Happy spring everyone! How wonderful it is to throw open those windows and ventilate all of the stale indoor winter air. Love it! Fresh air brings a renewed energy to the soul. With the anticipation of flowers blooming and the earth coming out of hibernation, lets talk color to give that renewed energy a jump-start. Winter can get so drab with the long nights and lack of daytime sun. Thankfully, the days are getting longer and the Missouri Botanical Gardens helps ease the winter blues with their annual orchid show to help brighten those dreary days. I love gathering inspiration from the delicate and breathtaking display and translating it into colors and décor in my clients’ homes and businesses.
Before the weather gets too gorgeous that you’ll be enjoying it outdoors, you may want to consider painting a room or two in your home. Paint can be one of the quickest, most inexpensive ways to make an enormous impact on a space. Whether you hire a professional painter, or you’re a do-it-yourselfer, please don’t cheap out on the paint! Why not? You’re probably wondering why splurge for the pricier brands when you could get a similar look with a cheap one. Though I’m partial to the selections from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Yolo Colorhouse, I’ll admit that almost every brand of paint has some pretty colors. However, the lesser quality paints or stains will not likely cover in the same way as a superior mixture so you’ll likely have to use more to get the coverage required and it may not be as lustrous a finish. So, what are you really saving if you have to purchase more to get results that are not as desirable as the alternative? Nada!
As a tag note, please make sure that you are making a wise choice with the color. The color you choose for a space can even influence the disposition of the occupants within that space. We’ll need to talk color psychology one of these days to dig into just how much of an impact color can possess over your mood – footnote for a later date… But back to today –don’t be afraid to experiment. If color is not your forte or if you are uncertain about your selection, I encourage you to hire a designer that you trust for an hour or two to give his or her 2 cents. Investing in a professional opinion will save you time and money in the long run. Wouldn’t you prefer to go through this just once anyway?
So, what else can you do to be responsible with your paint selection? Let’s talk about the VOC thing. VOCs (or volatile organic compounds) are air pollutants that evaporate effortlessly at room temperature and contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer (greenhouse gases), smog, and poor indoor air quality. Paints and stains are among the leading indoor air toxins. It’s no surprise that most finishes are jam-packed with nasty VOCs that threaten your family’s health until fully off-gassed. According to the EPA, polluted indoor air is among the top 5 hazards to human health. Why in the world would you want to introduce more pollutants into your home if you didn’t have to?
Until recently, VOCs were essential to the performance of paint. Paint of some sort, even if it’s a simple shade of white, is essential in most spaces. Thanks to research and technology, you now have some wonderful options for paint with very low amounts of VOCs or no VOCs at all! Most zero-VOC paints can be mixed into any color, though you sometimes may be limited when using very deep colors.
Sherwin William’s GreenGuard-certified, zero-VOC interior paint line, Harmony, is one of my favorite go-to products when specifying paint for a client. Benjamin Moore’s Natura line is another great option. Both are available as a durable primer or top-coat paint in a variety of sheens. Other great resources for VOC-free paints include Green Seal-certified Yolo Colorhouse, Green Planet Paints, American Pride, and Safecoat (just to name a few). Soy-based Green Planet Paints even takes an additional stride by completely eliminating Petroleum from their paints, a step that further reduces the environmental impact associated with manufacturing paint. These products are a little pricier than their smellier counterparts, but what is your family’s health worth? What about the atmosphere around you?
Thanks to this technology, we don’t ever have to go back to the days of chemical headaches and that awful paint hangover feeling the day after painting a room.