Almost There: Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Joseph and I are in the process of painting our future home, and I couldn't be more excited about it! 

Our first home together, and the first home I've gotten to do some fixing up on, well that's just a good combo. 

We've had the home for most of January, but we've been talking about our paint colors  ever since. It's taken us a while to narrow down our favorites because we feel like the decision is pretty important. We have to be happy with our walls everyday! 

So, we've compiled a list of nine tips that helped us in making our selections. Hopefully, they will help you out next time you've got a painting project on your hands. 

1. Start with your personal taste.

This is a no brainer. If you hate red, you probably won't want to smother it all over a wall. On the other hand, if you LOVE red, you just might find it to be the perfect fit for your room. 

2. Consider the mood of each room.

This is really important. How do you want yourself and others to feel when they enter a certain room? Bright and happy? Darker and more dramatic? Peaceful? When making your color selection you should definitely consider this. In your bedroom and living room, you will probably want a color that makes you feel relaxed (like the room above...I could fall asleep in there!) In an office, you will want a color that you can feel productive in. People (including me) generally like bright colors in the kitchen. 

I've lived in a house one time where every room was painted a different bold color. It was really fun when I first stayed there, but day in and day out, the saturation was a bit tough to deal with. Once the home was painted more neutral colors, it was so much easier to be productive and relax. Moral: Mood's important!

3. Plan around patterns. 

Just because you want to change your house colors doesn't necessarily mean you are getting all new furniture and decorations. Think about the things you already have and love. Blankets, wall art, curtains, pieces of furniture…whatever items you love in your home, plan your colors around them. Like say, if you had a cool patterned chair! For us, we don't really have much furniture, but we do have these few really bright colorful blankets that we we want to use in our living room. So, we chose a warm, neutral grey, so we wouldn't be tied to one color palette for that room. 

4. Consider adjoining rooms. 

If you think every room is it's own little decorated island, isolated from all the others, think again. Sure, you can obviously give each room its own flavor of color combos, but keep in mind the rooms that you can see around it. Our future home is tiny! So we wanted all the room colors to blend together nicely. If you had a larger space though, and wanted to paint one room purple and the other a clashing color, just make sure both can't be seen from each space.

5. Think about size. 

Are you painting a tiny space? Then you probably will want to avoid deep, saturated colors. Lighter colors will brighten up a room and help it seem more spacious. If you have a lot to work with though, a little boldness never hurt anyone! This was our main reason for choosing a light, bright grey for our bathroom. It's a tiny space, and it's current colors: deep hunter green AND lime green (eww), were really making it seem even smaller. 

6. Utilize your lighting.

First things first, natural light. Do you have big windows, lots of windows, a couple windows, no windows or some other combination of windows?! If the space is naturally bright, it may be a little easier to put a bold color on the walls. If there are no windows, then maybe you would want to choose a lighter color to brighten up the joint. (If that's your thing). This pretty much goes hand in hand with size of the room, and it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your look. 

7. Learn the color wheel. 

It's a brilliant tool, and just looking at it, you might find some great inspiration for colors you didn't think of looking great together before. 

8. Test your color.

There are several paint apps you can get on your phone to upload a picture of your room and try different colors. This can also be done on many paint brand Websites. It's a great tool for trying out your colors ahead of time. If all else fails, pick your most likely candidate and paint a portion of a wall. If you don't like it, you can always cover it up.

9. Pinterest.

I don't know that I need to elaborate. Search for room decorating inspiration. This is the picture I used to choose my bedroom color scheme, though our final choice is a bit more saturated. If you need some steering, Tyler's HGTV Board is fabulous (and the source of these pictures on here!) 

FYI, all the colors at the top are labeled with what room they will be going in! I'll post before and after pics when we are all finished. Happy Painting!

—Holli Anne

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