Live in Color — How to Pick the Perfect Paint

One of the most exciting things you get to do when moving into a new home or updating your current living space is choosing how you’re going to paint it. Paint is a powerful, yet affordable, way to transform anything from a single room to a whole house. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. Here are some things you should know when you decide it’s time to paint.

 Color Affects Mood — You may not realize it, but color plays a role in many of the decisions you make every day. The study of how colors affect us is called Color Psychology, and it has proven that color is responsible for as much as 60% of how we react to objects or spaces. When choosing colors for your home, consider the mood you want to cultivate in each area: you probably want bedrooms to be soothing and restful, kitchens to feel clean and inviting, and living areas to be warm and relaxed.    open paint cans featuring a spectrum of bright colors

Light Affects Color — Color is composed of light (remember Roy G. Biv?) so it’s no surprise that light also affects the way our eyes perceive color. When choosing the colors to paint your home, consider what the primary light source for the room will be. Natural daylight shows the truest color; fluorescent light casts cool, blue tones; and incandescent light brings out warm, yellow tones.

Be Careful with Trends — If you spend any time looking at Pinterest or home design blogs, you’ll notice certain color trends bubbling up every few seasons. These can be a good place to start your color selection process, but always stick to colors that you personally enjoy. If the season’s hottest hue is something you don’t care for, you’ll never be happy having it in your home. Every color search should start with your favorites and proceed from there.

Test Your Choice — Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of colors, do a test and live with it for a few days to see how you really feel about it. Most brands now offer inexpensive samples that are enough to paint a good-sized section of a wall. If you’re uneasy about making even that much of a commitment, paint a large poster board and hang it on the wall.

Play with Textures and Finishes — Paint formulas have come a long way, and are now able to offer a variety of textures and finishes to add further interest to your living space. Using the same color in different finishes within a room can create a sophisticated, monochromatic look. For example, if you paint the walls one color in a matte finish, use a semi-gloss or satin finish in the same color for the trim. And don’t discount specialty finishes such as metallics, pearlized, brushed suede, or glitter (!). Used correctly, they can become an exciting focal point in any room.

Consider Room-to-Room Flow — While each room can have its own distinct color story, be sure to take into consideration how the colors flow from room-to-room. Be aware of line-of-sight areas, where part of one room is visible from another. These areas don’t have to match, per se, but they should be complementary so the transition feels smooth, rather than jarring.

Now that you know a little more about what to take into consideration when painting your home, you can start having fun and envisioning your colorful new living spaces. If you’re still not sure you’re ready for color in every room, start small by painting a powder room, hallway, or laundry room, or go with neutral walls and colorful trim to get a feel for what you like.