How do you go about selecting that perfect color for that next room redo that requires a fresh coat of paint?! First of all, you don’t need to know everything there is to know about color theory, but there are some basics that you should think about before rolling that first splash of color onto the walls. While choosing that perfect shade can take time and some trial and error, my first recommendation is to start with how specific colors make you feel. Remember, every color is a form of energy, so those colors you select will significantly impact how you feel. Start with thinking about your favorite colors because those generally are the colors that make you feel the very best. Your rooms should represent you and how you think is essential to the process.
Before we dive into how this method goes, I will add that paint brings all the magic more than anything you can do to change a room design. Frequently we think we must make significant and expensive decisions in transforming a room, but really a gallon or two of paint will do the trick. I’ve completely transformed kitchens with paint and made rooms look larger or smaller with my color choices. The ideas are endless and, I will add, incredibly budget-friendly. I estimated I saved about $15,000 in my kitchen by using two cans of paint on the cabinets and one can of wood stain on the countertops!
After you’ve figured out which room you’ll be working on, we get going:
Step One-Identify your favorite colors; for me, it’s blue, pink, and even more shades of blue and red; I like many shades of red too. There are so many colors to choose from, which can be a daunting step in the process. Starting with your favorite colors, and narrowing down varying shades within your favorite hue, will help make this process less challenging.
Step Two-What is the room’s primary function? Is it an office where you’ll need focus, energy, and clarity, or is it a cozy bedroom for resting and reading? Knowing your primary function is essential to consider too. I don’t think bright oranges, vivid pinks, or a mix of too many colors works well in a bedroom where you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax and unwind. Also, be mindful of the furniture and flooring that must be incorporated into the overall design.
Step Three-Get inspired! Social media, such as Instagram and Pinterest, offer up endless ideas. Once you know your color(s), you can search based on what is on your mind, such as “blue office with a pop of color” or “light pink walls bedroom.” This lets you narrow down some of your ideas. If you have a color in mind, your search can get even more specific, “Ben Moore Newburyport blue living room” or “farrow and ball green kitchen.”
Step Four-Consider how the rooms flow together. While you don’t have to match your colors from room to room, you should seek harmony as these rooms flow together.
Step Five- Find a good paint store as a resource for researching and purchasing. Paint stores offer many resources on color palettes and varying sheens of color from matte to gloss and can provide you with some guidance on specific finishes. Did you know that most paint stores can also mix other paint manufacturers’ colors? I do this often.
Step Six-Paint chips are too small; invest in a small sample jar to paint a significant section onto the wall. This allows you to see more of the color in the space, and more importantly, you’ll get a different perspective seeing the color in all the other light sources and times of the day. Paint color can change dramatically in different light directions. This simple step will help you avoid a costly and timely mistake!
There you have, my six-step process in finding and choosing the perfect paint color for YOU. First, consider the question, “how will this color make me feel? What emotions does it evoke?” How you feel in your spaces should be top of mind, not the trends, not the “color of the year,” but what works emotionally for you in your home. And that is the most important thing of all in designing a space!
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