Wall Color Basics 101

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Color can be intimidating and yet at the same time be very fun and exciting!  There are so many color selections to chose from that people often feel confused and afraid to make a final decision.  The pressure in trying to select the “right” color can be so stressful that we don’t stop and actually remind ourselves about the worst that can happen… which is… if you don’t end up liking the color you chose just repaint it!  If you remind yourself that the worst is really not that bad, some of that stress in making a color selection might just go away! 🙂

 

When selecting a wall color, remember to take the amount of light as well as what the room is used for into consideration.  Cooler colors (such as blues, greens, grays) are usually used in rooms that you want to create a calm feeling of rest and relaxation.  You will find many cooler colors in bedrooms and bathrooms.  On the other hand, warmer colors are used in rooms that are more active and lively such as living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens.  Color can also evoke different emotions for different people and cultures.  So, when you are looking at colors think of what they remind you of when you look at them and be sure to select a color family that for you evokes good emotions!

 

It’s very difficult to really see the true color of a specific paint color by only looking at the store color charts that displays the selection within 1 inch x2 inch box.  Additionally, it is difficult to really see a color in the daytime versus nighttime and in true light versus artificial light.  What I always recommend is buying a small sample of the paint.  In most paint stores, you can buy a pint of paint for roughly $5-$6.  I think recommend buying a cheap canvas board (the painter’s use which are often found in craft stores such as Michael’s or A.C. Moore’s) and painting the canvas with a few coats of the paint.  You can then take the canvas with you to various areas of the room (and even hang it up with a small tack) where the light shines differently.  You can then keep the canvas hanging so that you get a more true sense of how the color looks in the daylight, nighttime, true light and artificial light.  Believe me the color will look different in different light and in different areas of the room!

 

A good rule of thumb to remember is the 60-30-10 rule.  60% of the room should reflect the major color of the room, 30% should reflect a secondary color and 10% should reflect an accent color with your accent pieces.  Simply put, the walls in the living room are tan (60%), the oversized couch and love seat are chocolate brown (30%) and your arm chair is in a floral fabric (which includes tan, brown and blue) with solid color throw pillows on the couch and love seat that are in the same shade of blue as in the floral chair (10%).  This is a safe and easy way to work with color in a room.

 

Additionally, too help create harmony in a house that is very open, you should carry an accent color of one room into the next room.  This helps to create an easy transition from one room to the next.  It makes the colors flow in your house from one room to the other which also creates a nice balance!

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