2 Tips to Choose Your Color

by Jane VanOsdol on April 29, 2011

After completing a recent major remodeling project, I took stock of how the whole project went. Choosing countertops, flooring, cupboards—all the major decisions—were easy for me. I knew what I wanted, and I picked them out quickly. The one decision that did me in was choosing the paint colors. After much deliberation, I chose my colors and the contractor painted the kitchen.  What I envisioned while the color was still in the can is not how it turned out once it was on the walls. Rewind. Round 2 we got it right, but it was a stressful decision. Here’s a few things I learned along the way about choosing your paint colors.

What’s Your Mood?

If you are gutting the room and starting with a clean slate, choose your interior painting colors based on the mood you want to set or the style you want to evoke. If you know you love the colors of Tuscany, research what those colors are and decide how to use them in your room in your home.

Or perhaps you want to capture the feel of your favorite ocean retreat in your family room. Look for the colors that evoke the sand, the sky, the sun and the ocean.  Decide which color will be your predominate color (about 60% of the room) and then use your next favorite shade in about 30% of the room and the remaining colors in about 10% of the room as accessories.

Remember to use the color palettes and brochures that paint manufacturers put out. That is finally how I hit on my color scheme for my home improvement. A picture on a brochure I found in the paint store completely captured the colors I wanted. It was much easier for me to use these predetermined colors than it was to try to match them myself. Manufacturers put a lot of resources into those brochures, and essentially do all the legwork for us. So I say use ‘em!

What’s Staying?

The other major way to choose your painting palette is to use what will be staying in the room to draw your colors from. Do you have a favorite painting or piece of artwork in the room? Let those colors inspire your wall colors. Is there a color in the fabric on your couch or chair that you just love? How about matching that? If it’s a very vibrant or bright color, perhaps just use it on one accent wall to make the room pop and then choose a more muted shade or a neutral color for the rest of the walls. Always be sure that your new color choices will work with what is staying in the room.

Hopefully these tips will help you choose your new colors with a minimum of stress and indecision. Do your research, purchase sample-size colors (if available—not all manufacturers do this) and try them out before committing the color to the whole room. Your final choice should then be one you’re happy with.

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