Paint is one of the most challenging selections that can make or break a room’s “look”. If the color is off just a bit it can throw off everything else in the space. In addition, to finding the right color – it is mandatory to see the color options at different times of the day and night. So how do we best choose the color that is right for the space?
I will never do a color consult on a dark gloomy day or after dark. The shadowing in the room throws off any colors that we look at. We need strong natural light to see how a color truly looks in any space! I want natural light, shadows and exposure in a space for me to choose colors that work with the actual light in that space. Choosing color from a swatch at the store will never give you a true indication of how that color will look in your space.
Another recommendation we make is to take into consideration the other items that will be remaining in the space. Anything from artwork, flooring colors, upholstery fabrics, and accessories and décor that will be remaining…all need to be taken into consideration to ensure we blend the color sin the room to ensure everything flows naturally together.
It’s critical to understand colors. We have 3 primary colors, 3 secondary colors and 6 tertiary colors. These make up the 12 basic hues on the color wheel. “Tints” are basically made by adding white to any of these colors. “Shades” are made by adding black to any of these colors and “tones” are made by adding greys (varying degrees of greys) to these colors. Now if you look closely at paint colors and the “mix” required – you’ll notices an interesting formula of hues you were not even aware were in the paint color you liked. This is where it becomes critical to have a good understanding of colors. The same base color can be mixed with a green or blue. Depending on the amount of white, blacks and greys – it can have a significant impact on the final look of the paint color on the wall. At first, on a paint swatch in the store you do not see the “hidden” tones but once it’s on the wall – you see a definite green. That is why it is so important to take your time choosing the right color.
Paint is one of the least expensive updates to a room. However, if you keep changing the color to “get it right” it can quickly become very costly. Particularly, if you are paying someone else for labour. They won’t care how often you change the color – they are being paid for their time. You, on the other hand, could easily have used that extra money to update some new décor or buy some new furniture! It pays to ensure you get the color right the first time!
A few easy steps will help make your next project successful the first time. Take a number of potential paint color swatches home and look at then in your space. Pay particular attention to the different walls in the room and notice how the same paint color on your existing walls can look very different when on 2 adjoining walls where one is in shadows. This is normal. It is also critical that you consider this when choosing a new paint color. You want to ensure you like the color in both areas! There is nothing worse than painting and finding you hate the color on that one wall!! I recommend you take swatches and take them to the different walls and leave them there for a few days. Look at the colors at different times of day when the natural light changes as the sun moves around your home casting shadows in different directions. This will naturally effect the way the color looks. You want to make sure you really like it under all circumstances!
If you are really unsure, many better quality paints offer small sample jars (at a minimal price). This will give you a better idea than just a simple paint swatch. Just paint it on in different areas, pay attention where the existing paint colors look different and paint there so you can see just how the new color will look in those places.
Make sure you look around at the other items in the room and check to see how they work with the paint you selected. When you know everything works well together, and you really like it from every angle and in different light exposures, then you know you have a winner!
It may seem like a lot of work to go through for a paint color. However, it less work than re-painting repeatedly and still not being completely satisfied with the space!
We recently replaced the windows in our home and ended up repainting a number of rooms and walls. Those that I was changing colors on all had sample colors either painted or taped to ensure I liked them before we actually painted.
Finally, trust your first gut reaction. If you love it – you love it. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks. Color is a very personal choice. The colors that make one person feel good can be very different from the colors that make another person feel good, even in the same family. Although there must be some compromise, make sure you at least like the color. You want to walk into the room and feel great about the color you chose! There is nothing worse than walking into a room and know the color is “off” or doesn’t fell right! So take the time to make sure it’s right and you will love the space for years to come! Enjoy!