June 11, 2012
by kimberly reuther
One of the first thing most of my clients ask for is help in selecting paint colors for their home. As anyone who has painted the same room several times over can attest, finding the right color is tricky! It makes sense to call in a professional and we’re happy to jump in!
However, choosing a paint color for your walls is actually the last thing in a long process of determining finishes and materials that will go in your space.
What? A good majority of people think just the opposite. Since, paint is relatively inexpensive and easy to do yourself, most choose this route as a weekend project. I had a part time job a few years ago at a retail bedding/furniture store. So many people would come in with a paint swatch and tell me how much they loved their new bedroom color. However, they had been searching for 6 months trying to find bedding to match.
There are hundreds of thousands of paint colors, so starting with a paint color is kind of a backward approach. You will find that it is easier to select a color from an object you already have, such as bedding or an area rug.
My advice is to start with an overall color palette for your home so that it all “flows” together.
Here are the key steps in selecting a color palette:
1. Find an inspiration for your color scheme. It could be nature, an area rug, an article of clothing, a piece of art, or a room you saw in a magazine. Use it as a jumping off place to pull together a few colors you love. I always find it helps to pull a bunch of fabrics and textures. Consider elements you cannot change such as existing wallpaper or fabrics in your scheme.
2. Create a color board to help you with the selection process. Choose finishes/materials with the least amount of options first (ie. cabinets, countertops, furniture). This will help you narrow down so many choices.
3. Consider the amount of each color you want to incorporate into your space. Some rooms may be more saturated than others. You may choose to eliminate one color entirely from a room in order to let it stand out in another space. As you pull together your options, you see which colors naturally makes sense as wall colors. If your original choices didn’t work, you can now revisit paint colors specifically for your walls. It is often helpful to get large paint swatches and tape them up on the walls so you can see them in different lighting.
4. Now that the walls are chosen, you can bring in the other elements to pull the whole scheme together. Accent colors play a big role in your overall scheme. Notice the deep colors of the art and accessories that tie back to our original paint palette scheme.