Sep 26, 2012

Love the colors in your home!

With the crisp, cool weather that comes with Fall, so does an opportunity to update your spaces with paint. Here are a few things you should know when you're selecting color.

There are tried and true color schemes that look great regardless of the value of color (deep versus pastel tones) They include monochromatic (all one color), analogous (colors that are adjacent to each other on the color whee), complementary (colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel), split complementary, (a main color and the two colors on each side of its complementary color on the color wheel),  and triadic (colors on the color wheel in a triangle). You can select warm tones (reds, yellows, oranges) or cool tones (greens, blues, violets) in any of these schemes and they will work well.   I like to tell clients who are working on color schemes that if exists in nature  it will work in your home. 
Look at images in magazines, on line, in model homes, and in store showrooms. Identify which ones appeal to you. Using a professional designer can help get you started to understand what elements you like, how to apply them, and then paint and accessorize for a fabulous result. When you have an idea of the colors you like, explore the variation in depth...light versus dark. Paint stores offer color cards that generally have gradations of single colors on a single card so you can have a sense of what might be too pale or too deep for your walls.

For wall paint, I recommend taking chips home with you since paint chip colors never looks the same as in the store. The scale of your room as well as the lighting, will affect how the color looks on your walls. 

Monochromatic with a cool accent color.
1- Take it homeChoose a handful of chips in colors you like with dark and light gradations.  If you do many projects, purchase a fan deck for a paint line.  When you get home, view those colors in the room you want to paint at varying times of day. DO hold them against the all of your fabrics (seating, window coverings, pillows, etc..), artwork, and even the flooring. Narrow your choices to two or three colors. 

2 - Test First.  Before you paint the full wall color, create test boards, I use a product called SMALL WALL so that I don't have to prime multiple stripes, eliminate the effect of having several adjacent colors together, and am able to move the boards to many areas in the same room and during different times of day. Most companies offer sample sizes so you can try before purchasing gallons.  Nothing is better than seeing the color applied to the wall. 

Warm and monochromatic makes
this tiny living area seem larger.
3.  Sheen Matters. Once you've settled on the ideal color be sure you select the right sheen.

  • Flat/matte paint provides a smooth, elegant finish although they are difficult to clean they are easiest to touch up
  • Eggshell and satin finishes offer more depth and warmth. Eggshell finishes are easier to wash than flat finishes and resist stains and scuffs but you will see touch-ups.
  • Satin finishes can withstand moisture, making them ideal for kitchens and baths. They are easy to clean but require more prep work since every small wall imperfection will be visible.
  • Sheens with higher glosses brighten rooms
  • Semigloss and glossy sheens can be scrubbed and are easy to clean

4. Paint and Enjoy.  Be sure to prep your walls well (see our paint tips blog).