Pick The Right Paint Color in 7 Easy Steps
Color can have a dramatic effect on us. It can make us instantly love something, or question it instead. It can make us feel happy or sad, excited or subdued. Obviously, choosing paint colors for a home is a big decision; they can change the look and feel of the entire space. So how do you know which colors are right?
Once you’ve settled into your new Ernest home, and you’re ready to tackle some interior design projects, here are some tips for choosing the right paint colors:
1) Try a color in a small area. If you’re not sure about a color, paint a small room or area with it, and then live with it for a while. You may love it… or decide it’s best used only in small amounts as an accent.
2) Consider how the room is being used. Designers tend to paint kitchens brighter colors because they are high-energy spaces, full of activity and people. Bedrooms need to be more private and tranquil, so softer, muted colors are used more often.
3) Select a color from something you already own – a piece of art, a rug, or a piece of furniture. If you like the colors of those items, it’s more likely you’ll love them on your walls. If you’re unsure, use technology! There are apps like ColorSnap® by Sherwin Williams that can take the colors from an inspiration piece (vase, artwork, rug), and create a complementary color palette.
4) Pay attention to the light. Natural daylight shows a truer color; typical light bulbs bring out yellow tones; fluorescent lighting casts a cool, blue tone. Test the color with the main light source in the room to get an accurate idea of what the true tone of the color will be. Color also looks different at different times of the day, so check back to see what you think.
5) Consider how wall colors will impact adjacent rooms. If you're in one room, and you see a piece of another room, do the colors work together? Do they clash or flow together? Even though you may use different colors in different rooms, walking from space to space shouldn’t be a jarring experience.
6) Try a monochromatic scheme. Using one color in different finishes and hues can be very striking. You can create variations with contrasting paint finishes (matte vs. glossy), or by selecting a warmer or cooler shade within your main color group. You can use white or off-white tint as an accent.
7) When in doubt, look at the color wheel. It’s a great tool for figuring out which colors go well together. For example, red and green are complementary (opposite) colors, so they are very intense when used together. The color wheel also shows whether a color is warm or cool. Follow the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet, and you'll see that all the colors on the left are warm and the colors on the right are cool.
No matter which colors you choose, decorating your own home is a fun and exciting process. Once it’s yours, home can feel — and look — any way you’d like. For more design inspiration, visit our Photo Gallery or Design Studio, or schedule an appointment to see a model home.