intensity to compete with or overstimulate the energy from its occupants.
5: Last and most importantly, DO NOT choose a paint color in a paint store!!!! Paint chips are produced by a printing method. They are not paint pigment. Paint should be tested in the room they are being considered for. and compared with two or three others. Not all paints can be purchased in little sample jars. But thankfully many, many are. Most people paint these samples directly on their walls. But this too is not ideal. They should be painted on large poster or foam core boards with a white frame left unpainted around the edges. This is the most accurate way of preventing metamerism – a trick our eyes play on us by melding adjacent colors. Also a painted board will only have the pure example of paint color and not one paint layer on top of another which could subtly bleed through. They can be easily put close to flooring, cabinetry, on top of furniture and next to window treatments to also compare and contrast.
We’ll be covering these points and others in greater detail in coming posts. If you would like help choosing a color palette, we would be happy to help! Give us a call.