How to pick colors for your home
Choosing the right color palette for your house or an apartment can be a daunting task. The hues and shades you choose can make a difference in the way your space is perceived, but there are so many color options available on the market that it can make anyone’s head spin. Fear not! We put together a few tips to help you make educated and inspired color decision for every room in your house.
Put together a “portfolio” of things and images, including art, crafts and fashion that inspire you. It can help you figure out your color “personality” and make it easier to choose and bring the colors you love into your home. You can find out whether you lean towards a variety of colors or, rather, different shades of the same color, and whether you prefer your colors bright or “muted.” Your portfolio can include photos from a recent vacation, cutouts from various decorating magazines and even fabric swatches you happened to love. Seeing your favorite color schemes all in one place can help you decide what hues and tints you want to surround yourself with. Don’t forget to consider already existing elements and furnishings of your space. You will want the colors you choose to fit in nicely with the rest of your décor.
Consider the mood of each room
Every room has a different function and the paint should reflect that. While the kitchen is the space with a lot of activity, which might call for a bolder hue, the bedroom is where you want to relax and get your rest, so, even you absolutely love bright green or red, you may save those colors for the rooms designed for social entertaining, like the kitchen or the dining room. The kids’ rooms can also benefit from brighter colors to create an active and stimulating environment, but don’t overdo it, as some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability and talk to your kids about what colors they want in their rooms first, as this will make your job a lot easier.
Use sample boards
Using sample boards can save you a lot of hassle, as they will allow you to see larger patches of color, compared to small paint chips, and make the right decision before you commit to buying gallons of paint. Sometimes you just need to see the color on a larger surface to decide whether or not it will work for any particular room. Sample boards are pretty much just large color samples made of cardboard that are reusable and can be moved from room to room, but they can be a tremendous help when settling on the right color. You can hold them up to existing furnishing, art and fixtures of your home and decide what hue will work best for each space.
Mind the lighting
Before painting any room, it is important to consider the kind of lighting it gets because the same hue will look different under various light conditions. Remember that natural light shows the truest color, while incandescent lighting brings out the yellow and other warm tones and the fluorescent lighting always casts a bluish under-shadow. A strong color may look too strong in a room with lots of natural light, especially on the walls adjacent to the windows. However, since natural lighting changes throughout the day, you may want to test your color boards in the morning, afternoon and evening, to see how the color responds to natural conditions and what it looks like at night time, with your current lighting turned on.
Use the color wheel
Learning about the color wheel theory may seem complicated, but it is actually pretty straightforward and there are many online tutorials that can help you figure it out, like this handy guide from The Home Depot. The color wheel theory organizes colors around the three primary ones – red, blue and yellow. Proving the rule that opposites attract, the colors located opposite from each other on the wheel are considered complementary and create the best combinations. There are, however, many other groupings you can try by using the color wheel, so it is worth learning about the science behind the color spectrum.
Create room-to-room color flow
When you are painting your entire house, always consider the adjacent rooms that can be visible from one another. Will the colors you chose work together in a seamless flow? An easy way to create a smooth transition is to choose different shades of the same color for the rooms next to each other. You can also choose the main color that you love for the room you spend the most time in and select subtler shades of the same color for other rooms. Another option is choosing three to five of your favorite colors and then alternate the primary, secondary and accent hues, creating a vibrant color scheme that should also fit in with your existing furnishing.
Choose different finishes
There is a variety of finishes available in both oil and latex paints and it is important to choose the right sheen for the right room. Flat finish is non-reflective and is good for hiding blemishes on the wall. It’s suitable for living rooms, adult bedrooms, dining rooms and ceilings. Satin finish, with its light gloss, is good for high-traffic and activity areas, like hallways, children’s bedrooms and family rooms. Semi-gloss is a durable finish that is suitable for most rooms that require frequent cleaning, like bathrooms, kitchens and closets. Gloss finish is great for the areas you would like to highlight, like doors, cabinets and wood trims.
If you still feel lost and need more help with your paint choices, check out this helpful Personal Color Viewer from Benjamin Moore – a fun interactive app that allows you to try out different hues for different rooms by just pointing and clicking and which will surely make your color selection a little easier.