How to Pick the Right Paint Color
When it comes to choosing paint colors, the possibilities can feel endless. And for good reason–with so many reputable paint companies out there offering their own array of color options, it can be overwhelming to hone in on a single paint color, to say the least. Add in the complications of trying to find the perfect color while considering the lighting and size of a particular room and trying to create a color palette that’s consistent throughout your home, and it’s no wonder folks often feel that picking paint colors is one of the most stressful tasks of home design!
Choosing a paint color doesn’t have to feel like such a pain. In fact, by keeping a few tips and tricks in mind while you shop, you can make choosing the perfect paint colors an enjoyable experience — one that feels more like a science and less like a big, scary guessing game.
Start With Your Favorite Colors
Perhaps the simplest advice for how to choose interior paint colors is to start by looking at what you love. Your favorite colors often coincide with your personal taste and can help arrange a space that reflects your personality and your aesthetic preferences. When you start here, you can explore the different shades within the families of those various colors and design a room around those colors.
That said, you should keep in mind that your personal favorite colors might not always be the best choice for a particular room. Other factors like lighting, room size and atmosphere all play a role in the colors you pick. Your favorite colors can serve as a guide, but you should also assess how they might interact with the other elements in a room and how they might fit in with the room’s purpose.
Use Color Theory
While exploring your personal favorite colors is a great place to begin, using color theory to help you explore color options is also incredibly helpful. To start, find a color wheel online or at your local paint store. Color wheels are visual representations of colors that allow you to see the relationships between primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors. Color wheels also allow you to visualize complementary colors (found opposite on the wheel) or analogous colors (found adjacent on the wheel).
As you begin to explore, start with a base color–this can be a favorite color or one that represents a particular mood or ambiance you want to create in the room. Do you want calm and soothing or bright and energetic? Once you have a base color, use the color wheel to find complementary colors that align with it. Explore different shades, tints and tones related to your base color.
A color wheel can also help determine an accent color to incorporate into the base color, adding interest and depth to the color of the room. Refer to the color wheel to find colors that complement and contrast with the base color.
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Consider the Room’s Purpose
Another aspect to consider when choosing paint colors is the room’s intended function and purpose. It’s no surprise that different colors can play a large role in determining the overall mood of a room — why else then would it seem like such a difficult decision? Vibrant yellows and oranges are ideal for workspaces, home gyms and playrooms, while calming blues and greens are perfect for calm, relaxation areas like bedrooms and living rooms.
Assess the Natural Light
Lighting can greatly determine how paint colors work in a room. As you select colors, consider both the natural and artificial light sources in the room. For instance, rooms with a lot of natural light are able to hold a wider range of colors. It’s also important to keep in mind that natural light will shift and adjust, and the paint colors in a room might seem to change at different times of the day. Similarly, darker spaces with limited natural light require warmer, lighter shades to make the room feel more bright and welcoming.
Seek Out Inspiration
While your own personal preferences should ultimately be the deciding factor in your paint color decision-making, it can be a helpful practice to seek out inspiration and ideas from elsewhere. Take a close look at magazines, websites and even social media platforms like Pinterest or Instagram to discover ideas and inspiration. Blogs run by interior decorators can also provide a wealth of inspiration. Look for those images that resonate most with you, and pay attention to how colors are used in those rooms and how they might be adapted in your own space.
Also, consider sharing your ideas and opinions to those around you whose taste closely aligns with yours. Show them paint swatches of colors you’re interested in and ask for their perspectives and input. Remember to let your instinct be the ultimate guide, but seeking out the opinions of others can help reinforce those instincts.
Transform Your Home
Choosing the right paint colors for your home is a crucial decision that has the power to transform the overall aesthetic and atmosphere of your living spaces. Although it can seem overwhelming, taking into account some of these tips can make the process much less overwhelming and maybe even a little fun!
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