One of the easiest ways to transform the feel and mood of a room is to change the color of the walls. But a different color can be a major commitment, so you want to be sure of the shade you choose before you waste time and money on something that doesn’t suit your style.
Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect paint color:
Lovely-Up with Lighting—
Does the room you’re painting have natural lighting, or do you depend on artificial sources to brighten the room? And if so, do you use gentle lamps, or do you prefer a radiant overhead light?
- If the room is naturally dark, you may want to choose a paler wall color to help reflect light. And if the room is naturally too bright, dark wall colors can make it easier on the eyes.
- Also: If you prefer a darker color, you can use man-made lighting to brighten the room, and paint any color you prefer. Everything is possible. Just be aware that paint can have a drastic effect on the lighting factor in a room, and adjust either your tone or light fixtures accordingly.
Magnify with Mood—
Before you choose a color palette for your room, consider what kind of a mood you want to create, because every color comes with a feeling. Psychologists have long studied colors, proving time and time again that color can absolutely shape the way we feel.
- Shades of cream, yellow and pale melon can create a cheerful atmosphere, for example, while an intense shade like red or dark purple can come across as intense or dramatic.
- Blues and greens are known for giving a soothing sense of ethereal tranquility, while shades of brown can create an earthy, grounding, natural vibe in a home. Use your favorite colors to convey exactly what you wish.
Tantalize with Textures—
If you want to add interest to a room, don’t forget that paint is more than one-dimensional and comes in many different finishes.
- If you want to increase the brightness of a room, use a satin or gloss finish to increase reflectivity.
- If it’s too bright, try a flat paint to mellow it out.
- If the room feels boring, add a metallic or mineral finish or a color glaze to increase interest.
Start Small with Samples—
Scared of commitment? Never fear. There are baby steps you can take to build up to the big day.
- Paint sellers offer small samples of their colors so painters can affordably test a shade to see how it will look in real life.
- Another good way to start small if you are a tentative, beginning painter is to start with a smaller room, like a half bath or laundry room. This will be less overwhelming, allow you to practice your painting, and bolster your confidence to move up to bigger and better rooms.
Attract with Opposites—
Pay attention to the color wheel when painting, or anytime you’re decorating.
- Sometimes you can use colors from the same family for a marvelously monochromatic scheme, like a room with varying shades of purple, from dark plum to pale lilac, for example.
- If you want to spice things up, add a pop of color from the other side of the color wheel. Got a placid sky blue room that needs a spark? Add a bright orange decorating highlight, like a fiery orange vase.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Test a color you wouldn’t have thought would work: that unusual hue might surprise you by being exactly the shade you wanted. If you keep the above tips in mind, you can choose your new wall colors with confidence, and be on your way to making the interior decorating statement that best represents you.